Tips for Succeeding in Your Next Interview

Posted by Joanne Flynn on 2/6/12 6:43 PM

This short article is a great reminder of some key positive approaches you need to prepare for before you start the actual interview process.  While you will likely have a few negative reasons associated with why you are looking for another job - only you can paint a positive picture of your current and prior jobs and how they have prepared you for your next position. Don't dwell on the negative.  

Also, you need to make your experience real to the interviewer.  Always be prepared with real examples that will make your background come alive. This also ensures that the interviewer understands your background they way you want them to understand it.  This is not the time for any ambiguity or misinterpretation. If you are working with a recruiter, have them go through some quick mock interviews with you so you feel comfortable when entering your actual interview.  

If you're in the job market, pay attention to these critical issues and you'll improve your chances a hundred-fold.

Trim your resume. If your resume is more than two (printed, dead-tree) pages long, it's too long. Your accomplishments should be tightly edited blasts of information, not verbose or rambling paragraphs. The rise of online resumes doesn't give you permission to waste HR and the hiring manager's time, and the rule of thumb that no one looks at your resume for more than about 30 seconds still holds true.

Know why you like your current job. You should be able to clearly articulate what it is about your current role (or your last position) that really excited and motivated you. You should understand what drives you, and be able to talk passionately and articulately about that. If it seems like you don't care, have no passion, or are just looking for another paycheck, the hiring manager will pass. He or she needs someone who loves what they do and will thrive on helping the company succeed.

Have real-life anecdotes. You'll get questions about how you handled particular situations in the interview. Know yourself and your own job history well enough that you can recount examples from your own work experience. If all you can talk about is what you would do in the future, it won't instill much confidence.

Have the skills listed in the job description. Or at least be honest that you are trying to change roles and are willing to take a more junior position to learn and grow. Bottom line: Don't mislead the interviewer about skills you don't really have or experience you haven't yet accrued. And arrive prepared to do some hands-on work, just in case you're asked to work through a problem, project or situation that is representative of the role you're interviewing for.

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We wish you the best of luck in your job search!  Please feel free to share any comments or advice below as well.

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Tags: recruiting, candidate, job search, jobs, careers