Succeeding at the Interview

The interview is the last phase in the hiring process and obtaining one is an achievement in itself. However, now you must prove to the interviewer in a face-to-face meeting that you have the credentials, personality, experience, and creativity to meet the challenges of the job.

Here are some tips on preparing for the interview that can help you to succeed:

1. Begin with a firm handshake and steady eye contact

First impressions are difficult to break, so display a confident and friendly attitude from the first moment the interviewer appears. Shake the interviewer’s hand in a friendly greeting, and let the person guide you into the office where the meeting will take place.

2. Maintain eye contact

It is normal for your eyes to wander when you are thinking about an answer to a difficult question; however, it is expected that you will maintain eye contact with the interviewer when you are speaking or when he or she is asking you a question.

When being interviewed by more than one person, maintain eye contact with the person who asks you a question. When you have finished your answer, you can then look at the other interviewers to get some non-verbal or verbal feedback.

3. Keep answers short and to the point

Some interviewers will pause for an extended period to see if you will fill the time with chatter. Avoid doing so. When asked a question, answer the question directly, add specific detail or an example, then end your answer. If the interviewer would like more information, he or she will ask for it.

4. Sell yourself without being immodest

Don’t hesitate to describe your skills and your achievements. Add anecdotes or "stories" about past experiences to illustrate your points. You need to do so if you are to convince the employer of your strengths. However, it is expected that you will discuss your abilities and knowledge in a factual and objective manner.

5. Demonstrate a positive attitude

Avoid making negative comments about previous employers or about the occupation. When asked about your liabilities, present one or two points sincerely and in such a way as they can be viewed as areas potential strength.

6. Know the contents of your résumé

The interviewer will refer to your résumé and will have prepared some questions based on the experiences and education that you have described on paper. Therefore, know the contents of your résumé well so that you can summarize points, provide chronological accounts, and answer questions that are asked.

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