You have a job interview!

Don’t take this lightly, because it means your possible future employer has weeded through perhaps hundreds of resumes … and you’ve made the short list of candidates who scored an opportunity to sell themselves not just on paper, but through a personal conversation.

Take a moment to pat yourself on the back and do a victory dance. And then … get back to the business of elevating your job search to the next step. How do you best prepare for your interview?

It’s Show Time!
In addition to polishing your shoes, cutting your hair, removing visible body piercings and selecting the perfect charcoal pin-striped suit, you need to prepare for your “speaking part.” A good interview should feel like an excellent, well-executed conversation that sells a product: you!

Know – and Sell – Yourself
As you prepare for your interview, you can expect questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “What makes you the best candidate for this position?”

No gagging or running away in a panic allowed. Instead:

  • Consider what drove your passion for the job. Think about that moment when you decided that, yes, you really, truly wanted this position. Then prepare to tell this story in a clear, concise and compelling fashion.
  • Work on your sound bites. Your interview responses need to pack a punch in as few words as possible. No rambling allowed – we’re talking three minutes or less to respond to each question.
  • Have your “Ex Factors” lined up. When key questions arise, your response should be based on your experience, expertise and excellence. And, be ready to cite specific, measurable examples of relevant past achievements.

Show Confidence and Enthusiasm
Confidence illustrates your positive self-perception, and enthusiasm indicates your positive feelings about the position on the table.

  • Remember your body language. To send out confidence vibes, walk a little faster and demonstrate leadership posture by keeping your head and shoulders up, stomach in and chest out. Then, sit up straight, make eye contact, and don’t fidget, tap your feet or otherwise appear nervous or unsure – even if your insides are turning to mush and your antiperspirant has lost its “anti.”
  • Smile. Smiling for at least 30 seconds results a psychological boost that reliably lifts your mood. And if you feel good, you’ll perform well.

Be a Team Player
You can – and should – share your individual career accomplishments, but be clear about how they benefitted your team. The old adage that “there’s no I in the word team” really does ring true in an interview setting.

In Summary: Practice!
One more adage: Practice makes perfect.

In the days leading up to your interview, hold practice sessions with trusted advisors or friends. Record and critique them, gauging the authenticity and natural flow of your responses and delivery. Like hitting buckets of golf balls at the driving range or playing the scales ad nauseum on the piano, it may be tedious and even a little painful. But just think of the potential payoff!

To help you ensure a PGA Championship or Carnegie Hall quality interview, consider working with the expert team at Alternative Staffing. Contact us today so we can discuss how to secure – and ace – your next interview.

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