The job market is not very welcoming these days; therefore, you need to have skills and accomplishments on your resume to help you land an interview. Getting the interview is definitely easier than actually going through with one. You can always write your qualifications down on paper and have it revised to make you seem like a desirable candidate. It is how you present those qualifications and market yourself in terms of what you say and how you dress. Here are a few “dos” and “don’ts” to help you nail your next interview.
Do: Be specific, especially when answering questions about a certain skill that you are trying to sell. Using anecdotes or examples of a time where you used this skill, but be careful of which story you tell. Whichever example you choose, make sure it ends with you achieving a goal. As Business News Daily notes, “There isn’t one word or phrase that can be applied universally in this situation, but by adding a quantifying statement to explain your skills and successes, you can really enhance your interview.” Give the hiring manager a glimpse of the value you can bring to their company.
Don’t: Claim to love or are capable of doing anything because no one does. Although you may think that your interviewer wants to hear that you can do it all, they are more interested in how you can adapt. If you can “do it all,” then there is no room for growth. Instead of insisting that you can do everything they are looking for, think of ways that you would use the skills they are looking for to solve challenges that may arise if there is a task you are not familiar with.
Do: “Highlight transferable skills,” because they can utilized to perform assigned tasks and can be utilized in almost every job setting. Companies want to see how you can bring them results. The key way to prove this is by demonstrating how skills, such as effective communication, organization, time management, or multi-tasking, helps you seem valuable.
Don’t: “Sound phony.” Employers do not want you to make grand statements about how you like everything their company stands for. You can mention an aspect of the company you like and explain why. But you should not say that you love doing any task given or the company is the best amongst its competitors because it is not realistic. At the end of the day, your interviewer is human too and probably had to do tasks they did not like to get where they are; therefore, they know whether or not you are actually telling the truth.
Do: Dress to impress. This may seem shallow, but looking polished and refined shows interviewers how well you can put yourself together. This is important because if you do not iron your shirt or match your blazer to your dress pants, you may give off the vibe that you are not taking this position seriously. You can also risk your potential employer seeing negative qualities about you, such as horrible time management or lack of attention to detail.
Don’t: Use “um” or “like” too much. Annunciation is important during an interview because it shows how well you can communicate with others. If you find yourself stumped by a question, take a pause—hopefully they offered you water beforehand, and then answer accordingly. Using “um” and “like” too much may indicate your nervousness and, unfortunately, suggest that you do not think well while under pressure.
You never want to seem intimidated during an interview. The number one way to avoid giving into your nerves is to do a mock interview before you go. By doing so, you can practice all of the dos listed and acknowledge the times where you start venturing into the don’ts.
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