After working in radio for nearly a dozen years, a job opportunity in publishing landed in my lap. I scored an interview! But I knew the job entailed a lot of experience I didn’t have, and I’d have to work twice as hard to win over my interviewers.
In today’s tight job market, a good job can be hard to find. Deciding to change jobs or even to get back into the workforce is a big decision. So it’s up to you to do what it takes to stand out in a sea of resumes and job candidates.
Here are four important job interview tips that will help:
Change Up Your Resume
Your resume is your pre-job interview. So make it count.
Include a summary of experiences at the top. This should include the skills you have mastered and that most relate to the job you are going for. In the body of the resume, remember to do the following:
- Intentionally use action words. Helped bring a project to life? Words like created, built, or established work like a charm. Did you save your last company time or money? Use yielded, conserved, or reconciled. Did you change or improve something? Centralized, customized, or streamlined are power words.
- Use numbers whenever possible. For example, stats and analytics of sales numbers, click-throughs for online content, number of people you supervised, or audience size.
- Include other interesting experiences. Did you win a rodeo contest at the county fair or star in an indie film? Hobbies and interests can make you more memorable if spun the right way.
- Experienced in social media? Social marketing is an important tool in today’s business culture. So if you know it, brag about it!
As an interviewee, your goal is to demonstrate yourself as the best candidate for the job. So the more prepared you are, the more relaxed and comfortable you will be. You can make a great first impression at your job interview if you plan ahead of time.
- Do your homework. Gather as much information as you can about the job and the company so you can relate your experience to the opportunity.
- Practice. Ask a trusted friend to sit down with you and ask potential job interview questions. It’s a good chance to practice eye contact. Another good idea is to have someone else record your practice session. You can then watch your body language and how many times you said, “Um.”
- Be practical. Preparation is as simple as laying out your clothes ahead of time, getting a copy of your resume and cover letter and references gathered, and making sure you know directions to the company. They may seem like no-brainers, but they are important to your pre-interview peace of mind.
Tell a Compelling Story
A job interview is your time to shine. Do your best to sell yourself. But don’t pretend to be who you think they want you to be, be the great you that you are. If you can’t make yourself sound interesting, then your interviewers will, well, lose interest. Here are some excellent pointers, according to HelpGuide.org:
- Take inventory of life experiences. Make a list of major life events, important memories, or turning points that made you who you are today, include frustrations, lessons learned from mistakes and/or successes achieved.
- Remember your “aha” moment. These are the stories that can really pack a punch. Without being overdramatic, use vivid descriptions of your experiences to transport the interviewer into that meaningful time in your life.
- Discover themes. As you take stock of your life experiences, what common themes or passions do you uncover?
- Reflect on your career path. What choices brought you to where you are today? Why did you make those choices? What types of things motivate you?
Once you have the basics of your story down, tailor it to the job opportunity. Which stories most relate to this particular job? You are also bound to get questions about failures or how you handled change. Preparing your unique story can help answer those questions in a way that can’t be ignored.
Ask and Answer Questions
Anticipate behavioral questions like the following:
- Describe a situation in which you didn’t meet your stated goal. How did you handle it?
- Describe a situation in which you took the initiative to change a process or system and make it better. How did you identify the problem? How did you go about instituting change?
- What are your weaknesses? How do you overcome those in the work environment?
Conversely, it’s just as important to ask great questions about the position and the employer. It shows assertiveness and is an excellent way to engage your interviewer on another level.
Job interviewing can be nerve-racking. But if you do all the right things before you even enter the interviewer’s office, it will make the experience more enjoyable. By the way, I got that publishing job using many of the tactics I explained above. I hope they can work for you too.
What are your career goals? Do you have any job interview techniques that have worked for you?
Source: Help Guide
Lori Clapper is a radio personality, freelance writer, editor, speaker, mom to three kids, and is married to an incredible guy.