What can make the difference between a “blah” and an “ah” interview.
This a guest post by Nettie Feldman. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.
I’m here to give you a simplified version of how to ace the interview, especially for those who get tongue-tied or simply aren’t good interviewees.
So you’re not good interview material? Says who?
1) Look memorable
We’ve been relying on the drab, “proper” attire that’s supposed to show our seriousness and professionalism. And then we end up acting blah, too.
I’m not saying you ought to dress eccentrically, but what about an unexpected flash of color in your glasses (I wear those multicolor Ronit Furst glasses, and loads of people – including interviewers – ask me where to get them). Or an unusual shirt that’s styled differently or has a different color (but no Florida shirts, please).
The key: stand out without looking too way out.
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2) Pretend you’re the host
This is a networking trick, although I don’t recommend going all out with this one.
To make you feel more at ease, pretend you’re the host and your job is to make the person opposite you feel comfortable. So much of the interview can depend on the chemistry; if you’re relaxed and talking naturally, they’ll respond.
The key: make yourself feel at home by making them comfortable.
3) Speak memorably
Rehearse some choice sound bites that people will remember.
For example, if you’re a crackerjack programmer, instead of reeling off a laundry list of qualifications that the interviewer’s already read on your CV, explain your achievements by saying you “wrote a full program in C++ using one line of code.”
Or, if you’re a marketing writer: “My white papers are still being used to target leads, 3 years after I left the company.”
The key: find the hook and use it to lure them in.
4) Deflect trick questions
When the interviewer invariably asks you a trick question, like: “did you have the boss from hell, what do you do?”
I don’t think so.
Instead, you may want to deflect such a question by saying that not everyone is meant to have great bosses, but that you’ve learned techniques to work well with all kinds of challenging personalities.
The key: don’t say something you’ll regret!
5) Finesse dumb questions
Don’t you love it when the interviewer – usually the HR person, who may want to show off their Psych 101 expertise – asks you what your negative traits are? Some advisers recommend you use your hyperactivity or your impatience to your advantage, saying it helps get things done.
Although it sounds like solid advice, it still sounds forced. Why not move the conversation forward, saying “I really can’t think of anything offhand. Can I get back to you on it?”
Maybe what they’re really looking for is to see if you’ll falter. If you come up with a quick answer and a sincere smile, then maybe you gave them the answer.
The key: remove the obstacle by moving forward.
Seasoned interviewers can smell fear. They can also see your palms sweating because you keep rubbing them against your skirt or pants. But if you’re prepared for the interview, you’ve done your due diligence, you’re looking sharp, then take 3 silent breaths, put out your hand confidently and smile. Really smile. You’ll see how the fear will melt away.
The key: If you smile, your fear muscles can’t work!
Please let me know if you’ve adopted these tips – and let me know if you get the job!Free Bonus
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About the Author
Nettie Feldman is host of the Afternoon Schmooze talk show on Rusty Mike Online Radio. You can reach her on Facebook and on Twitter.
This article is part of the 4th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest, which was made possible thanks in large part to our Gold Sponsor, Jason Alba of JibberJobber. If you want Nettie Feldman to win, share this article with your friends.
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