Education and Experience Is Not Enough – 7 Common Sense Tips To Keeping Your Interview Real

You’ve spent the necessary effort to polish your resume, draft your cover letter, checked and re-checked for errors and mistakes and now you’ve managed to land the interview. Congratulations on making it to the next step but now what? Interviewing successfully is a skill that can be developed and trained. Gone are the days where all you needed to have was the background, the experience or if you are lucky both. More and more hiring executives are screening for personality. They want to make sure that you not only get the job done but that you can work well with others, communicate clearly and have a high potential to last. Nobody wants to waste their time bringing on board someone who has years of experience and education but had challenges with their social skills in previous jobs. It raises an immediate flag. So how can you communicate that you are a team player during the interview?

Be yourself

Putting your best foot forward is your number one priority but you also don’t want to come off as a rehearsed robot just spewing answers you think they want to hear. Answer naturally and don’t be afraid to say you don’t know if you really don’t.

Don’t be afraid to smile

A smile is contagious. It sets a warm and cordial tone and it shows that you are not afraid to show the human side of you.

Don’t be uptight

While it’s important to highlight your strengths and accomplishments, exaggerating or long winded responses can be a turn off. It’s important to share that you saved the company 10 million dollars but knowing that in addition to saving the company money, it could not be done if it were not for you probably won’t go over well. Stay away from phrases that only reflect ME, ME, ME!

Try to connect on a personal level

When it is your turn to ask questions, (and you must have questions), it may be nice to ask about ways the company gives back to the community and the top goals or objectives. Honestly speaking, many executives probably can not tell you the top objectives without looking at their scorecard and you certainly do not want to put them in a situation to have to look for it. Get them talking about themselves. Ask them how long they’ve been with the company and what is keeping them there.

Do your research

If you have a chance, try to get information about your interviewers and research the company before the interview. With modern technology and the internet, finding secondary research is all with the ‘click of a mouse’. As the cliché says, “knowledge is power” and this knowledge translates into confidence during your interview.

Don’t be a hothead

You may have four other interviews lined up and this may not be your first choice or maybe you are simply using this interview for practice; it is important that your interviewer does not know this (I’m sure you will not say it) but they must not see this in your behavior. An attitude that shows you really do not care can hurt your interview and potentially burn you later even if it is not a top priority job.

Don’t cover up past failures

Everyone makes mistakes. If you have to discuss a past failure, acknowledge it and use it to highlight what you learned. Never discredit or degrade your former employer. This behavior only demonstrates your true character and will give a bad feeling about you to the interviewer.

Monique Russell


Clear Communications

Creative Lessons Empowering Actual Results!

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