How to Ace Your Interview

Recently, I read a blog featuring ten tips on how to ace a job interview really interested me.

This summer, I spent a few days sitting in on job interviews for an open position at the organization where I was interning. Throughout those interviews, I made a lot of mental notes of what to do, and not do, during future interviews.

Here are my favorite tips from this blog, as well as a few of my own.

Tips from the blog:
Be certain you understand the question.
Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.
If you aren’t certain of what the interviewer is asking you, it is better to ask for clarification rather than talking about something off-topic. Not paying attention during the interview shows that you might not pay attention to directions once you get hired as well, and that’s never an appealing employee trait.

Avoid the use of negative terms in your answers. Instead of problems, talk about challenges or opportunities.
No one likes someone who is negative all the time. If you can’t keep a positive attitude during the interview it is a red flag that you’ll complain if/when you get the job too.

Prepare, but don’t over-do it. Your answers should come naturally, not sound like a script.
Find a list of the “most common interview questions” on-line and think about how you would answer them. Keep them in mind as you prepare for the interview, but do not memorize answers.

My own tips:
Research the organization and the position before the interview.

Some of the main questions they asked during the interviews I sat-in on were, “why would you be a good fit for our organization?” and even more bluntly, “what do you know about us?”

If you can’t answer these basic questions, then obviously you don’t want the position badly enough and no one will want to hire you.

Be confident in you and your abilities.
One of the interviews that I remember most vividly is one of a woman who was very shy and quiet. Being nervous is totally understandable during an interview, but it is also a turn-off for potential employers.

If you can’t be confident in yourself, why should anyone else be? The interview is the time to sell yourself to an employer and an organization.

Just remember that there was a reason that an organization called you for an interview.  You obviously have something that appeals to them, so just be yourself.

For the rest of the tips, check out the blog here.

Photo by Richard.Asia

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