5 Tips For a Great Interview

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Finding a job in today's marketplace is still a challenge. It takes determination and a whole lot of work, but it's not impossible. There is so much advice about how to stand out, and most of it is really good advice. However, if you feel that you have tried everything and still aren't getting the results you want, there are still a few things you can do to land the job.

The truth is that employers aren't just making decisions based on work experience and skills. They are also looking at who you are and making a gut decision about whether or not to hire you. It might not seem fair, but it's the way that human beings work. You can use this to your advantage by helping the interviewer see that you are the right person for the job.

Here are 5 tips for a great interview:

Don't self-promote - When you really want a job, it's so easy to over sell yourself. Try not to do this. When you self-promote it can often come across as bragging. Instead, try schmoozing a little. This means that you praise the company, compliment the interviewer (but not too much), maintain eye contact, smile and most of all - show enthusiasm. If you are not comfortable with this tactic, try practicing with friends or even strangers in bars or restaurants. You'll know you're successful when they smile back at you and become involved in the conversation.

Show that you are a leader - One of the worst parts in any interview is the "tell me about a time" questions. You know the ones, the interviewer asks you to tell them about a time that you were upset with a co-worker or about a time when you had to take charge and so on. I never know how to answer these and trying to come up with an example from my life is always difficult. The key is to understand that employers want to hire people who are in control. So, use this to your benefit by always picking examples that show how you are a natural leader and someone who is in control.

Give yourself a pep-talk - It might feel silly at first, but talking to yourself is a great way to calm nerves and boost your self-confidence. In fact, it's helpful to get into the habit of giving yourself a pep-talk before your next interview. This doesn't mean that you tell yourself to not act stupid. Instead, you should focus on giving yourself actual, genuine praise. Let's face it, you deserve it!

Visualize your success - To cope with nerves before an interview, some people will say to imagine the interviewer in their underwear, but I think that's just silly. I am a great public speaker and studied theater in college and I never did that to ward of stage fright. The secret to getting past the fear is to visualize yourself being successful. Imagine yourself at the interview and doing well. Close your eyes and see how it feels. Pay attention to how you are behaving and what that good interview looks like. Then, when you go into the interview, do it the way you imagined it.

Master that handshake - In the professional world, people are judged by their handshake. Make a point to master it. If you aren't sure what makes a handshake good or bad, do some research and learn from the pros. Look at famous politicians and other leaders and watch how they handle the handshake. Even if you are a woman, there is no excuse for a weak or hesitant handshake. In business situations, you'll still be expected to shake hands, so make it count.


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