10 Tips for Getting (and Nailing) a Job Interview

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An increasingly large pool of unemployed workers, many of who are highly qualified and have killer resumes, means that getting an interview and landing a new job is a longer and more challenging process. After sorting through piles of resumes, hiring managers are now holding more rounds of interviews than before. Get through the first round of interviews with these tips.

Step Up Your Job Search

Fortune suggests the following tips for job searching in a weak market: request more face-to-face meetings; step up your job-search activity; try to be as flexible as you can; consider relocating; scour the hidden job market; spend very little of your time on Internet job boards and help-wanted ads; take advantage of social networking sites.

Put Yourself in the Interviewer’s Shoes

Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes. When she’s looking at your resume, what questions will likely develop? Come up with specific experiences that go with each question and work out the best answer when you practice aloud. Then, ask a friend to play interviewer and think of her own questions.

Women at job interviewGet Dressed Thoughtfully

Your attire should be interview-appropriate, which generally means at least one step up from the company’s dress code.

Impressions Start While You’re Waiting

Sitting and waiting gives an interviewee plenty of opportunity to showcase nerves—leg shaking, nail biting, hair twirling, foot tapping, etc. You want to present yourself as a confident candidate, not an anxious mess, so be mindful of your mannerisms in the waiting room for a strong start.

Your Handshake is the Real Window to Your Soul

Your handshake tells a lot about you and is a crucial part of a professional first impression. Your handshake style gives an employer important nonverbal cues about your personality and can help them form an impression about your work style. A firm handshake displays confidence, making you seem like a stronger candidate for the position.

Approach Your Job Interview With the Right Attitude

When you’re obviously younger than an interviewer, there can be a tendency to take on a subordinate role in the conversation. Do your best to present yourself as an equal, no matter the position of your interviewer.

Answering the Weakness Question

It’s probably the most disliked interview question, and it’s one that employers love to ask. Practice your answer so that you don’t stumble through it come interview time. Check out these recruiters’ tips for how to answer the question well.

One Question You Must Nail

Why are you the best person for the job? Figure out what you bring to the table, and during an interview know how to explicitly state why you are the best person for the job.

Prepare Questions for Your Interviewer

When asked what question they usually ask at the end of an interview, most of the self-made billionaires from the Forbes 400 list said they always ask if the candidate has any questions for them. Come prepared with a list.

Give Thanks

Send an individual thank-you note to each person who interviewed you. An emailed note is sometimes appropriate, but a hand-written note is a bit more memorable. Place the blank cards in your leather-bound portfolio and sit down at the coffee shop down the street to write them just after the interview.

  • http://twitter.com/Superfrugalette Elizabeth

    After interviewing a few people you would be surprised how many people weren’t  sure if they wanted the job I was offering and how many people came dressed inappropriately to the interview. Thus, I had very few candidates in the end….

    • http://www.firstnijobs.com Barrythepunk

      I think you should have screened your candidates more thoroughly prior to the interview and you would have gotten only the serious ones. When I was applying for jobs in Northern Ireland I got telephone interviewed on a number of occasions. 

  • Anonymous

    Great article. When I was applying for graduate jobs the best tip I was given was put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes. What would you want to hear and say it. 

  • Anonymous

    Great article. When I was applying for graduate jobs the best tip I was given was put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes. What would you want to hear and say it. 

  • Jacqueline M. Jakle

    This article is great!. I do want to impress that being well groomed, head to toe, displaying one’s best manners, being on time for the interview (10 minutes early), and truly knowing what the company does beforehand are crucial. I’ve been complimented on being well groomed, punctual, polite, and poised by the interviewer. Being able to discuss what the company does allows conversation to flow freely, and the interviewers appreciate that I did my research beforehand.

  • Nina Marman

    Hi, very useful post. I’ve just bumped into it and found it concrete and useful, very straight to the point. With your tips and some tricks I’ve heard during the webinars organized by 
    http://www.blog.ivyexec.com  I'm sure I’ll easily go through next job interview. Thanks once again! 

  • http://www.grb.uk.com/ Graduate Jobs

    This is a great post, you have covered all the bases. I wouldn’t have thought to send a thank-you note to follow an interview, which would be a really nice touch and help you stand out from other candidates; I will probably use it in future! 

  • Jane Poole

    I think one of the biggest challenge is getting yourself that chance for an interview. As the article states hiring managers “sort through piles of resumes”. They’d probably just spend less than 10 seconds on average looking over your resume. I had landed interviews and jobs by making sure my resume stands out. Graphical CVs is something I’d recommend. You can easily create one with your iPad through free apps like SHINE http://goo.gl/vhZ2q

  • Alan

    The site http://www.jobscan.co
    is also a great place to identify keywords for your resume. All you do
    is paste in your resume plus the job description, then Jobscan analyzes
    your job description for you automatically and identify the most
    important keywords for you! it literally takes seconds and it so worth
    the copy and paste. Saved me so much time AND I got more interviews
    using Jobscan!

    • Erica

      I agree! It is a great site and only takes a moment.