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.
Get 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.
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.