Thursday, October 28, 2010

Job Interviews: 6 Strategies for Success

Once you have secured an interview, building rapport with the hiring manager or selection panel is critical for your success. To learn how to set yourself up for interview success read on. The top tips to help you build a relationship during your next interview include the following:

  1. Preparation - Properly preparing for an interview reduces nervousness and enhances your ability to relax. Find out as much as you can about the company, its goals, objectives, etc. If possible, also take the time to suss out information on the interviewers, as well. - Internet searches on Google and Linked In are wonderful tools for this exercise.

  2. Rehearse - Confidence breeds success to the same degree that success breeds confidence. Practice your answers and questions with friends and family members. The confidence that comes from practice is a powerful antidote for nervousness.

  3. Eye Contact - When being interviewed by a panel, pay close attention to the job title/position within the organization of the person asking the question and tailor your answers accordingly. When answering questions put forth by a panel, strive to make eye contact with every member of the panel and not just one asking the question.

  4. Discuss - The ‘best’ interviews are conversational in nature. During the interview process, the interviewer[s] will be assessing your fit within the role and company culture as well as determining if you can do the job.

  5. Articulate - Converse clearly by using correct pronunciation and accurate terminology. Your voice must be clear enough for the interviewer to understand. Answer questions clearly, concisely and confidently. If you do not know how to answer to a question, ask for further clarification. If you do not know the answer, say so with the addendum that it is an interesting question and that you will look into it for your own edification.

  6. Value Proposition - When preparing for an interview, understand that you have a strategic advantage as an interviewee. Prepare a brief outline of the points you want to make in the interview and practice drawing these points into the conversation. Know that you already have the mandatory skills and expertise to do the job, or, you would have never secured the interview in the first place. Strive to position your expertise by using anecdotes from your career history to demonstrate the skills required as listed in the original job advertisement.

Regardless of the outcome of the interview, be ready to move on. The success or failure of a job interview may not be personal. If the interviewers do not see you fitting in with the organisational culture, they are doing you a favour by saving you the pain and frustration of working for a company or organization where you would not be happy. Alternatively, they may be simply making a huge mistake. Do you want to work for a company or organization that is not enlightened enough to envision or take advantage of your expertise in terms of what you can do for them?

You are competent and talented and there are great companies out there that would be lucky to have you. Never stop looking for the right fit!

Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved.Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of Mary Salvino.“Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at