If Job Interviews Scare The Snot Out Of You...

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It's a fact of life. If you want a new job, you'll have to deal with a job interview.

And they typically scare people (maybe you) to death.

If you're feeling uncomfortable right now just thinking about a job interview, there are resources to minimize that fear. But think about what causes the fear for a second.

Usually the fear comes from one of four things:

  • General “stage fright" kind of willies
  • Lack of preparation
  • Worry about not knowing the answer to something
  • Lack of resume confidence (frequently because of “exaggerations" on it)

Avoiding the last one is easy. Keep your resume brutally honest, but present yourself in the best possible light. If that's hard to do, hire some help. Professional resume writers are good at that stuff.

As for general preparation, you can visit my site for recommendations.

But let's talk in general terms for a minute about preparation.

A killer cover letter and resume will get you in the door, but then you have to impress the interviewer to close the deal. It can be terrifying. You've spent lots of time preparing documents in the privacy of your own home, but now you have to put on a show. And the one who puts on the best show wins.

Obviously, interviewing skills are critical to your job search success. But what skills are you going to need? It's not as simple as “walk upright, don't drool, etc. " What exactly are interviewing skills?

There aren't many, although it might sound like it if somebody's coaching you on how to interview. Here are the critical ones:

  1. Dress well. This “common sense" isn't so common.
  2. Bring business cards (if you're coming from another job), extra copies of your resume and cover letter, and a pen and pad. Never say you have to borrow a pen!
  3. Relax. I know it can be difficult, but shaking is a turn-off. Act like you're cool as a cucumber, even if you're not.
  4. Know the job you're applying for, and why you want it. You'd be surprised how many people walk into an interview and say they're there because “you're hiring. " Kiss of death.
  5. Be absolutely familiar with the details behind everything you said in your cover letter and resume.
  6. Be honest. Simple, but it's amazing what kind of foolishness comes out of some people's mouths in an interview.
  7. Pause for 1-2 seconds before you answer every question. Interrupting is bad form, and pausing also shows you're thinking before speaking.
  8. If a really tough question comes up (such as, “What if I said you're the most unimpressive candidate I've ever seen?"), answer it like it pro. Ask for more specifics, and speak confidently, but don't be defensive.
  9. Have a few questions prepared ahead of time to ask the interviewer. Hey, remember that you're interviewing them as well.
  10. Be prepared to tell them why you're right for the job. Yes, you already did that in your resume and cover letter, but they're likely to ask anyway.
  11. Before you leave, thank the interviewer for his/her time, and ask for the job.
  12. Get business cards, or at least names and addresses for everybody who interviews you. Write each one a thank you note and mail it after each interview.

That's the core. The first time I did all that was in 1993, and I got the job. It just works. There are other skills, of course, and they're helpful, but you could survive most interviews with that list of 12. Believe it or not, some interviewers might be more nervous than you are!

Copyright (c) by Roy Miller

Roy Miller created http://www.Job-Search-Guidepost.com.

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