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Answering Interview Questions - How to Make the Right Impression in Your Job Interview

Catherine Z Jones

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For most people, a job interview is both an exciting and terrifying prospect.

Being called in for an interview means that your job application has passed the basic requirements for the role and your would-be employers are interested in knowing more about you.

Usually it is this prospect of making a good impression on your employers during that interview that can - and does - make a simple job interview go very wrong. So instead of getting the terms and salary you deserve, or the job itself, you end up with a lot less than you had hoped for.

Now, the first thing you have to tell yourself is to stop worrying about it. Of course this isn't going to help you not worry at all, but the point is to at least try.

Starting the day before your interview, focus on the job you are applying for, rather than thinking up all sorts of interview questions that they may or may not ask about you. Yes, they will ask some of these questions, but with your focus on the desired position, you will cure some of the worst job interview diseases ever known, including:

1. Running off at the mouth. Especially if you tend to babble when you're nervous, you might find that after one question from your would-be employer, you've already told him your entire life story. If you're focused on what you are able to do for the job you've applied for, you'll be answering interview questions according to what the job demands - and what your employer would want to hear - and weed out the unnecessary details.

2. Stuttering, stammering, and basically not making any sense at all. All too often, when an interview question catches us off guard, we tend to try to spout an answer, even if we do not have one. That's very dangerous when answering interview questions because many times, you can keep talking, hoping that you'll eventually start to make sense, and sadly you never do. Returning to the focus will remind you of what you're in that interview room for and help direct you back to sensibility.

3. Hitting a blank wall. Another nervous reaction, some people tend to just blank out during a job interview and fail to say anything at all. With your mind focused, there's less chance of losing it, and it's easier to center yourself and find the right responses.

Additionally, make sure to listen to the interview question being asked and take a few seconds before replying. Although the first impulse is to answer right away, sometimes even before the interviewer has finished talking, don't worry about time wasted and really think the question, and your answer, through. If you think you need to take a deep breath before opening your mouth and answering interview questions, then by all means do so.

And do smile. A smile will help you relax. Of course, don't spend the entire job interview with a grin plastered on. Instead, listen intently to your interviewer and when they acknowledge you or wait for your response, give them a reassuring smile that will show them confidence and optimism. And don't reserve the smiles for the good guys, either. Many have found that smiling at people who are verbally attacking them works even better than attacking back!

Here's more advice on answering interview questions including tips on your job interview .


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