Thursday, June 9, 2011

Four Things to Keep in Mind During your Next Job Interview

Sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach, having a hard time sitting still? Many of us are terrified of job interviews. Are you afraid you will say something “dumb”, you won’t know how to answer the questions, or that you will be rejected? It could be any one or a combination of all three that makes us scared in the interview process. Here are four things to help you calm yourself down and prepare for success in your next job interview.

There is no question you can’t answer!
One of the biggest fears in an interview is fear of the unknown. We don’t know what questions they are going to ask and better yet, what they want us to say when we answer them. There is one subject being discussed in an interview – YOU. No one knows what skills or experience you have better than you do. Therefore, no one can answer these questions better than you can.

If you are prepared to discuss the benefits your skills and experience offer the employer, there will truly be no question that stumps you. Think of yourself as a salesperson or marketing executive whose one and only product is you. Answer every question in a job interview in terms of how your skills and experience can solve the employer’s needs and you will set yourself apart from the crowd.

You are well-qualified for the position.
Many years ago, I went on an interview for a job that was out of my career field. I asked the interviewer what it was about my skills that made me a candidate of interest. Their response was that they did not see any skills and they only interviewed me because I applied. Ouch! This type of situation would not happen in today’s job market.

Employers receive so many applications that they could never interview every candidate. Therefore, if you get called for an interview it is because you are qualified for the position – and the interviewer agrees with you! By the time you get to the interview, you have already convinced them that you are well-qualified for the position. That should put an extra spring of confidence in your step walking into the interview next time!

You will be an asset to the organization.
Do you truly believe this statement? Every one of us can bring value to a company in some way. Your job is to discover what that value is, believe it with all your heart and sell it to potential employers. If you are not quite at the point of believing this you may want to refer to my job search motto: “Fake it ‘til you make it!” This does not refer to faking qualifications or skills, but to confidence.

The one thing you must have (or fake) in an interview is confidence. When an employer sees a confident candidate they automatically assume you are a competent candidate. Convincing them of your competence is half the battle in an interview.

You are not the only one in the room with fears.
One bad employee can really hurt a business. A bad employee can lose customers, cause other employees to quit, or damage the reputation of the business. Imagine how fearful that business owner is when they are going out on a limb and hiring a new employee that they don’t know. The next time you go into an interview, keep in mind that you are not the only one who has something to lose. You are not the only one in the room with fear. Let that thought calm your nerves the next time you sit down to interview for a job.

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