TAO Self-help

Title:How to Interview for a Job

Author:Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, MFRW, MMRW, MFCA-T

Date:April 2016

Source:www.militaryresumewriters.com and www.careerproplus.com

Being in this particular business, I get a lot of questions...
Things like —

  • "How long should a resume be?"
  • "How do you make a resume irresistible to an employer?"
  • "Can you give me some tips on how to write my resume?"

But they aren't all in my specific wheelhouse (I write resumes). When folks hear the word resume, they assume I know everything there is to know about their career search. And they wouldn't be too far off, actually. But there are those times when I get surprised by a question. Like this one —

  • "How do you interview for a job?"

It's great question, actually, but I think the real question should be "How do you SUCCESSFULLY interview for a job." Anyone can sit down and answer a few questions in an interview. But to turn that into a job offer is an entirely different scenario.

I've had some train wreck interviews in my career. There were times when I wasn't prepared. I didn't do my research. Sometimes I didn't even take it seriously. In one case, I was in the military and the position was being restructured so I had to reapply; bottom line, I wasn't prepared and I didn't do well.

I had to learn form this bad experience and vowed never to repeat the same mistakes. You can use mistakes to your advantage for opportunities down the road. You can ace the interview next time because you're more prepared. Focus on eliminating the mistakes and build on your strengths.

So, how do you interview for a job?

First, you want to make a great first impression by dressing for success. I'm sure we've all heard the saying "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." That's great advice. In this case, when you go for the interview dress like you're a serious candidate. A nice shirt and tie at a minimum and a jacket. A nice blouse with a professional suit or blazer for women is ideal. The goal is to be on an equal level with the interviewer. This will give you instant credibility.

Research. This goes without saying — or at least it should. Take the time to get to know the company. The Internet gives you access to the world. Google the company and look at their website. Find out what they do. The products they sell. What is their target market? What is their next big project? What is their history? Who are the leaders in the company? This information, even a small fraction of it, will come in handy at some point in the conversation. This also builds your credibility.

Always speak with confidence. You want to sound like you know what you're talking about. If you've prepared properly then you will. As the saying goes, "Anything said with confidence is believable." Not that you're trying to fake your way through the interview, but the knowledge you've gained through research, said with confidence, can go a long way to impress. And once again, your credibility will soar.

Answer the questions but NEVER ask them if that's the answer they were looking for. Can you imagine after every question you answer, you say "Is that what you were looking for?" or "Is that what you meant?" If you don't know what they mean, ask for clarification. Never attempt to answer a question you don't understand. That's a red flag to them that you either have a short attention span or you don't care enough to clarify. Never let this happen to you.

Ask your own questions — and make them relevant. An interview goes both ways. Take the time to develop your own standard set of questions and tailor them to each individual interview. You've answered the tough questions, now it's your turn to ask them. Don't hesitate, and ask with confidence like you know what you're talking about. Remember the research you did? Use that to ask smart questions.

Be ready to talk about your resume. This is important. Does your resume pass the smell test? If you had it prepared professionally, then you'll want to take the time to review it and make sure it's appropriate to your experience and skills — and no "fluff." Some organizations focus exclusively on a predetermined set of questions and they never veer from them. But some will want to talk specifically about your experience. Be prepared, especially if you had the resume written for you. CareerPro Global (CPG) gives you 14 days to review your resume and make necessary changes — free of charge. It's a great deal!

If you do these things, it should go well. We could go on about things you should and shouldn't do in an interview, but I'm limited by the number of words I can use today. As long as you don't do anything unprofessional, you have a good shot at landing the job.

If you'd like more tips on your career search, including resume writing, career advice, and even interview coaching, visit CPG TODAY!

Barbara Adams, President and CEO of CareerPro Global (CPG), the parent company of www.careerproplus.com and www.militaryresumewriters.com, has been a member of the careers community for the past 20 years. Ms. Adams holds four prestigious industry certifications. CareerPro Global is the only ISO 9001-2008 Certified Career Service in the industry, as well as one of the fastest-growing Military, Federal, and Civilian Resume-Writing and Careers-Coaching companies. The team of Certified Professional Federal and Military Resume Writers at CPG assist thousands of clients in applying for and gaining employment each year. We can help you land your military to civilian job.

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