Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do You Have A Job Interview?

Hello....In this economy, many of us are seeking employment, and it's a tough row to hoe out there.  The competition is fierce, and companies can pick and choose.  So, how do you get them to pick and choose YOU?  I ran across some tips from a government website recently, and they actually look pretty good.  If you are out of work, or afraid that you will be at some point, it would be worth perusing this little article.

Here is the website from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

In my job, I hire about 10-15 people every year.  Although I agree with most of the tips to follow, I will put some comments in parentheses and you are welcome to ignore them!

Job Interview Tips
An interview gives you the opportunity to showcase your qualifications to an employer, so it pays to be well prepared. The following information provides some helpful hints.
  • Learn about the organization.
  • Have a specific job or jobs in mind.
  • Review your qualifications for the job.
  • Be ready to briefly describe your experience, showing how it relates it the job.
  • Be ready to answer broad questions, such as "Why should I hire you?" "Why do you want this job?" "What are your strengths and weaknesses?"
  • Practice an interview with a friend or relative.
Personal appearance:
  • Be well groomed.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Do not chew gum or smoke.
The interview:
  • Be early.
  • Learn the name of your interviewer and greet him or her with a firm handshake.
  • Use good manners with everyone you meet.
  • Relax and answer each question concisely.
  • Use proper English—avoid slang.
  • Be cooperative and enthusiastic.
  • Use body language to show interest—use eye contact and don’t slouch.
  • Ask questions about the position and the organization, but avoid questions whose answers can easily be found on the company Web site.
  • Also avoid asking questions about salary and benefits unless a job offer is made.
  • Thank the interviewer when you leave and shake hands.
  • Send a short thank you note following the interview.
  • (Use some humor, but not too much.  Smile a lot)
  • (No matter how nervous you are, do not talk too much - answer the questions but don't ramble on)
  • (And if you ARE nervous, let the interviewers know (with a smile).
Information to bring to an interview:
  • Social Security card.
  • Government-issued identification (driver’s license).
  • Resume or application. Although not all employers require a resume, you should be able to furnish the interviewer information about your education, training, and previous employment.
  • References. Employers typically require three references. Get permission before using anyone as a reference. Make sure that they will give you a good reference. Try to avoid using relatives as references. (The best references are work-related, especially former supervisors).
  • Transcripts. Employers may require an official copy of transcripts to verify grades, coursework, dates of attendance, and highest grade completed or degree awarded.

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