Job Interviews - How To Win at Job Interviews

The conversation with a purpose

The job interviews are strategic conversations with a purpose. Your goal is to persuade the employer that you have the skills, background and ability to do the job and that you can comfortably fit into the organization.

At the same job interview, you should also be gathering information about the job, future career opportunities and the organization to figure out if the position and work environment are right for you.

You can strongly influence the job interview outcome if you realize that an interview is not an objective process in which the employer offers the job to the best candidate based on merit alone.

Remember, these same keywords you used in your resume or CV will be the foundation for your job interviews. Not only do you need to be able to write about your keywords, but also during an interview, you must be able to verbally communicate about them as well, in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.

A job interview is rather a highly subjective encounter in which the interviewer offers the job to the qualified person whom s/he likes best. Personality, confidence, enthusiasm, a positive look and excellent interpersonal and communication skills count heavily.

One key to success is to use every means at your disposal to develop effective job interview skills: selective presentation of your background, thoughtful answers to job interview questions, well-researched questions about the organization and an effective strategy to market yourself. There is no magic to interviewing: it is a skill that you can learn and improve with practice.

A second key to success is careful research about the job and the organization, agency or company with whom you are having the job interview, so you can talk effectively. You may request printed materials such as annual reports from the employer in advance or use library resources. You should also talk with your contacts in the organization or use your personal network to discover the names of current employers you might call before the job interview.

Knowing about the job will help you prepare a list of your qualifications so that you can show, point by point, why you are the best candidate.

Knowing about the employer will help you prepare a job interview strategy and appropriate questions and points to emphasize.

Before receiving a job offer, you will typically have a series of job interviews with an employer, so familiarize yourself with job interview skills and dos & don'ts

The first job interview is a screening interview that could be conducted over the phone or at the place of employment. In screening interviews, many interviewers will spend more time describing their opportunities than asking you specific questions.

Screening job interviews are rather brief, usually lasting 30-60 minutes. During that time, the employer will want you to elaborate on experiences outlined in your resume or application and will describe the organization and available position. If the employer is impressed with your performance in this interview, they will invite you to a second (and perhaps third or fourth) job interview.

The second job interview process is longer, lasting anywhere from two hours to a whole day. It could include testing, lunch or dinner, a facility tour and a series of interviews with various employers. You should come away from the second interview with a thorough understanding of the work environment and job responsibilities and have enough information to decide on a job offer should one be extended.

Each job interview follows a rather predictable communication pattern of warm-up, information exchange and wrap-up conversations.

During the first few minutes of the interviewwarm-up, the interviewer will be formulating a first and perhaps lasting impression of you. How you greet the interviewer, the firmness of your handshake, the way you are groomed and dressed, will all be a part of this initial impression.

To help you feel at ease, a practical interviewer might ask 'common ground' questions about shared interests or acquaintances, or your travel to the job interview.

Some interviewers might start by saying 'Tell me about yourself, an opening for you to concisely describe your background, skills and interest in a position.

The information exchange will be the primary part of the job interview. It is when you will be asked the most questions and learn the most about the employer.

If you are prepared for the job interview, you will be able to promote your qualifications effectively as you respond to questions. With practice, you will gain confidence and become more polished in your presentation.

Eventually, the interviewer will probably say, 'Do you have any questions?'. The interviewer is moving this cue to thewrap-up stage.

Always ask questions because this demonstrates your prior research and interest in the job.
Your questions should be direct and logical.

Do not ask questions about salary or benefits unless the employer broaches the subject first.
Check an article on salary interview questions

The interviewer may also ask you if you have anything else you would like to add or say. Again, having a response is best. You can use this opportunity to thank the employer for the job interview, summarize your qualifications and repeat your interest in the position. If you want to add information or emphasize a point made earlier, you can do that too.

This last impression is almost as important as the first impression and will add to the substance discussed during the information exchange.

This will probably be your first direct contact with the company and will give you an insight into its workings and the chance to meet with its personnel to see if it is a place that you would like to work.

Whilst job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, you should remember that the interviewer is only human and it is possible that s/he is nervous also.

The interview is your chance to back up in person everything that the employer has read about you in your CV, Curriculum Vitae, resume, cover letter or job application.

These same keywords you used in your resume, CV or cover letter will be the foundation for your job interview. You must be able to talk about them in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.

If you are prepared for the job interview, dress and behave as in dress codes, you will be able to promote your qualifications effectively as you respond to questions, particularly about yourself, why you want the job and what you can contribute to the company

Do not volunteer information that the interviewer doesn't ask for.
Maintain eye contact while talking with someone.

Other Job Interviews Info

Hopefully, you received an invitation to a job interview. So, now you need:

Follow up your job interview with a thank you letter. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.

We strongly believe that if you followed all steps in finding jobs to this step, you will pass the job interview and get the job you wanted. Now you need to know How to Keep Your Job!

In addition, on job search, cover letter, CV & resume, job interviews and dress codes pages, you will find very useful tips for many different countries.

Good luck with your job interviews!