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5 Tips To Ace Any Job Interview

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Maintaining a blog is akin to filling one’s own diary because it’s meant not only to share insights on important, often odd, ramblings about one’s existence but it also serves as a reservoir for little secrets. And I decided today to share with you a little secret about how to surpass the inestimable prospect of a job interview and by the same token vastly increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Tips I’m offering here are ones I’ve devised, experienced and used fruitfully in my own (ongoing) career so far. Most of the material in this article comes from personal practice and observations in the job market, the field of psychology, and the political sphere.

Strange mix, isn’t it?

Not so strange if you realize that most of us living in modern megalopolises have to satisfy basic physiological needs (e.g.: eating), make daily choices that will impact the rest of our lives and participate, willingly or involuntarily, in the affairs of the community in which we live.

Stated differently, we need to work, make personal decisions and elect government officials.

Without a doubt, I’ve learned over the years that, due to the very nature of their job, politicians are both the best job applicants and interviewers.

Makes sense? Not yet. Ok, let me elaborate a tad. Elected officials are customarily “interviewed” by their constituents (via the media) in public settings. Put in context, that’s an incredible amount of pressure for someone to answer queries before an entire populace. A good illustration is the large number of debates that US presidential hopefuls have to “endure” at the party level and on national stage.

Think, for instance, about your local senatorial election or US Congress confirmation hearings for Cabinet appointees. Or that time when you had to field questions in front of your team or family members.

Regular citizens, in contrast, often go to one-on-one interviews in private settings. Even senior roles may require a group interview (board of directors) but not a larger jury.

Politicians thus have become adept at interviews and maintain a high level of quality in their discourse. Consequently, they must have the support of a competent entourage, and this explains their qualitative exigencies when it comes to hiring staff.

I call “R-E-A-D-Y” the 5-step interview process and, although I cannot guarantee that it is always effective, I can at least attest to its usefulness in reducing pre-interview stress in my own career.

Roll the drums. Here we go with the big 5.

Reputation

Esteem

Ability

Directness

Yearning

REPUTATION

Your reputation defines you; it’s your brand. People will judge you based on your reputation first and foremost. Prejudices and clichés, at the societal level, are mostly ingrained in reputation, rumor, or hearsay. I recently wrote about companies’ reputational risk but I must admit the same applies to individuals. First, you need to take good care of your “brand name” in professional and social networks.

Ever wonder if you’d vote for a politician with a bad reputation?

More importantly in this internet-driven world, you must heed what I call your “digital deportment”, that is, how you behave online, especially on social websites and forums. Digital data can always be retrieved even if previously deleted so watch those derogatory comments (the “big killer” is critiquing your current or former company or boss) or offensive pictures you post online. Don’t be fired for Facebook!

Again, the question you need to ask: would you elect an ill-reputed politician? How many politicians are out there who ended their career after a reputational issue? Or, more intimately, would you advise a kin to marry someone disreputable? Obviously not. So don’t expect a recruiter to extend you a favor you wouldn’t reciprocate if you were in their shoes.

ESTEEM

You must have a high esteem of yourself; in other words, your self-esteem has to command your posture and discourse before and after the interview.

Ever wonder why politicians are famed for outsized ego?

Esteem comes with respect. You need to respect the interviewer because he or she must have had enough reverence to call you for an interview. You must be at all times courteous, quiet, confident and articulate.

Respecting yourself and the interviewer will enhance your reputation. By esteem, or respect, I mean punctuality at the interview, civility in the discourse and avoiding any bad joke or derogatory, offensive comment. Avoid the usual ‘hot button issues’ of religion and politics; try to evade them or stay vague but polite when the interviewer brings those questions. Sometimes, avoiding the question is the best answer.

Remember: first impression is always correct.

ABILITY

Your ability is your skillset, your core competencies. What makes you a unique candidate. You must be good (at least on paper), that’s why the recruiter wanted to interview you in the first place. The very thought of you being competent must boost your self-confidence. Now make sure your “theoretical” know-how ascribed in the resume matches your actual wit in your professional field.

You’ll get interviewed for sure by your future boss before a hiring decision is made. Tell yourself your potential boss knows as much as, if not more than, you in your field so if you don’t sound too convincing during the interview, you’ll never land that dream job at that company.

A notorious political case of professional competence was highlighted amidst Hurricane Katrina’s recovery program under the headship of former FEMA director Michael Brown.

DIRECTNESS

Directness refers to your integrity. You must be absolutely honest in all your dealings, especially on your resume and in your answers. Recruiting managers are very shrewd and experienced nowadays, and some will ask you the same questions in different terms to seek response consistency.

If you care enough about your reputation and respect the interviewer, then you must be truthful. This is especially important because sooner or later the company will unearth the fallacy and terminate your employment.

Remember the political analogy: would you, as a voter, elect or reelect a public figure who was found guilty of gross lie?

YEARNING

Yearning relates to preparation, the degree of commitment you’re willing to exert in your job search and prior to the interview. Do you really want to work for that particular company? If you give an affirmative nod to this question, then you must prepare yourself.

Do your homework and do it well.

You need to know the firm you’re prospecting at a high level of intimacy, its inner workings. Its nuts and bolts. This is especially easy if that firm is publicly listed or/and has a website. Read, read more, and read all about them.

You may also use social and professional websites (e.g.: Linkedin) or ask acquaintances to increase your wit about the firm and even the interviewer. Having this invaluable knowledge will aid your understanding of the firm’s mission and objectives, corporate culture and main strategic moves of the moment.

Think about the extensive debate preparation politicians usually go through.

Now tell me: are you R-E-A-D-Y?

  1. cookirar
    February 17, 2010 at 9:01 am

    thx for these tips. I have a job interview for the new Walmart’s that is hiring (located in my town) and being that this is my first one and I was a bit nervous. but this article came rite on target. greatly appreciated.

  2. brecruiter
    February 17, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Very good article. I’d also add: Dress Professional even for a low level position.
    wear blouse with sleeves. skirt that when u sit down it ends at ur knees.
    closed toe shoes flats or pumps , no high heels. even in summer wear hoses.
    minimum perfumes what u love the interviewer may hate there goes ur first impression. minimum jewelery rings ear rings no visible piercings , cover tattoos.
    learn things about the company history , mission, growth projections. know the positions u want, be open to position that may be offered u.

  3. woa_74
    February 17, 2010 at 9:09 am

    also try to smile AT ALL times.. believe me on this one PLEASE!!!! also wear nice clothes… always higher than you think the company’s attire is. be very upbeat even if you have to fake it… pretty much just put on a smile and give it your all

  4. interviewhelp
    February 17, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Prepare for all job interview question and answer . You may wanna check websites like http://jobinterviewquestion.org/

  5. pra_rob
    February 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Is the group interview different from an individual interview. Maybe group dynamics may create other realities than a formal one-on-one interview and one won’t be alone. thx 4 sharing.

  6. wiki30
    February 17, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Through out all the job interviews I’ve been through, these quesitons have always popped up.
    Why do you wnat to work with us?
    Give me a time where you had to deal with a really difficult person?
    Name a difficult situation you were once in and how did you get out of it?
    Where do you see yourself in X amount of years? or How high do you plan to go?
    I’ve also had many cases where they gave me case examples and asked how I’d solve them.

  7. gore tor
    February 17, 2010 at 9:25 am

    great tips. thx 4 sharin. i subscribe to ur blog, send us more interesting articles like this one.

  8. ago ordinate
    February 17, 2010 at 9:26 am

    thx for sharing. it’s more simple than all that i’ve read abt job tips.
    now i’m more cnfident for my next job interview.

  9. dupond
    February 17, 2010 at 9:33 am

    pls post the french version when u can. i have a job interview next week. thanks u
    google translate is not givn good translate.

  10. rsa4ever
    February 17, 2010 at 9:35 am

    excellent article. well written. thx 4 da tips

  11. lars_re98
    February 17, 2010 at 9:39 am

    gr8 article.

  12. rpr09
    February 17, 2010 at 9:41 am

    just be urself at job interviews and dn’t fake it. good luck to everyone out there looking for a job now.

  13. rfoapr
    February 17, 2010 at 11:03 am

    job interviews are like a test. study hard and you’ll pass.
    source: my wife.

  14. jobseeker
    February 17, 2010 at 11:09 am

    thx 4 the article. i’m wondering if these techniques apply to online job search and online interviews or phone interviews since the interview does not see u

  15. ifred
    February 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    gd tips thx

  16. wymaggy
    February 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    one serious mistake ppl do is to look for the best time to read more the comapny and get some tips from current employees

  17. wsteven
    February 17, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    i luv the tips in here. hopefully as the economy goes back up, i can use some of them.

  18. zlrao
    February 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    🙂 well said.

  19. savez30
    February 18, 2010 at 12:55 am

    thx for sharing this article. great tips.

  20. ezali34
    February 18, 2010 at 1:03 am

    well any job interview shd be prepared correct. but u don’t need necessarily need to know the recruiter. and also the author forgot to mention those thank u letters after the interview. that’s crucial too.

  21. bernard
    February 18, 2010 at 1:11 am

    job interviews these days are sophisticated and sometimes via web. what’s that we need to do then. Maybe start thinking abt online resume, like video resume or audio resume

  22. sanrpro
    February 18, 2010 at 1:17 am

    make sure u don’t go with ur husband or wife. it may spoil the whole job search thing. and by the way brush ur teeth before the interview and take a bath.

  23. inquiry
    February 18, 2010 at 1:21 am

    very good article. i luv’d it. wanted to share this everyone else
    http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/interviews/a/aceinterview.htm

  24. expert
    February 18, 2010 at 1:28 am

    i luv the article. i’ve signed up for more goodies on this site.

  25. jobsforall
    February 18, 2010 at 1:34 am

    i’ve signed up for the blog but i also sent u a private email.

  26. radr
    February 18, 2010 at 1:40 am

    findign a job is so tough these days that if i ever can’t get an interview, i’ll do everything to ace. this article is very good. i’ll send it to all my friends and share with family memebers.

  27. contras
    February 18, 2010 at 1:45 am

    thx for the article. that’s what i needed.

  28. 2ara
    February 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    very good article. thx for sharing

  29. 2010guy
    February 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    i really need a job and these tips will sure help me.

  30. gmorning
    February 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    i need to find out what makes a good leader. is it someone who can commands or someone who can delegates? thx

  31. hUBBY
    February 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    i thnk it’a a good stuff to have around just in case one might forget the fundamentals of interview.

  32. Chalris
    February 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    This is an excellent article. I’ve been a recruiter for 32 years and it’s a pretty darn good description of what we looking for in candidates. good job from this author.

  33. MelrosePlace
    February 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Watch these resume killers
    • mploying gimmicks such as brightly colored paper, unusual formatting, clipart and cutesy statements.
    • Failing to tailor for each employer and job description.
    • Allowing typos, misspelled words and poor grammar to slip through.
    • Including personal facts that employers aren’t legally allowed to ask, such as age and marital status in the U.S.
    • Adding irrelevant keywords to get more “hits” when searched electronically.
    • Sending as an email file attachment without instructions to do so.
    • Embellishing or lying.

  34. Ben
    February 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I need a job these days, hopefully your article will help me.

  35. Raul359
    February 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Don’t forget to describe your personality and attitude. Just because most ré sumé searches are computerized doesn’t mean that companies don’t search for human qualities. A tracking system can identify behavioral traits – dependability, responsibility, a high energy level – as easily as it can technical skills. “Be enthusiastic,” says Yana Parker, author of Damn Good Resume Guide, Ten Speed Press, 1996 . “Let your passion show. Don’t use tired language.”

  36. Dict39
    February 18, 2010 at 7:47 pm
  37. Lamber1936
    February 18, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Wanted to share this. HOW NOT TO LAND A JOB
    http://jobsearchtech.about.com/cs/careerplanning1/a/blunders.htm

  38. LMuriel
    February 18, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Gr8 article.

  39. Whistlere56
    February 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    What an insightful article. You should publish on Technorati

  40. ArabKid
    February 18, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    There are differences in culture that make some of the points here not valid. I disagree with the author ‘coz some of these tips are only applicable in western world but not appropriate in other countries.

  41. Rabria
    February 18, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    What cultural differences for example? I find this article great.

  42. Gaslow35
    February 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I don’t think respect or reputation is different whether u are in the US or in Africa or in Asia.

  43. Whatfor
    February 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Great article

  44. Jesse05
    February 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Love the article but still unemployed. When is that job coming?

  45. FrenchiMan
    February 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Careerbuilder and Monster have very good blogs on the subject as well. But I find this one pretty great. Maybe u should also write for them.

  46. Rastakiller
    February 18, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Some of these tips are only theory and do not work in practice. You can prepare but the real events shows that you can never prepare enough. All this is b…s-.

  47. Europage
    February 18, 2010 at 8:26 pm
  48. Guea
    February 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I need a job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…………………..

  49. Grat
    February 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    great.

  50. IMag
    February 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    i don’t agree with this b’cos i think it’s not what u know, it’s who u know. u can do all this and still fail miserably to get a job. know people, that’s my advice

  51. Meabtalll
    February 19, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    thx for this.

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