With unemployment rates at historically high levels, this is a very difficult time to find a job. Huge numbers of applicants for every available position make it critical for jobseekers to give employers a reason to hire them over the competition.
If you've been invited to a job interview, congratulations! You've already passed several hurdles. Now here are six free interview tips to help you ace that all-important first interview.
Think for a minute about the person who will interview you. Put yourself in the shoes of the human resources personnel responsible for interviewing candidates and deciding on the best ones for open positions. What a difficult job in this economy when so many skilled people are eager to work! As an interviewee, you want to make it easy for HR to pick you out of the crowd - in a positive way.
Before your job interview, learn about the Company and the job and make notes. You may have applied for hundreds of jobs with dozens of companies - you don't want to get them confused.
Think about how your qualifications match the requirements of the job. Read annual reports, brochures, news articles, and company websites to find out everything you can about the company.
Never suggest you're desperate for a job and will take anything, even if it's true. Don't talk about how hard your life is since you lost your job. Never say anything bad about a past employer, supervisor, or coworker. It will only reflect badly on you. Talk about what you learned from past work experiences, not how badly you were treated.
During your first interview DO NOT ask about salary, breaks, benefits, vacations, or bonuses. That comes after you've been offered the job.
Don't talk at length about your personal life. Respond briefly to questions about your family, hobbies, etc. It's not relevant to the hiring process and interviewers can use such questions to try to distract you.
Talk about relevant skills, education, and qualifications, but don't exaggerate them.
With so many qualified candidates looking for jobs, the impression you make may be more important than your specific qualifications and what you say. Relax, smile. It's okay to be informal and friendly, but keep in mind that this is a business appointment.
Listen to the interviewer and do not interrupt. Answer questions thoroughly, yet concisely. Be honest in your replies. When it's your turn to talk, focus your questions on the needs of the company rather than your needs.
Often, at the end of your job interview, your interviewers will ask if you have any questions of your own.
As well as being polite, they use this opportunity to see what kind of questions you ask. Interviewers will be impressed with questions about the Company's ethos, culture and future plans or questions about the role itself. As we said in free interview tips No. 4, avoid asking questions about terms and conditions or anything which might cause the interviewers to doubt your commitment.
Because this is a really important part of your job interview, we've written a whole separate section on good interview questions to ask in your job interview.
Pay attention to these free interview tips. Someone will get hired for the job. If you're qualified, it might as well be you. Give your interviewer every reason to select you and no reason not to.
These free interview tips are based on suggestions from HR professionals with experience hiring in a down economy. Pay attention to them and you will do your best.