As I stated in my first article, Interview Tips from the Experts, interviews can be the most challenging and even the most overwhelming stage of the job search process for many job seekers. I had asked interviewers and career-search experts from across the web for what they considered to be the top tips for preparing for and acing interviews in today’s job market. I could not include every tip from all of the experts in my previous post; however, I did not want any of you out there to miss out on these other great interview insights and have compiled them in this second list to share with you today.
- Be aware of the question “tell me about your mother or father.” It may seem like an ice breaker, when in fact it can possibly cost you the job. In many cases the values of a parent are also the values of the candidate, and that is what we and the employer are looking for. Compliments on a parent’s work ethic, integrity, and so on can give a good picture of what it is that you value as well. This answer can highlight qualities that make you stand out from the rest. How you were raised and your relationship with a parent frequently has a major impact on performance at the executive level. – Dean Bare, Stanton Chase International
- When answering the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question, understand what they’re really asking for. This question is really asking, “Give me some skills and experience that will make me think that you’ll add value to our organization.” You need to think about crafting your answer to discuss your background and strengths in a way that brings a benefit to the organization. The most common mistakes people make when answering this is 1.) Not knowing what the organization is looking for and 2.) not sticking to strengths and work experience. – Rosemary Laack, PowerSuccessDiva.blogspot.com
- Research who’ll you’ll be interviewing with on Linked In and Facebook. Find 2-3 well-respected people you know in common and have those folks phone the interviewer in advance with a personal recommendation for you. You’ll walk into the interview with the job already in hand. – Shane Vaughan, Balihoo.com
- Ask for the job. At the end of the interview, tell the interviewer that you are interested in the job, and would like to know what the next steps are. If the next steps seem evasive or unclear, ask the interviewer if your accomplishments seem relevant to the performance requirements of the job. Understanding a potential gap here allows you to fill it in with an example of a related accomplishment. Make sure you do the best job possible of presenting your strengths. Sometimes you have to ask for the job to understand what points you need to get across. – Mark Landay, DynamicSynergy.com
- At the end of the interview, I always ask, “Have I said anything that would lead you to believe that I wouldn’t be the best candidate for this job?” At that point, the interviewer usually says something, and then I am able to counter it by clearing up any misunderstandings or to tell them how I could overcome that flaw. However, in any event, it shows that I am a problem solver, and I’m not content to let issues sit on the shelf. – Brooke Kelley, RestoretheRepublic.com/vlog
- Candidates will do better in interviews by remembering just 2 little words: “for example”.By adding the words “for example” to their interview answers, candidates will remind themselves to include lots of accomplishments, anecdotes and quantifying statements to their answers, which is exactly what interviewers are looking for. These 2 little words will make you stand out from the crowd. – Lauren Milligan, ResuMAYDAY.com
Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this wealth of interview insight!