This page was last updated on 7th of June 2014
How to Interview Well.
If you’ve gotten over the Resume Cover Letter Hurdle, the next logical step is to arm yourself with the knowledge it takes to get through a Job Interview.
You’ve arrived at a site that can put you in a position to win next time you’re invited for a personal job interview.
Stick with me now … I have been where you are right now quite a few times and have learned from trial and error what might benefit you. Maybe we can shorten your learning curve.
Follow me to the end of the page. I promise you some bits of wisdom that I’ve acquired along the way that you can take away from here.
Job Interviews are not what they once were.
That’s probably not news to you, if you’ve been in the job market for a while.
After some (shall we say) less than brilliant responses to job interview questions, I decided it was time to educate myself in ways that I was obviously lacking. I needed to learn to become adept at answering questions that I initially thought were stupid and unfair and bore little relevance to the job I was applying for. I also needed a little more finesse -to not show my contempt for the question.
I could build a case against that line of questioning but it would be a waste of time. I finally realized that the Genie is not going back into the bottle. The modern style of interviewing job applicants isn’t going away. It became clear, if I wanted to earn some sort of living wage, I’d have to learn to deal with the questions. There’s a lot to be said for knowing how to sell yourself.
I did educate myself on the topic and I can help you with that. There is also a lot to be said for the confidence you can muster (when being interviewed), if you are familiar with the questions, and the answers are at the tip of your tongue.
Here’s the First Little Bit of Wisdom for You
That’s who is getting hired these days –those who have that knowledge and confidence. And, here’s the softener: No one was born to interview. How to interview well is acquired knowledge.
Besides the emotional frustration (and worse) that comes with being passed over for employment, I found another thing as distasteful as the emotional depths to which I had sunk.
That is: getting passed over and failing to favorably impress at an interview gets expensive -which further feeds low emotions.
By now, you most likely educated yourself in ways to develop a Resume Cover Letter that will cause the reader to wonder why “she hasn’t met you yet.” And, it resulted in an invitation to come in and meet for a personal interview.
If you’re like me, that phone call resulted in two simultaneous waves of emotion that washed over you. One was like a warm summer breeze, with the news that you landed an interview for a job that you would love to have. Finally!
The other was like a cold autumn rain that came with the realization -that although you landed an interview, “Holy Cow –Now I Have To Perform.”
This is Important to Realize
Once you are granted an interview, your resume and cover letter don’t mean much, if anything. Whether or not you are deemed (by the interviewer or interviewing panel) a good fit for the position to be filled, will be solely determined by the answers you volunteer to some really deep questions.
There are some other things that come into play -like your demeanor, your appearance and the like. But assuming those things are in place, you need to master the art of telling them what they want to hear. It is what sets people apart who have similar or equal qualifications. You need good answers to interview questions.
I’ve Been There, Too.
I am over 50 years old, have an education, and have been steadily employed in my field since my mid-20s. Having held down the number two position where I work for many years, I was passed over for the number one slot when it became available.
I was passed over because I didn’t know how to interview well. The person who did interview well got the job and became my supervisor. This person was 25 years old at the time. He had the qualifications on paper that he needed and had the good answers to interview questions.
I truly had forgotten more about the profession than he had time to experience in his relative brief adulthood. So, I was enlisted to teach him what he needed to know. I felt as if I had salt thrown on my wounds.
I vowed that the next time I had an opportunity to improve my standard of living and quality of life by interviewing for a higher position, I would be ready.
Lucky for me, I found what I needed …
… because another opportunity came knocking at an entirely different company. Which meant I needed not only to get good at interviewing; I needed a darn good cover letter. I felt that nothing could be left to chance.
I searched the Internet for help in educating myself on both modern behavioral interviewing tactics and how to write a great cover letter. I knew what I was looking for because I had been interviewed in the modern interviewing style. Though I failed at it, I was exposed to it – a totally different line of questioning than I had heard before.
These modern interviewing styles are called different things in different places. Behavioral questions, Competency based interview questions or Situational questions are the standard in today’s Human Resource Departments. All are an example of how to sell yourself.
I sifted through many online programs and finally settled on one that looked to me like the most up-to-speed website that would give me the most advantage over my competitors.
Here is What I Came Up With:
It has been downloaded by more than 17,000 people like me who want a ‘leg up’ on the competition. It’s been revised six times since 2004 –most recently in September 2012.
This program contains a wide assortment of questions that you could be asked and provides guidance on how best to respond to them.
I decided on this because of the positive reviews by others, the length of time it has been around, and the fact that it is kept up-to-date.
Before we proceed …
GET THIS. IT’S IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW …
The Job Interview Answers program may not be the ready solution to everyone’s employment problems. As stated previously, I have many years of experience in my field. I can relate to the Behavioral Competency nature of the interview questions.
For a young person lacking a great depth of experience to offer, recall, or talk about, it requires a little more creativity to sell yourself. In many cases, ‘outside of work’ activities may well be enough; such as, experience gained through community service, unpaid internships, your hobbies, work with your church committees or other areas that you think will be relevant to the job at hand.
The guidance offered by the Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Answers will give you the tools you need to think it through and come up with answers to the most challenging of interview questions.
Personal Tip for those who think they are up for it …
If you feel like you’ve been held back (like I have), or made some mistakes, taken some missteps, or have been treated poorly as a result of personality differences, there is no reason why you cannot still advance. Confidence (or the outward appearance of confidence) is key.
In fact, there is nothing saying you must traditionally work your way up the ladder, rung by rung. Robert Ringer wrote about the “Leap-Frog Theory” in his excellent book “Winning Through Intimidation”, which states:
“No one has an obligation—moral, legal, or otherwise—to ‘work his way up through the ranks.’ Every human being possesses an inalienable right to make a unilateral decision to redirect his career and begin operating on a higher level at any time he believes he is prepared to do so.”
Historically, we have been conditioned to expect to have to work our way up the corporate ladder one rung at a time. Ringer’s theory asserts that if you decide you are ready, you can effectively leapfrog over and ahead of your competition.
There is no need to wait for permission to do that. There is no need to wait for someone else to announce that you have arrived at that point in your career.
It requires that you operate on a higher level than everyone else does. Put yourself out there. Go for that higher paying position or a new job altogether. If you have the knowledge, experience and confidence, you will be whatever you say you are. Why? Because you say you are.
All you need is someone to give you a shot at it. It begins and ends with self-confidence.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not meant as encouragement to lie about qualifications, education or anything else. Don’t do that, ever.
PERSONAL TIP | REGARDING CONFIDENCE
Among all the behavioral competencies hiring managers are said to be on the lookout for, the one that’s near the top of the list is CONFIDENCE.
There is no one who hasn’t made mistakes or had some kind of set-back in their career. Even a less-than-desirable evaluation isn’t uncommon.
If you had one of those -guess what. It’s history now.
You are, no doubt, keen on improving yourself in order to bring more to the table, to make yourself more marketable, more valuable to a company. There is no reason not to proceed with all the confidence. Expect success!
INTERVIEWING TIP: NINE OTHER ATTRIBUTES THE HIRING MANAGER IS LOOKING TO SEE
- Courage / Persuasion
- Beliefs / Ethics
- Work Orientation / Stamina
- Interpersonal Skills / Charm
- Big Picture Thinking
I’ve learned how to display all of those and much more with the help of the Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Answers 2012. Read my full review HERE.
Thoughts Regarding Your Next Logical Step
I am hopeful that you have found the above information useful to you. I further hope you’ve found something in the tips that causes you to think about stretching out a little.
The plain truth is, there can be two applicants that are equally deserving, and equal in many ways; in education, experience, age bracket. The one who lands the job will be the one who is either 1) somehow connected (over which you have no control) or 2) the one who can pass an interview by answering the tough questions to the satisfaction of the interviewer or interviewing panel.
That last part is what I learned to control and you can too.
Is it easy? I would say not. What it will require from you is technically referred to as ‘acting’ –as in Broadway theater. When you are answering tough questions before an interviewing panel –it is, in reality, Showtime.
You may find it comforting –my suspicion; That the questions you will be asked, the interviewer could not answer without extensive interview practice (or formal interview rehearsal). If you expect to win a job offer letter, you must do the work it takes to prepare yourself properly. You need to know how to sell yourself.
What I suggest you do is check out the Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Answers. Find out what the questions are and, what the answers are. Practice them until it becomes second nature. Learn also, some good questions of your own (to ask the interviewer) and how to frame them properly.
Learn how to exude confidence through the spoken word. Learn also how to demonstrate mastery of the other nine attributes that interviewers are hoping to see. I can tell you your confidence will increase to whatever the extent you can display mastery over the interview answers.
Find out what it costs (not much) and what is included in the form of bonuses. You may someday feel as I do …
… that if I had this knowledge several years ago, my life would be quite different today.
I’ll leave you with this thought. Wise people have given thought to and know where they want to be in five or ten years. Where do you see yourself? What’s the plan to get there?
I had a vision of where I wanted to be. I didn’t have a plan. I thought I’d somehow magically rise up the corporate ladder. Those days are gone. Today -in fact, right now, you have the plan to acquire the skills necessary to get you where you want to go –at your fingertips. What if it works for you like it has for many others?
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