paper and pencils and write down your biggest fear of interviewing
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for Do's and Don'ts
here for what to wear.
here on what NOT to wear!
you should be prepared for-click
Situational or Behavioral questions-click
Sample questions from you-click
stumped by questions
being dressed appropriately
a bad interviewer
being qualified for the job
not as though I "fit"
Top 10 Interview Mistakes
1. Not taking the interview seriously. Donít make the
mistake of thinking that the interview is just a formality. Even if all
of the preliminaries have gone well, donít be cavalier and start
imagining how youíll start spending your new salary. The biggest error
you can make is to assume that, because youíve gotten this far, the job
is in the bag.
2. Dressing down. How you present yourself during your
initial meeting with a potential employer is very important, and your
physical appearance can speak volumes to someone who is meeting you for
the first time. Even if you know that the firm allows employees to wear
jeans, donít sabotage yourself by showing up to the interview in casual
clothing. Err on the side of conservative and show up in neat,
professional clothing; a business suit is your best and safest bet.
3. Not showing why youíre the best choice. Be familiar with the
job description of the position for which youíre interviewing so that
you can illustrate how your experience, abilities, and strengths are in
line with the companyís needs. Many potential employers want to know why
they should hire you specifically. Make it clear to them.
4. Being too modest. Failing to talk yourself up during an
interview is one of the most self-defeating mistakes that you can make.
This is not the time for humility, so sing your praises! Donít be afraid
to talk up everything that youíve accomplished, whether in school or in
previous companies. This is your time to shine.
5. Talking too much. Be careful not to talk over the
interviewer. This meeting should be a two-way conversation, and many
interviewees cover up their nervousness by blathering. Sit calmly,
listen carefully, and answer questions thoughtfully.
6. Focusing on the funds. Donít talk money too soon into
the interview. To focus on your salary requirements and previous salary
history right off the bat may cause you to reveal too much. While the
topic of salary will certainly come up, follow the interviewerís lead.
He or she may be saving that topic for a later conversation.
7. Trash talking. Even if you hated your former boss or felt that
you were treated unfairly by your previous employer, a job interview is
not the place to launch into a litany of complaints. Donít go there. If
you were laid off or fired from a previous position, be prepared with an
explanation that puts a positive spin on the circumstances.
8. Failing to ask questions. Your rťsumť may be impressive
on paper, but employers also appreciate a candidate who can ask several
intelligent questions during an interview. Prepare at least 3 or 4
questions in advance to ask the interviewer. Interviews are an exchange
of information, and not having questions to ask can reveal a lack of
9. Lack of enthusiasm. This is your first and sometimes
only chance to showcase your personality. Donít walk in announcing your
bad day. Be polite and upbeat. Show your enthusiasm for both the job and
the opportunity to interview for it. And donít forget to thank the
person at the end of the interview!
10 Forgetting the follow-up. Make sure to send a handwritten
thank-you note or polite email to the interviewer expressing gratitude
for his or her time and consideration. And while you donít want to call
the company every day, a phone call to check in a week after the
interview is perfectly acceptable.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Closing an Interview: Tips to Seal the Deal
the Deal With Strong References
You Accept the First Offer?
Words To Boost Your Career: Thank You
Seal the Deal With Strong References-Back
Your polished resume got you the interview. Your stellar interviewing
skills made you the hiring manager's top choice. But the deal's not
done. You have one last hurdle: The reference check.
Eighty-seven percent of human resource professionals say their company
has checked prospective employees' references within the past year,
according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Don't underestimate the importance of the reference check. This final,
crucial step in the hiring process can mean the difference between an
offer and a rejection letter.
A good reference confirms and elaborates on the information in
your resume. More important, he gives positive feedback on your
skills and experience.
Former managers, clients and colleagues make the best references,
because they have first-hand knowledge of your job performance. If
you're new to the workforce, you may want to ask a professor or teacher
to serve as a reference.
Avoid using friends and family as references as well as people who
have known you less than one year.
Most importantly, make sure you've asked permission before listing
someone as a reference. In this case, the element of surprise won't work
to your advantage.
Should You Accept the First Offer?-Back
First Offer or Last Offer?
What else prompts people to accept the first job offer they receive?
Typically, it's fear. Nervous job seekers will often wonder, "What if
nothing better comes along?"
If you're being afflicted by this fear, evaluate your job search efforts
to date. Have you done everything possible to attract all potential
opportunities? Are you contacting recruiters? Is your most current
resume posted on Yahoo! HotJobs? Does everyone in your network know
you're looking for a new opportunity?
To truly assess all of your options, make sure you're leaving no
stone unturned in your search.
Don't Settle for Second Best
Some job seekers cringe at the thought of accepting the first job
they're offered because they fear their dream job is still out there.
"What if something better comes along?" they worry.
You can put these worries to rest by creating a "new opportunity
checklist" at the beginning of each job search. What are your
must-haves? What are you nice-to-haves? Weigh your first -- and
every -- job offer against your checklist. What's there? What's missing?
What additional information do you need to make an informed, intelligent
Also, assess your post-interview mood. Did you leave feeling
excited about the possibility of working at that particular company
alongside the people you met? If you're not feeling very enthusiastic,
you might be settling. And, as a result, you might find yourself
searching for yet another job sooner rather than later.
The Wisdom of Rejection
An often-overlooked benefit of evaluating and rejecting a job offer is
that you can discover what's really important to you.
You might notice some of your nice-to-haves are actually must-haves. You
may come to learn that you don't want to change industries. You could
determine that you're interested in relocating to another part of the
Whatever your realizations, exploring your opportunities will give you
the confidence to accept or reject your first job offer. And it is
confidence -- not desperation -- that drives the best decisions.
The Second Interview-Back
This time around, expect to spend more time at the company, talk to more
people, individually and collectively, and have your skills and
personality scrutinized more closely.
The Employer's Point of View
From an employer's perspective, the second interview is a chance to
closely evaluate a candidate's abilities and interpersonal skills. Your
prospective employer wants to see that you can do the job and work well
Be aware that many employers bring in several candidates on the same day
to streamline the second interview process. Your challenge is to
distinguish yourself from the other candidates.
To show you're a good fit with the company, focus on explaining how your
abilities and experiences would enable you to do the job. Be specific.
Offer concrete examples that highlight your competence and
Who You'll Meet
On your first interview, you probably met with one or two people. This
time, be prepared to meet several more over the course of the day,
including potential managers, coworkers and other staff members.
You may meet individually with several people, who will most likely ask
you similar questions. Keep your answers consistent but mix up your
delivery so that your answers don't sound stale or staged. If possible,
before the interview acquire a list of the people you'll be meeting with
and do a little research on each one. Then ask questions that show your
knowledge of each person.
If you meet with a panel or group, be sure to make eye contact
with both the individual asking the question and the group as a whole.
Steps for Follow Up
It's rare to receive an offer on the spot, but it does happen
occasionally. If the feedback is consistently positive over the course
of the day, you may get a job offer at the end of the interview. If that
happens, don't make a hasty decision. Ask for time to think about it.
If you don't get an offer, be sure to immediately send a brief thank you
note to every person you spoke with. Some companies make hiring
decisions in a matter of days, but many can take weeks to make their
Be patient, be flexible and be ready for an offer or an invitation for
yet another interview.
The Waiting Game-Back
There's a fine line between being conscientious and being annoying.
The first rule is: Don't wait for the
recruiter to contact you. You need to keep in touch not just to stay
informed about the interview process, but also to stay fresh in the
So how long should you wait after an interview to make contact?
The majority of recruiters (53 percent) said candidates should wait
one week before following up, according to a Yahoo! HotJobs survey.
When you do follow up, reiterate your interest in the position. Ask what
the next step is (if you don't know) and find out when the company
anticipates making a decision.
Don't Stop Searching
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is taking a break from
their search in the hopes that an offer is imminent.
It's very hard to predict if you'll be offered a particular job. So even
if you're confident that an offer is coming, keep looking.
You won't lose your momentum if the offer never comes. You'll also
increase your chance of getting another offer, which can be helpful when
Two Words to Boost Your
Career-Thank You-Back to Index
Beginning with the "thank you" for your first job interview and ending
with the "thank you" for your retirement party, your career can benefit
enormously from simple notes of gratitude written along the way.
Frequent, well-written thank-you notes can foster professional success
in unimaginable ways, and they are especially important after a job
Thank-you notes should be printed on letterhead stationery or
personal-business stationery, or -- for a little warmer tone --
handwritten on fold-over note cards. You can simplify the process by
sending an email thank-you message (more on this later), which is not as
distinctive as a handwritten note but far better than no message at all.
As you're writing, don't worry about being creative or clever or
profound. People are so charmed to receive thank-you notes at all that
they are seldom very critical. "Thank you very much" are words that
everyone likes to read.
here for a thank you letter.
A great website that addresses many