Time for an Interview Tune-up?


You have your first interview next week for an interesting and exciting new position. A former colleague gave you a lead on a job and put a good word in for you, or maybe you are heavily being recruited by a top organization, either way, you’re feeling confident that you are the one they want.

Every job you’ve ever interviewed for has resulted in an offer and you are experienced in making hiring decisions, so why practice interviewing?

Since there is no down-side to being over-prepared, here are some tips to consider:

  • Practicing interview questions allows you to better identify strengths and reduces anxiety. Local Workforce Centers throughout the United States have quality interview workshops and may also offer mock interviews. Be able to weave three relevant strengths with examples into your answers.
  • Videotape yourself. How do you present? Are you smiling, making good eye contact, sitting upright and appearing relaxed, confident and competent?
  • Be able to explain why you wish to work for a particular employer and know the description of the position for which you are applying. It is imperative to do your homework.
  • Plan your interview attire. This may sound basic, but even some the most senior candidates make grave errors on their first impression. It only takes seconds for an employer to form an opinion on a potential hire. Are clothes neatly pressed and clean? Is jewelry minimal and tasteful? Error on the side of being overly conservative. Studies show presenting a trendy look is less desirable and skip any fragrance.
  • Have several questions prepared for the end of the interview. Examples can be; “What would success look like in this role?” “What are the challenges of the position?” “Why do you like working for “X Company?” “What is the management style of my supervisor?” and of course, “When will a decision be made about the next step in the hiring process?” Good questions show preparation, interest in in the organization and position along with making certain it will be a good fit for you.

Unemployment rates may be low, but landing a good job is still highly competitive so it is more important than ever to make the most of every opportunity.

Lisa Grottodden is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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