Interviewing for a new job can be incredibly nerve wracking and it’s natural to feel nervous about it. But if you take a deep breath and focus on preparing to say the things recruiters want to hear, you’ll be fine.
Just take these five tips from experts.
“Let me tell you about a time that I solved that problem.”
Even if an interview question could be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” you want to be sure to say more so you highlight the value you’d bring to the organization if you’re hired for the position.
Always have an anecdote or story about your previous experience that relates and can give more insight into yourself on the job.
“Can you clarify?
Asking follow-up questions such as “does that make sense,” demonstrates to an interviewer you’re intent on communicating thoroughly and accurately, a skill most employers appreciate.
Checking-in with the interviewer by asking him or her whether things are clear and establishing a common understanding is a good way to not only engage, but also demonstrates a certain amount of care, both of which do wonders in getting that follow-up interview.
“I read about that project on your web site.”
When two people meet for the first time, it’s polite to ask questions and express an interest in each other. In a job interview, though, you demonstrate your interest in the company by doing research before you show up, so don’t have to ask basic questions and can move on to having an intelligent conversation about it.
I don't mean memorizing the About Us page on the company website. I'm talking about doing your due diligence (read: research!) and knowing the company you're applying to.
“What made you decide to work here?”
Well-thought answers to an interviewer’s questions demonstrate your knowledge, experience and communication skills. But companies also want to see you’re curious about what they do.
One of the best things you can do at an interview is come prepared with thoughtful questions for the interviewer. Doing so demonstrates an interest in the company and the job, and shows you did your homework before the interview.
“I’d love the chance to join this team!”
There’s a huge difference between begging for a job and expressing a genuine desire to work for a company and fill the role you’re interviewing for. Recruiters are looking for people who are excited about the company and have a real interest in their prospective role.
If the job truly is your first choice and you would accept it if given an offer, then say it. Managers want to give offers to exceptional candidates who have a high likelihood of accepting the offer
Want to make a huge difference in someone's life? Here are things you should say every day to your employees, colleagues, family members, friends, and everyone you care about:
"Here's what I'm thinking."
You're in charge, but that doesn't mean you're smarter, savvier, or more insightful than everyone else. Back up your statements and decisions. Give reasons. Justify with logic, not with position or authority.
Though taking the time to explain your decisions opens those decisions up to discussion or criticism, it also opens up your decisions to improvement.
Authority can make you "right," but collaboration makes everyone right--and makes everyone pull together.
"I was wrong."
When you're wrong, say you're wrong. You won't lose respect--you'll gain it.
"That was awesome."
No one gets enough praise. No one. Pick someone--pick anyone--who does or did something well and say, "Wow, that was great how you..."
Praise is a gift that costs the giver nothing but is priceless to the recipient. Start praising. The people around you will love you for it--and you'll like yourself a little better, too.
Don't let thanks, congratulations, or praise be all about you. Make it about the other person, too.
"Can you help me?"
When you need help, regardless of the type of help you need or the person you need it from, just say, sincerely and humbly, "Can you help me?"
I promise you'll get help . And in the process you'll show vulnerability, respect, and a willingness to listen--which, by the way, are all qualities of a great leader.
We all make mistakes, so we all have things we need to apologize for: words, actions, omissions, failing to step up, step in, show support...
Say you're sorry, say why you're sorry, and take all the blame. No less. No more.
"Can you show me?"
When you ask to be taught or shown, several things happen: You implicitly show you respect the person giving the advice; you show you trust his or her experience, skill, and insight; and you get to better assess the value of the advice.
"Let me give you a hand."
Don't just say, "Is there anything I can help you with?" Most people will give you a version of the reflexive "No, I'm just looking" reply to sales clerks and say, "No, I'm all right."
Be specific. Find something you can help with. Say "I've got a few minutes. Can I help you finish that?" Offer in a way that feels collaborative, not patronizing or gratuitous. Model the behavior you want your employees to display.
Then actually roll up your sleeves and help.
"I love you."
No, not at work, but everywhere you mean it--and every time you feel it.
Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. If you're upset, frustrated, or angry, stay quiet. You may think venting will make you feel better, but it never does.
Be quiet until you know exactly what to say--and exactly what affect your words will have.
Strengthen your summary
Your headline and summary in LinkedIn must be well written. Be honest: Would a recruiter or hiring manager be able to find your profile, and would she then be interested in you, based on what you’ve written about yourself? While you’re tweaking your LinkedIn profile, be sure your photo is professional and shows you in your best light, so to speak.
Be sure your headline in LinkedIn announces to everyone that you’re seeking an opportunity in your field. Be specific. (Of course you need to tell everyone you know in person and in other networks that you’re looking for a job!)
It’s no time to be shy. Reach out to the people who can help you. And be sure to ask how you can help them back. Ask your first-level connections to introduce you to people in the organizations you’re targeting.
Update your status at least once a day
Be sure to update your status on LinkedIn at least daily. Not sure what to say? Share a helpful article or blog post you’ve found, or an interesting statistic. If you’re attending an industry event or reading a good business book, write about it. When you update your status, your name and face appear in the news feed. You want maximum exposure right now, don’t you?
Recommendations are much more powerful than endorsements on LinkedIn, because people have to take the time to write them; they require more than a simple click. If you have fewer than 10 or so recommendations, it may be time to ask for more. Is there someone you’ve done great work for? Perhaps he wrote you a beautiful email thanking you. Approach him and ask if he can turn that email into a LinkedIn recommendation.
Discuss and network
Join in the discussions in pertinent LinkedIn Groups. Show your expertise, be helpful and keep networking.
How to Use LinkedIn to Find a JobFollow companies
In addition to connecting with individual people, be sure to follow organizations you’re interested in. In their news feed, you will see fresh info about the company and job listings too.
When you’re looking for a job, it might be worthwhile to spring for the “LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium” account. Even with a basic (free) account, you can sign up for LinkedIn’s email alerts for jobs you might be interested in, based on your listed skills.
Check out these free resources for beefing up your LinkedIn skills.
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"Worry is a misuse of imagination."