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Want a Stress-free Job Interview? 12 Tips – Before. During. After.

28/04/2009

“Interview. Don’t clamor for an interview. Instead search for the INNER VIEW.” Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The interview starts here.

The interview starts here.

12 Tips for a Stress-free Job Interview: Before. During. After.
In a previous post, on tips for job seekers, I posed a few questions to get you thinking about ways to get out of a job search malaise … I suggested that you pause, take stock of your strategies and consider these questions:

Have you reviewed your resume, interview skills and elevator pitch? Have you considered other career paths/options? Have you put your life on hold while chasing job leads and appointments? Have you taken care to keep yourself fresh, focused, engaged and involved in YOUR life so you can convey same at an interview with a prospective employer? These questions are particularly relevant when you snag an interview.

Recently, Seth Godin wrote an excellent blog/vlog on job interviewing tips that got me thinking about other tips I would add to the topic again. Then, when problogger.net’s master blogger/instructor, Darren Rowse, instructed participants of the 31 Day Challenge to revisit an old post, I knew this would work…
If the job search saga continues for you or if you have an interview pending, take a moment, grab a cup of tea and consider these tips:

BEFORE
* Do you know how to get there? Before the interview day arrives, take a test drive or train/bus ride to the location. How long did it take? Did you get lost? Note any special markers.
* Reconfirm the date/time for your interview. It’s important to touch base before hand to ensure everyone is on board as planned… You’d be surprised how easy it is for either side to mix up dates/times.
* Edit, update and pre-print those extra copies of your resume for the interview. Sometimes the interviewer brings a committee to the process; be prepared – a jury awaits you.
* Before you show up, do your homework. Review your notes, the company and clarify why you want this job. What assets will you bring to the company? Practice with a friend.  More below!

“If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” Book of Proverbs

DURING
* And your name is…? Botched up names can pose an interview nightmare so get everyone’s name straight – spelling and pronunciation included. Ask, remember, and refer to them by name during the interview.
* This is not a dress rehearsal. You are the star of this show. Are you focused? Are you listening to the questions? Asking questions? Making eye contact? Breathe. Smile. Relax.
* Tell me about you? Strengths and weaknesses? Uh huh, not what you twitted or ate for lunch. This is not therapy either so focus on relevant work examples.
* You built rapport and the interview flowed; now it’s over. Please ask for the job; start dates, other considerations, and decision-making schedule. How soon will they let you know…? You’ve earned the right to ask.

AFTER
* Before you leave, ask for business cards if they were not offered. You will need them for contact and correct name spelling.
* Do send an email thank you afterward with some reflections on the discussions. Things you wanted to say but couldn’t because of time constraints. Be brief.
* And then to trump your competition, send a handwritten “Thank you” note to everyone who interviewed you. Trust me, this is magic!
* Follow-up and stay in touch; unless they say don’t call us, we’ll call you… Either way, you’re a winner in my book. Go for it.
Did I miss something? Do share…

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. freddupont permalink
    06/05/2009 2:13 am

    All pretty sound and solid advice. There are 3 key points I’d like to underline:

    1- Preparation, well described in the article – do your research, even if you have to spend time and money, it will make a difference. If you can ID problems that you can solve, you have a winner… but be cautious before jumping head first on a hunch or deduction, ask questions to verify that what you found out is sound; if it is, go for it and outline what you think may be solutions.

    2- Raise your energy before the interview – I don’t mean drink red bull or coffee, but more like a sportsman or a boxer; remember, high energy wins… But once again, be careful, there may be several rounds…
    Someone that can elevate the mood of a meeting will win, every time, especially in this economy.

    3- Get back at them, right now – demonstrate a sense of urgency; most people will wait a day or two, make a difference: send a note with a short bullet point summary of the interview key points… do it right after the interview, before you even have a cup of coffee.
    It is easy, when you are aware of it, to sparse comments and entry points with an interviewer that allow to get back at them… find a way.)
    Good Luck!

    Like

    • 07/05/2009 5:49 pm

      Thank you Fred for your excellent additions to the topic… Interviews are a fascinating animal and it does take focused preparation and follow through to do well. A touch of divine intervention helps especially in those curve ball, sticky moments. Thanks for your feedback!

      Like

  2. 07/05/2009 7:00 am

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Nice post! This topic is broad, but you’ve done an excellent job of whittling down to things that get overlooked: being 100% sure where the location is, expecting a committee of interviewers, hand-writing thank you notes to follow up – these are critical tips!

    One thing I would add is to write down in advance and practice delivering some example-stories from your past work history that you want to showcase in your interview. It’s important that they make your point, so I teach people to use a three-sentence beginning, middle and an end. Set up the Situation or Task, then say what Action(s) you took, then say the Results. (STAR format) As a listener I’ve found people sometimes omit one of those three parts.

    Keep up the great posts!

    Like

    • 07/05/2009 5:40 pm

      Thank you Samantha for your insights. I like the STAR approach too. Have a great weekend and I will pay your blog a visit shortly.

      Like

  3. Zooey permalink
    21/09/2009 9:52 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this article. It really helped me ace my job interview last week. I not only got the job of my dreams, but I’m now working in a company I really like as well. I also got lots of advice on how to write my resume from another website. Both are important if you want to get a job.

    Zooey

    Like

  4. 15/07/2012 4:14 pm

    Thank you for your comment and Congratulations on your new job! I wish you much success… Let me know if there are others topics you’d like to read about. 😉
    Eliz

    Like

  5. 28/04/2009 5:45 pm

    Thank you Renel… I’d like to hear more about your blog and the subject matter you cover. Cheers!

    Like

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