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Go for the Gold on Your Next Job Interview

Go for the Gold on Your Next Job Interview

Start a degree program at American Public University.

By David E. Hubler
Contributor, Online Career Tips

If you’re about to go in for a face-to-face job interview, you might want to watch the Winter Olympics for a few crucial tips.

Notice how all the competitors calmly compose themselves before each event. They clear their mind of any extraneous thoughts and think only of the challenge they face. When they are completely focused, that’s their moment of supreme confidence.

“I can do this,” they tell themselves. Then, they’re off. Whether on skis, snowboards, luges or ice skates, they push themselves to excel.

The preparation athletes take to perform at their best also applies when you’re about to interview for a new job. You’ve been through the preliminaries – the cover letter, the resume and perhaps the phone interview.

Now you’re going for the gold. You want to be calm and confident.

10 Tips for a Job Interview

Aine Cain of Time magazine offers the following 10 tips for a job interview:

1. Prepare good questions that demonstrate your knowledge and interest in the job.

Because it’s often impossible for some people to think up informed questions on the spot, write some down beforehand. Rehearse them a bit, if that makes you feel more comfortable.

2. Make the job interviewer feel he or she has your undivided attention.

Good conversation starters include asking about the person’s weekend or referencing a post you liked from their organization’s blog or social media platforms.

3. Maintain good body language.

Slouching, fidgeting and averting your eyes are all behaviors that might make you appear awkward or deceptive.

4. Do your homework when it comes to money.

Know your worth. Know the market. When wages come up, try to frame it so the interviewer throws out the first number — and remember to remain flexible and honest throughout the discussion.

5. Take it slow.

This strategy especially benefits shy people, allowing them to show the interviewer that they’re confident enough to handle the pauses and engaged enough to carefully consider each answer. If you rush through your conversation, you risk sounding incoherent and nervous.

6. Stick to your thesis.

If you’re anxious or speaking with an inexperienced interviewer, it can be easy to swerve off-track in your interview. You might end up babbling about your career highlights reel, when you really should be demonstrating the value you can bring to the organization.

7. Pretend as if you’re about to start work tomorrow.

Pretend you already have the job. Come to the interview with a few suggestions you believe your prospective employer would like to hear. The interviewer will be impressed by your dedication, enthusiasm and the level of research you’ve done.

8. Really know what you want.

Come to the interview with questions that will indicate whether or not the company is a good fit for you, and really listen to your gut.

9. Ask about the next steps.

Ask about the follow-up process. That will demonstrate to the hiring manager that you’re pragmatic and serious about the job.

10. Send the perfect “thank you” email.

It’s easy to become so relieved after the interview that you forget one crucial step. You don’t want to have the job interview equivalent of a Chloe Kim halfpipe snowboard victory, only to fall flat on your face during the landing.

Don’t forget to send your interviewer a thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. Something as simple as a thank you note shows that you care about the job – and it just might put you in first place against your competition.

Start a degree program at American Public University.

About the Author

David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield published the paperback edition of David’s latest book, “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever.”