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About Interviews

2006-03-05 00:00

  It worked! The cover letter,the resume,the research,the prayers - it's all come together,you've got the interview. Not the job,just the interview. Now all you have to do is go face-to-face with some super-important suit and persuade him that you're the most desirable thing he's clapped eyes on since he met his executive parking space. But if you've come this far,the last stage is going to be easier than it looks?

  What is an interview?

  The best way to look at an interview is as a conversation rather than an interrogation. In a conversation,information flows both ways and after all,you want to learn about the company you may be working for as much as they want to learn about you. You want to make sure the job fits you no less then they want to be sure you fit the job. If you can think of the interview as an opportunity to check them out,you'll show that you're interested in the company,you'll feel more relaxed,you'll perform better and you'll increase your chances of getting an offer.

  What kind of interview are you in for?

  There are a number of different approaches an interviewer can take. Perhaps the most common is the clarification interview,in which the interviewer asks general questions about points on your resume that he'd like to know more about. You may get asked what your career goals are,or what you think you can bring to the job. Know your resume,know how to make it fit the job and interviews like this should be a walk in the park.

  An interviewer may also throw in some doubt-resolving questions: "Why did you leave your last job? ","Are you always this late? ","Where it says on your resume,‘manufacturing mailbags for the government,’where exactly was that? " Be aware of the weaknesses on your resume and prepare some nice flowery words to cover any career cracks and flatten the interviewer's unfounded fears.

  Increasingly popular are behavioral interviews,an approach which consultants claim is used by a quarter of interviewers. You may be asked to describe an incident in which you had to use your initiative under pressure,deal with a difficult worker or work as part of a small team. The idea is that your past behavior will predict your future actions in similar situations and the questions the interviewers ask will highlight skills they believe are important to the job.

  To handle questions like these,think about your work experiences,and retell them in STAR order: Situation/Task,Action and Result. Identify the situation or task you were dealing with,explain the action you took and describe the results.

  Preparation is the best way to beat behavioral interviews.

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