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Tips for a successful interview

2010 September 24
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by Charlie

Yesterday I had an interview with a new company and am looking at some new opportunities that are out there. With that I had to brush up on my old interviewing skills. I love interviews too. It gives me a good idea of where I am at in the market place (both salary and skill level). Another reason is it helps keep me risk averse to any possible job layoffs, and keeps me ahead of the ball. Basically its always smart to have some options out there and see where you are at in the job market. With that said here are few tips that I like to use in preparation and during an interview.

  • Dress professionally – as obvious as this might sound do everything to dress in your best attire. Your goal should be to be the best dressed person in the room. It shows your respect for the company you’re interviewing with and that you want this job.
  • Prepare for the interview- preparation is where you can win or lose the interview.
    • Reader over the job description several times
    • Have three copies of your resumes printed on professional grade paper
    • Have a couple copies of your references
    • Write up an extra sheet called “other areas of expertise”. Use this as a supplement to your resume to give additional information on the skills you have that aren’t extensively supplied in your resume.
  • Have questions prepared for them – the interview is a two way street. They are there to impress you too. Limit it to no more than five questions. One of the questions I like to end my interviews with is “Why should I want to work for you?” It gives them a chance to describe what sets them apart from other companies.
  • Be confident and honest – the good interviewers are the ones that are looking to see if you are confident in your skills and ready to call you on your bluff. They can usually tell if you are lying or not, and will dig deeper if they think you are. If you don’t know an answer, then be honest. Say, “I don’t know” and follow it up with “…but I’d use these ______ , ______ , ________ resources to find the answer.”
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses – I am asked these questions most commonly and have pre-identified what mine are. This way I can answer these questions with confidence. At the same time I can answer what my weaknesses are and what I do to overcome them.
  • Write a thank you letter – a great way to show them you appreciated them taking the time to interview you and remind them of you

I hope you find these interview tips helpful and assist you in nailing your interview and hopefully a job offer. I’d love to hear what other interview techniques you use in the comment section.

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Charlie

An IT professional, Charlie also buys and sells liens, lives on the cheap, runs marathons and helps to run his family farm. In his spare moments, he raises 3 children, does the dishes and writes one post a week. His former blog, Frugal Retirement Plan, has been cited by US News and World Report.

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