Job interviews are really stressful and really exciting all at the same time. During the interview, there is so much pressure to get everything right and making the best pitch you can. Having the chance to make your case and possibly get the job you really want is unbelievably exciting. However, that mix of hopefulness and nerves can cause you to become flustered and forget everything you had planned on saying. It's happened to me before, and I've ended up staring at an interviewer with the "deer-in-the-headlights" look, completely drawing a blank.
To prevent this, it's important to prepare for your interview in advance. It's a good idea to write down the key points you want to make on a piece of paper. You don't have to write out answers to every question, but just having something you can look at when you've lost your focus really helps. You can store these notes in a folder, along with other things you might need. This job interview survival kit should contain things like:
Additional copies of your resume
A personal data sheet with your previous employment information
A copy of the job application or resume you submitted
Any letters of recommendation (if applicable)
A black pen
Extra paper for taking notes
A thank you note along with a stamped envelope
A list of questions you have for the interviewer
This job survival kit also gives you something to look at while you're waiting to be interviewed. Believe it or not, from the moment you enter the building, you're being observed. Many companies pay attention to what people do while they are waiting, thinking that it's a good indication of who they are. While you're waiting, you can look over your notes, showing how prepared you are.
Most of the items in the folder are self-explanatory, except for the list of questions for the interviewer. When I've talked with other job seekers, it seems that this is always a stumbling block. They aren't sure what questions they should ask or if it's better to not have any questions. I think you should always have at least a couple of questions for the interviewer. Asking questions doesn't make you pushy but instead shows that you are interested in the position and are trying to decide if the job is a good fit for you.
If you aren't sure what questions to ask, here are 5 questions you should always ask during an interview. You can use these as a guide and come up with a couple of your own to add to it.
What are you looking for in the person you hire for the position?
What are the possibilities for advancement within the organization?
What are the job duties and responsibilities?
Is there anything else you need to know about me in order for me to be fully considered for the job?
When is a decision to be made?
When you're prepared, you're leaving less to chance. Even though a job interview can be a stressful experience, you're being given the chance to get something huge without out having to risk anything more than your time. If you give it your best shot and don't get the job, don't give up. Chalk it up to good practice for the job that's right for you.
What do you bring with you to a job interview? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Source: Eastern Shore Career Guide
Image courtesy of ambro / freedigitalphotos.net
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