A job interview is one of the most important components of your individual job search. You may have scores of contacts… an honest and dynamic resume… great writing skills… but the interview is when the decision of whether or not to hire you is initially made.
Clearly, this puts some pressure on you. It’s therefore important to realize what an interview is not. An interview is not a test. It does not work in the way a quiz or an essay exam works. There are no “right” and “wrong” answers. There are strategies, which you can learn, but you can’t study for an interview in exactly the same way you study for a test.
An interview is a conversation with a purpose. The purpose is for the employer to get to know you (and for you to get to know the employer) well enough to be able to tell if you would be a good “match” for the organization and the position for which they’re hiring. So there are only two things you need to do:
* Help the interviewer get to know you
* Get to know the organization by asking the interviewer some questions
In other words, an interview is in some ways like any other conversation. You will give information, and you will get information.
But don’t rely on what you may think are your “people skills.” Since an interview is such an important conversation, it takes some thought and planning, and every person on a job search (whether they’re a “people person” or not) needs to learn how to think and practice for this special conversation called an interview.
One last thought before we give you some tips. You may think that you’ll be nervous during an interview. You will be. So go ahead: be nervous. Don’t worry about it (There are ways to relax, such as concentrating on your breathing, and making sure you’re in clothes in which you feel comfortable and look great.). But nervous or not, just make sure that you:
* Help the interviewer get to know you.
* Get to know the organization by asking the interviewer some questions.
See the links below for more information on interviewing.