guy in a panel interview

7 Ways to Pull Off the Perfect Job Interview

We all have a dream job. You’ve probably picked yours because you know you’ll love doing it every day. But here’s an idea: you should also consider the financial rewards it can offer.

All the hours you yield in your dream job should reward you equally. Therefore, your dream job should also be a higher-paying job.

The question now is, how do you land it? Experience and skills are necessary but won’t mean squat if you don’t know how to showcase them in the most crucial stage of job hunting: the job interview. You’ll probably just have one shot at it, so you better make it a good one. Below are some tips you can use to pull off the perfect job interview.

job-interview-nov2016-05It all starts with your résumé

American professional training program Impact Factory says that a person’s CV only has about seven seconds to make a visual impression. A perfect CV should consist of one to two pages, with mostly details related to previous employment, training, and educational background. Details such as interests, weight, religion, and affiliation with college organizations aren’t needed anymore.

Here’s another tip: Human Resource people like to bring an applicant’s résumé during the interview to guide them on what questions to ask. They also jot down important points from what you say during the interview. So leave a sizable margin for them to make notes. A one-inch margin should be enough.

Impress beyond your résumé

Looking and sounding special on paper could boost your chances, but be aware that employers can find your résumé cocky as much as you find it impressive. Once you’re in the job interview phase, be modest about your qualifications—your résumé already proves your competency; you don’t need to keep trumping it up.

Beyond the skills necessary for the job, HR people are also looking into your character. Are you full of yourself? Can you work with other people? How do you respond to authority? Can you take criticism?

What to say and not say

You can further impress interviewers by giving them clear and concise answers to their questions. Make sure that you’ve done your research about the job you’re applying for, the company, and the industry. You should also steer clear of certain answers or pronouncements that could make you look bad. Here are some examples:

Don’t SayInstead SayBecause…
“This is a great
opportunity for me.”
“I’m really excited
about this job.”
You don’t want to sound like you see
the job as a stepping stone. You want
to avoid appearing frantic about being
hired either. Don’t be afraid to make
it sound like you’re doing the
company a favor by hiring you, and
not the other way around.
“I was laid off from
my last job.”
“I prefer to look
forward, not back.”
Be positive. Chances are the
interviewer will press you about
any setbacks you will let slip.
“They, uhm, provide the
uhm, market res-research
for, uhm…”
“I’m not sure,
I’m sorry.”
If you don’t have a clue about the
question, be honest and say you don’t
know. Interviewers will see through
you straight away if you start waffling.
If the situation allows, add this: “I’ll
get back to you on that.”

Dress well, smell better

The mere sight of sweat can give the impression of you being nervous, so wipe off any perspiration before showing up for your interview. Facial hair, on the other hand, is fine, if it suits you and you can pull it off. Pop a mint or candy before you talk to the HR person—or if you can, brush your teeth. When it comes to wearing perfume, stick to mild scents. You want your interviewer to remember your credentials, not how you smell like a department store’s perfume section.

job-interview-nov2016-03Cover up tattoos and hidden piercings

Depending on the kind of work environment you’ll be potentially working in, consider a more conservative look when appearing for your job interview. Some industries can be more open or forgiving, while corporate settings might view tattoos or piercings in a negative light. It’s best to wear clothes that cover your tattoos up and to take out any visible rings.

Also, no brightly-colored clothes, no flashy jewelry, and no overly stylish hair. Fitting into a prospective employer’s environment is a must, as they’re looking for you to represent the company’s image.

Smoking before an interview is a no-no

The waiting time can be excruciating when you have to wait for hours before being interviewed. When taking a break, resist the urge to smoke. The stale smell of cigarettes is a turn-off. If the interview will be conducted in an air-conditioned area, it can be a problem, since it stenches the room. It also turns most lady interviewers off.

job-interview-nov2016-01Absolutely no name-dropping

Filipinos love to namedrop, often using it to get out of a sticky situation or to advance themselves through a process. But it can work both ways. Unless there’s an endorsement from the person you name dropped, it won’t work. Namedropping does not help at all, unless these persons mentioned can vouch for your character on a work-related level.

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