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Top 10 Ways to Turn a Job Interview into a Job Offer
All of that hard work sending out resumes has finally paid off, and you’ve been called for an interview. Congratulations! This is an important next step in your job search. It’s also your only chance to make a lasting first impression.
The following are the five key ways to turn that job interview into a job offer:
1. Take the Interview Seriously: Don’t make the mistake of thinking the interview is just a formality. Even if all the preliminaries have gone well, don’t be cavalier and start imagining how you’ll start spending your new salary. The biggest error you can make is to assume that, because you’ve gotten this far, the job is in the bag.
2. Dress for Success: How you present yourself during your initial meeting with a potential employer is very important, and your physical appearance can speak volumes to someone who’s meeting you for the first time. Even if you know that the firm allows employees to wear jeans, don’t sabotage yourself by showing up to the interview in casual clothing. Dress conservatively for interviews and avoid bright, flashy colors and patterns. Solid navy blue or medium to dark gray is usually best.
3. Show Why You’re the Best Choice: Be familiar with the job description of the position for which you’re interviewing so you can illustrate how your experience, abilities and strengths are in line with the company’s needs. Many potential employers want to know why they should hire you specifically. Make it clear to them.
4. Do Not Be Modest: Failing to talk yourself up during an interview is one of the most self-defeating mistakes you can make. This isn’t the time for humility, so sing your praises! Don’t be afraid to talk up everything you have accomplished, whether in school or in previous companies. Remember, this is your time to shine.
5. Do Not Talk Too Much: Be careful not to talk over the interviewer. This meeting should be an easy, two-way conversation, but many interviewees cover up their nervousness by blathering on. Sit calmly and listen carefully, and always answer questions thoughtfully.
6. Do Not Focus on the Salary: Don’t start talking about money too soon into the interview. Focusing on your salary requirements and previous salary history right off the bat may cause you to reveal too much. While the topic of salary will certainly come up, follow the interviewer’s lead. He or she may be saving that particular topic for a later conversation.
7. Be Professional: Even if you hated your former boss or felt your previous employer treated you unfairly, a job interview isn’t the place to launch into a litany of complaints. If you were laid off or fired from a previous position, be prepared with an explanation that puts a positive spin on the circumstances.
8. Ask Questions: Your resume may be impressive on paper, but employers also appreciate a candidate who can ask several intelligent questions during an interview. Always be sure to prepare at least three or four questions in advance to ask the interviewer. Interviews are an exchange of information, so not having questions can reveal a lack of preparation.
9. Be Enthusiastic: This is your first and sometimes only chance to showcase your personality. Don’t walk in announcing how you’re having a bad day. Be polite and upbeat. Show your enthusiasm for both the job and the opportunity to interview for it. And don’t forget to thank the person at the end of the interview!
10. Send a Thank-You Note: Make sure to send a handwritten thank-you note or polite email to the interviewer expressing gratitude for his or her time and consideration. And while you don’t want to start calling the company on a daily basis, a phone call checking in a week after the interview is perfectly acceptable.
Sources: The NACME Career Center, allbusiness.com
About the Author: The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME) works to ensure American competitiveness by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability via increasing the number of successful African-American, American-Indian and Latino young women and men in STEM education and careers
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