If You Can’t Remember a Lot, Remember a Little
Helping my clients sharpen their interviewing skills is something I do often. As an interviewing coach, I try to cover all the bases, providing lots and lots of instructions. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and clients are feverishly taking notes, hoping they don’t forget something important when the time comes.
Here Are the Best Five
In preparing for a session this week, I decided to pick just a few things I felt would be most helpful to remember when interviewing and choose these five.
1. Don’t dress too up or too down. Wear something a step above what’s expected on the job. But don’t dress like you’re ready for a party (or to work in the garden).
2. Don’t complain about your last (or current) job or your boss. Even if you hated one or both, find a positive way to answer questions related to them. Nobody wants to spend their days with a complainer.
3. Don’t qualify your responses. Using hedges like absolutely, sort of, just about, actually, etc. while interviewing make you sound less confident. And don’t preface your answers by saying something like, “I’m no expert on this, but…” You may think it makes you sound more friendly. What it really does is make you sound less credible. And less employable.
4. Keep on point. Answer only what’s asked; don’t ramble. When talking about an accomplishment, report the result first, then briefly describe how you produced it. Nobody wants to hear a long, rambling story. They’ll be nodding off before you get to the punch line.
5. Leave your cell phone in the car. Don’t walk in with water or any other beverage. Don’t take a bunch of reference letters or other documents. Don’t bring anything more than you need to the interview: 2 pens, a notepad, and a few extra copies of your resume.
Sue Montgomery is a Certified Professional Resume Writer & Career Coach with 20+ years of experience creating resumes, cover letters and other tools that market people for the jobs they want. Sue is founder and president of Resume Plus.