Interview Techniques

The interview is the most important element in the job search process.  When an employer invites you to an interview, he or she generally already thinks you may be qualified to do the job.  Now you both need to exchange enough information to allow you both to determine whether you and the organization are a good "fit" for each other.  Therefore, think of an interview as a highly focused professional conversation.  Use the limited amount of time you have to learn about the employer's needs and discuss the ways you can contribute to meeting them.

Be Prepared!  Know as much about the position/organization and interview as you can.  It is essential that you prepare yourself for the interview by doing research on the organization.  Interviewers will want to know why you want to work for them as opposed to working for some other organization.  Knowledge of their services, products, or goals can help you prepare good answers to their questions.

Stay alert for clues that you are on track and have interviewers interest at all times.  Try to maintain eye contact as an aid in holding interest.  Watch for indications that the interviewer received enough information and is ready to close the interview.  He or she will make this evident so do not try to extend the interview unless you have an extremely important question to ask.  If so, make it brief or you run the risk of overselling yourself and losing the good impression you have made.

Be aware of the impression you make in nonverbal communication.  Body language and facial expressions can also assist you in establishing good rapport with the interviewer.  In addition to the manner in which you speak, and your works, silences, gestures, facial expressions, and the way you sit or stand, may all indicate what you understand, or would like to emphasize.  Be aware of your nonverbal clues.

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