Here's The Breakdown of a Job Interview

Get ready because we’re going to break down the anatomy of a job interview – from the minute you pull into the parking lot – to the hour after you leave. This comes from Women’s Health magazine. Let’s start with when you arrive.

  • Compose yourself. Even if you were doing 90 on I-70 to get there in time, don’t let it show. Zip your purse, take your sunglasses off, put your phone on silent, take a deep breath, and calm down. If you arrive frazzled they’ll think you can’t handle pressure. If they ask about the traffic, or “Did you have any trouble finding the place?” – stay positive. It’s a test to see what kind of attitude you have and how you handle stress.
  • Then, have a couple lines prepared for the walk from the reception area to the interviewing office. A simple, “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me” is fine. Or comment on something interesting you noticed in the office.
  • Once you’re seated, lean forward just slightly. It instantly makes you appear more interested.
  • Then get ready for “behavioral questioning.” It’s when the interviewer asks you about how you handled a situation in the past. because you’ll probably behave the same way in the future. When they do that, give specifics. Saying you saved the company money is okay – saying “The new ordering system I implemented saved 30 man-hours a week and $50,000 overall” makes you golden.
  • Then nail the big question “What’s your biggest weakness?” by using the sandwich technique. Sandwich your weakness between two positive statements. An example? “I’m a fast learner, but I don’t know HTML. So now I’m taking a class.”
  • You know at the end of the interview they’ll ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” Never say “No.” Go in prepared with a question about the company if you have to. The best thing to do is to ask a question about something you two spoke about – it shows you were listening.
  • After you leave, send an email thank you note saying you’re very interested in the position. Better yet, handwrite one and drop it in the mailbox the same day. Fewer than 40% of interviewees send one, but a Career Builder survey found that 25% of employers wouldn’t hire an applicant who didn’t send one.

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