The job market is tough these days, so it takes more than a new suit and polished manners to land a good job. That’s why we went to the experts at Forbes magazine to learn how to take an interview to the next level:
- Tip #1: Keep improving your skills. Dan Schawbel is the author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success. He says that even though it’s taking people longer to find employment, it’s still a bad idea to have large gaps of time between jobs. He suggests you take a class, volunteer, or find some freelance work. That way, the HR manager will see that you’re a self-starter who likes to keep up-to-date.
- Tip #2: Script the first 30 seconds. Career coach Connie Cerrachio says that it’s important to write and rehearse a 30-second introduction to pitch your skills. Try something like, “Hi my name is Mark Jones. I have five years of experience in this industry and my specialty is sales. I’m a proven closer and I don’t mind cold-calling. That’s why I think my skills will help your company expand its customer base.”
- This last tip for acing an interview happens after you leave: Send a handwritten thank you note. Harvey Mackay is the author of Swim with the Sharks (Without Being Eaten Alive). He believes that sending a handwritten thank-you impresses the hiring staff with your manners and attention to detail. Plus, it provides an opportunity to smooth over mistakes you made during the interview or follow up with additional information.