3 Tips to Nailing Your Interview

hammer and nailJob hunting is a stressful path to begin, especially if you are just entering the working field after college or have experienced a lapse of time between jobs. The environment has changed when it comes to the application process, the amount of interviews and final acceptance. Many years ago you could walk into a potential employer’s office, shake hands and start work immediately. The level of skilled expertise needed today, plus the sheer volume of candidates, has radically changed that process.

Knowing what to expect in the current setting can prevent a lot of questions and the feeling of continually hitting a brick wall. You may feel like more doors close than open and even those that are open aren’t very welcoming. There are qualities you can focus on today and sharpen to score an interview and make a lasting impression.

The Application Process

Very few times do employers require your presence to complete an application. Even after visiting the location, the receptionist may have considered your request for “an application” as strange. Over 65 percent of employers are now turning to the online application process.

The process can be as simple as uploading your resume, entering a few quality skills and submitting. Then there are the employers who may have several pages and a personality test. While it seems looking for a job is a full time job in itself, it is worth the time to do so. When the application asks for direct info regarding your skill level, take a moment to define and state your skill sets. If you type 80 words per minute, share it.

The Interview Process

You have scored an interview after a lengthy application process. This is your time to redefine your skills and make a lasting impression. Stay away from bright colors, unkempt hair and honestly keep anything denim (including a purse) at home. Stay with muted and attractive colors such as gray, brown and black. Dashes of color under a suit jacket is always a nice touch, but get the opinion of a friend or loved one and see if they approve. An interview is not the time to show off dye job, spiky ‘do or eclectic style. Bring your hair into a neat nape ponytail, bun or clips to reveal your smiling face.

Upon introduction, shake hands with your interviewer and meet their eyes when saying hello. Wait until your interviewer initiates for you to take a seat. Be confident. Nerves are expected, but the adage of “fake it till you make it” is essential during the interview. Nervously laughing, pen clicking or “ums” can easily send your resume into the recycling bin. Correspond with brief yet specific answers to capture the attention of your interview. Upon the conclusion of the interview, inquire as to what comes next.

The Hiring Process

Loan officers who work on commission have a phrase that is infamous in the industry “the loan isn’t closed until it’s funded.” You may have received an offer letter from your new employer and this is a great time to celebrate! Keep in mind your employer has parameters that still need to be completed.

Drug testing, a thorough criminal background check and reference checks can be conditional during your probationary stage. If there was anything you were hiding from your employer, now is the time to come clean to avoid it coming out during the check. If they believe you were hiding something, it will look a lot worse than if you just come right out and explain the situation.

The employment landscape may have changed, but you can still get the job you want with hard work and persistence.

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Good luck in your search.

Joey Trebif



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