Job Interview Tips

Employers are looking for people who are confident, competent, hard-working, dedicated, loyal, and are able to get the job done.  The job interview process with its often ridiculous questions is designed to weed out applicants who do not possess the right traits and work habits.  Employers have decided that asking applicants tough, strange, weird or difficult questions can reveal who an applicant really is as a person and whether they would fit well into that organization's culture.  Therefore, don't be surprised if interviewers ask you strange questions, such as "If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?"  Or "See this pencil -- Try to sell it to me now." Or "What kind of car do you drive and why did you buy that particular model?" Or "If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?"

Interviewers will also ask you difficult questions, such as "What are the reasons for your success?" Or "Tell me why this company should hire you."

Interviewers will ask you embarrassing questions too, such as "Why have you had so many jobs in such a short period of time?" Or "Why have you been searching for work so long?  Won't anybody hire you?" Or "Why are there several big employment gaps on your resume?"

Since the average person looking for employment usually gets called for 10 to 15 interviews before he gets a job offer, you would be wise to prepare for the job interview beforehand. Like it or not, you must endure their questions if you want the job and you must be able to answer most of their questions reasonably well.  The only way to do this is to practice beforehand so that you feel confident before the interview.

The Typical Job Interview

The purpose of the typical job interview is to screen a handful of applicants who have made the final cut after a lengthy process of weeding through hundreds of resumes or job applications to select qualified candidates.  If you are called for a job interview it means that the employer believes you have the basic skills and experience required for the job; however, he wants to see you in person so he can learn more about you, your personality, your appearance, your demeanor and your ability to do the job.  Depending on the employer you could be competing against as little as three or as many as 30 other applicants.  Don't be surprised if you are called for a second or third interview, particularly if you are applying for a position with a large company.

Most job interviews follow a standard format:

(1) Greeting and small talk to put you at ease and break the ice.  The interviewer may give you a preview of what will occur during the interview.
(2) The employer may give you a brief overview of the position or additional information about the organization.
(3) You respond to questions.  If it's a good interview, this is the longest segment and you should do most of the talking.
(4) You ask questions of the interviewer.  Have at least five or ten questions prepared beforehand.
(5) The interviewer closes the interview and explains the next steps in the process.  Be sure to thank the interviewer for his or her time.

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