Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Practice Provides Polished Performance in Job Interviews

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Practice Provides Polished Performance in Job Interviews

Article excerpt

By Emory W. Mullings

Cox News Service

Finding a job is a lot like auditioning for a part in a Broadway play. It takes practice, poise and confidence to get the part.

The best way to overcome job interview jitters is to remove as much of the unknown as possible.

Here are 10 steps to help you build confidence and ensure a polished performance: Practice.

Many books have been published listing typical interview questions and ideal responses. Read a few. Anticipate questions and form answers that highlight your achievements and match the needs of the job. Rehearse in front of a mirror. Pay attention to facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, hand gestures and overall content of answers. Prepare a two-minute drill.

When the interviewer says, "Tell me a little bit about yourself," he or she is not looking for your life story. Give a succinct overview of your skills and qualifications. For example, demonstrate your knowledge of the industry or company, and outline the requirements for the position and why you're a good match. This overview sets the tone for the remainder of the interview. Practice meeting and greeting.

The interview starts in the lobby, or as soon as you arrive. You may meet one or several people, and each is making an on-the-spot assessment. Practice everything from a brief handshake to "chatting" about the company and the job opening. Research the company in advance, so you can ask questions about products and services, as well as the position itself. Be aware of potential liabilities.

Everyone has weaknesses they'd like to avoid in an interview. However, it's best to have a response that turns a negative question into an opportunity to show some of your strengths. Some potential shortcomings: lack of skills required for the job, circumstances under which you left a previous job and frequent job changes. Quantify accomplishments.

Show rather than tell how you performed in your last job. For example, saying "I increased sales by 35 percent in the first six months" has more impact than saying you sold computer equipment to industrial manufacturing facilities. …

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