Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tips for Job Interviews

By Virgil R. Carter

How many of us remember the stress of a job interview?  Interviewing can be stressful from every side—whether one is the interviewee for an important new job or whether one is doing the interviewing for a critical position.  The solution to the stress, regardless of one’s role, is being properly prepared.
Here are eight tips, from a recent edition of the NonProfit Times Career Center, to help you be prepared and knowledgeable for that interview session:
·         Connect with the mission:  research the organization, understand its mission and be able to describe how you would be passionate about the organization’s mission.

·         Prepare questions:  Be sure to have a short list of important questions that demonstrate your interest in and homework about the organization.  And I’m not talking about a self-serving question such as, “what’s the salary and vacation schedule?”

·         Ask about the interview structure:  Ask ahead of time how the interview schedule will be organized, and who will be involved.  Knowing this helps preparation.

·         Dress professionally:  Safest course is to follow a professional dress code for the interview.  Much better to over-dress than under-dress.  Save your cutoffs and flip flops for the beach.

·         Bring important documents:  Bring at least two copies of your resume, cover letter and writing samples, if applicable.  Bring something that is a tangible demonstration of your positive knowledge and skill for the position.

·         Be confident:  Be sure to describe some of your positive contributions and accomplishments related to the new position and related to your maturity and good judgment.

·         Be flexible:  Being flexible is a great strength for any employment role.  Be prepared to clearly and succinctly highlight your experience reacting to unexpected situations, or your ability to wear different hats.
A final thought:  besides applicable technical qualifications and positive similar experience, every employer is looking for people with a sense of humor and the ability to work well with others.  Be sure to show your humor and positive human chemistry during the interview.

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