Job Interview Advice

Say what you mean


You’ve thought a lot about your leadership skills, attitudes and results produced. This means you will be able to express yourself well. This is even easier if you have written your ideas and statements down. You won’t be reading from your notes, of course, but what you say will come out with more authority and make a better impression.

Mean what you say


When you say that you’ll follow up in a week or send a resume, do so. This gives you credibility. People learn you can be counted on. That’s the kind of employees that employers want.


Talking about yourself


When you research the company and job, it’s easy to figure out which of your skills, attitudes and results produced are most important. Here are ways to describe yourself:


Describing Skills:


The employer says: “We’re looking for someone who can not only type, file, and answer phones. We want someone who can do all three at the same time while smiling and greeting walk-in customers.


The worker says: “As a receptionist at Jim’s Quick Print, I typed invoices, maintained numerical and alphabetical files, worked a five-line phone, and handled a very busy front counter. That sounds very much like what you need.”


Describing Attitudes:


The employer says: “I need someone who will give 110% whenever it’s needed. Our business comes in spurts, and you’ve got to give great service to all our customers regardless of when they need it.”


The worker says: “At Charlie’s Automotive we often had times during the day that were busy. Many times, I’d take my lunch break late or skip a break so that I could help with a rush. I know that this kind of service brought customers back.


Describing results:


The employer says: “This is a production job. We need someone who can keep up with our 100-units-a-day production. Ideally we would like a person who could even help increase that.


The worker says: At BestCo Machine Shop I filled job orders that called for 1,000 of the same item. I saw a way of doing this that could save time. I presented this idea to my boss. She adopted it and it increased production by 10%.


In each case the worker had a story ready to back up what he or she said. When you know beforehand what a company produces and a job requires, you can be really ready. Notice also the way to talk about yourself:


  •         Use action words.
  •        Use brief statements to answer questions. (none of these examples are more than four sentences long.)
  •         Give short examples that clearly make your point.
  •         Gear what you say toward the employer’s needs, not yours.