This from my book on public speaking. . PUBLIC SPEAKING: A GUIDE FOR STUDY. I Taught PUBLIC SPEAKING AT Yeshiva University. and Rutgers UNIVERSITY I HOPE IT HELPS.
An interview has just one objective: to decide whether or not to make you a job offer. Preparation is the key to success. Employers form opinions of candidates quickly on. Give a firm handshake, maintain eye contact, and practice good posture. Your nonverbal cues say much about your personality and interest in the position. Crossing your arms, nodding hurriedly, or making tense facial expressions can all send the wrong message.
Tapping your pen and fiddling with papers signal to the employer that you are
nervous. Slouching and leaning back indicate disinterest.
If you are rocking back in your chair, shaking your foot, drumming your fingers, rubbing your nose, the back of your head or neck, or scratching your… anything, you show you cannot stay focused even for a few minutes.
§ Sit with your arms folded across your chest. You’ll appear unfriendly and disengaged.
§ Cross your legs and shake one over the other. It demonstrates how
uncomfortable you are.
§ Lean your body towards the door. You will appear ready to run out.
§ Slouch back in your seat. This makes you appear disinterested and
§ Stare back blankly. This indicates you are distant.
§ Sit up straight and lean forward slightly in your chair. This indicates
interest and shows admiration and agreement.
§ Show your enthusiasm by maintaining an interested expression. Nod
and make positive gestures.
§ Create a comfortable amount of personal space between you and the
§ Limit your use of colognes and perfumes.
§ Wear clean, polished, conservative shoes.
§ Have a well groomed hairstyle.
§ Empty pockets—no bulges or coins.
§ No gum.
§ No visible body piercing.
1. Be arrogant or haughty. Don’t display a poor attitude.
2. Talk badly of previous employers, employees, or companies. It will definitely come back to haunt you.
3. Tell lies. Be honest. If you have something to hide, the future employer will eventually discover it.
4. Interview in a monotone voice. It’s boring! Modulate your voice, use inflection, and smile.
6. Try to control the entire interview.
7. Bring up salary, benefits, or working hours.
1. Arrive on time.
Arrive at an interview 10-15 minutes early.
2. Project a professional image.
Dress appropriately. Dress more conservatively than you normally would.
Avoid loud colors and busy designs. Jewelry should be kept minimal.
3. Go in prepared.
Do your background research about the company, products, services, and the person you are meeting with.
4. Be engaging. Show enthusiasm and interest for the job. Be sincere and polite. Ask relevant questions and answer questions concisely.
5. Relax. If you are tense, you’ll be seen as rigid and uncomfortable.
Breathe deeply before you start the interview.
5. Send a thank you letter within 24 hours. Market yourself. Reference key points covered during the interview and why you would be perfect for the job.
1. Tell me about yourself. I have been preparing myself to become the very best _______ I can become. I’ve prepared myself as follows:
2. Why should I hire you? I believe that I’m the best person for the job. I pursue excellence. In _______ and ________ I have consistently strived to become the very best I can become by doing the following…
3. What is your long-range objective? Where do you want to be in ten
or fifteen years from now? I know what I would live to achieve. Within five years, I would like to become the very best _______ your company has. I seek to become the expert that others rely upon. I feel I will be prepared to take on any greater responsibilities that might be presented.
4. How has your education prepared you for your career? As
indicated on my resume, I’ve taken not only the required core classes in the _______ field; I’ve also gone above and beyond.
5. Are you a team player? Answer with, “Very much so”. I’ve always tried to help others achieve their best. By working together as a team to achieve a greater goal, one can achieve more than working individually.
6. What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have? The
key quality should be leadership—the ability to be the visionary for the people who are working under them. A manager should also be a positive role model for others to follow.
7. Tell me about yourself. This is where you want to briefly describe your experience and background. If you are unsure about what information the interviewer is seeking, ask “Are there any areas in particular you would like to know about specifically?”
8. What is your weakest point? Mention an attribute that is actually strength because this is a common stress question an interviewer will ask. Some examples are: “I’m something of a perfectionist”, “Punctuality is very important to me”, or “I’m tenacious.”
9. What is your strongest point? Some good answers to this question are: “I work well under pressure”, “I am organized and manage my time well”, or “I am eager to learn and I do not have to unlearn old techniques.”
10. What do you know about our company? Why do you want to work here? Two good answers to this question are: “Your company is a leader in your field and consistently growing” and “Your company has a superior product and/or service.”
11. Why should we hire you? Highlight your background based on the company’s current needs. Recap your qualifications keeping the interview’s job description in mind.
12. You also want to ask questions to show that you are interested. Ask “What are the company’s current challenges?” or “Why is this position open?”
13. Closing phase. During the closing phase of an interview, thank the interviewer by name and say goodbye.
50 Worst of the Worst (and Most Common) Job Interview Mistakes
There are tons of other job interview “no-no's” you may not have thought of, or you may have forgotten about. The job hunting trail is long and arduous, and a little refresher course can't hurt. For your edification and enjoyment, here are 50 (yes, 50!) of the worst and most common job interview mistakes:
1. Arriving late.
2. Arriving too early.
3. Lighting up a cigarette, or smelling like a cigarette.
4. Bad-mouthing your last boss.
5. Lying about your skills/experience/knowledge.
6. Wearing the wrong (for this workplace!) clothes.
7. Forgetting the name of the person you're interviewing with.
8. Wearing too much perfume or aftershave.
9. Wearing sunglasses.
10. Wearing a Bluetooth earpiece.
11. Failing to research the employer in advance.
12. Failing to demonstrate enthusiasm.
13. Inquiring about benefits too soon.
14. Discussing salary requirements too soon.
15. Being unable to explain how your strengths and abilities apply to the job in question.
16. Failing to make a strong case for why you are the best person for this job.
17. Forgetting to bring a copy of your resume and/or portfolio.
18. Failing to remember what is written on your own resume.
19. Asking too many questions.
20. Asking no questions at all.
21. Being unprepared to answer the standard questions.
22. Failing to listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying.
23. Talking more than half the time.
24. Interrupting your interviewer.
25. Neglecting to match the communication style of your interviewer.
28. Bringing along a friend, or your mother.
29. Chewing gum, tobacco, your pen, your hair.
30. Laughing, giggling, whistling, humming, lip-smacking.
31. Saying "you know," "like," "I guess," and "um."
32. Name-dropping, bragging, or sounding like a know-it-all.
33. Asking to use the bathroom.
34. Being falsely or exaggeratedly modest.
35. Shaking hands too weakly, or too firmly.
36. Failing to make eye contact (or making continuous eye contact).
37. Taking a seat before your interviewer does.
38. Becoming angry or defensive.
39. Complaining that you were kept waiting.
40. Complaining about anything!
41. Speaking rudely to the receptionist.
42. Letting your nervousness show.
43. Over explaining why you lost your last job.
44. Being too familiar and jokey.
45. Sounding desperate.
46. Checking the time.
47. Over sharing.
48. Sounding rehearsed.
49. Leaving your cell phone on.
50. Failing to ask for the job.
Preparation is key and remember:
“Attitude is everything”.
How to Answer the 4 Toughest Interview Questions
What is a job interview? A job interview refers to a meeting between an employer -who is looking to hire a suitable person for a vacant position within an organization- and a candidate. The most important part of the above sentence was suitable person, because that is the point of a job interview. Employers ask a series of questions to see how the employee thinks and therefore get to know the person, to see if he or she is qualified.
Let’s step back from the whole process and discuss some tips. So you got a call back from a company you want to work for. Now what? Unfortunately, you can’t celebrate
right away! You need to pass an interview in order to get the job. In my opinion an interview is mainly a couple of questions that you need to answer the right way to impress the person. After a bit of practice you can easily think of the correct answer and recite it without making any common mistakes and impress the person who is interviewing you.
What to do:
The first thing you do after you get an interview call is go online and do research about the company. Find out how many employees work there, find out what that company does, what different departments are in the company, and any current events news. Basically, you need to know the company inside out so if any question arises you have an answer. You show the company you are interested because you know everything about the company. After you develop good knowledge about the company, practice at least the four common tricky interview questions which mostly everyone answers correctly. Let’s go over these interview questions and the proper techniques to answer them.
Question 1: Tell me about yourself.
TRAPS: This question may seem easy but it is a trap. Candidates start rambling on and on, sharing stories that the recruiter really does not want to hear.
BEST WAY TO ANSWER: You want to simply talk about yourself based on what is on your resume. Start off with talking about the school or university you are enrolled in, what year you’re in and what activities you are involved with. Then discuss jobs you have had in the past or presently have. ALWAYS end your answer with something like “on my free time I like to…” This is a way for the employer to either see that you’re not just a workaholic and you do have a social life, and also if he or she shares the same common interest then it can be a conversation starter. Be very general. Don’t say 10 words if you can sum it up in 2.
Question 2: What are your greatest strengths?
TRAPS: Easy enough right? You bang out a few positive points about you and you’re done. NO! You do not want to sound arrogant.
BEST ANSWER: Say something along the lines of you are a great leader or you have great communication skills, you are dedicated, or you are a confident leader, etc. Always have examples to support your strengths. Do not say “I’m the best at a hundred different things”. End your answer on one or two statements and move on.
Question 3: What are your greatest weaknesses?
TRAPS: Beware - this is an eliminator question! It will always follow the strengths question, but it is ten times worse if answered incorrectly.
BEST ANSWER: Disguise strength as a weakness. The correct answer to this question is to disguise strength as a weakness. For example, “I push people too hard sometimes because I want to make sure everything gets done on time”. Don’t sound cheesy; just don’t fall for the trap and insult yourself.
Question 4: Why should we hire you?
TRAPS: This is the question that will give the candidate the idea on what you can bring to the company. If you choke or say something that is looked down upon, the interview can suddenly be disastrous.
BEST ANSWER: Simple: Sell yourself! Say something like “from what I can tell, you need
someone who can multitask, be a leader, and be committed. I am the perfect candidate for this
position because I can do all these things. I have done (put past experiences and relate them to
the current needs of the company) in the past. I can do the same for this job, if I get an offer.
The lists of questions go on and on, but typically you will see the four questions that were mentioned before. All the other questions asked are the same idea, because you answer what the interviewer wants to hear. Think about the answer before answering. Sum it up. Practice the questions over and over again so when you are in the interview room you can answer them without being nervous. However, you want to make sure it doesn’t sound memorized. You have to be original.
The four questions we went over can change the outcome to any job you are interviewing for if answered improperly. If you use the techniques given, you will ace the interview.
Just remember: You think of these four questions, write answers, and then practice saying the answers out loud. If you think of an interview as an exam where you have to just memorize questions and smoothly repeat them during exam time, each and every one can succeed any interview out there.
Good luck in your interviews!