Interview advice guaranteed to help you get the right job…

I interview people for a living, so I’m often asked for advice from candidates on how they could interview better.  Of course, there are some basic tips:

  • Research the company
  • Dress for success
  • Give a strong handshake
  • Speak clearly

And, you should remember all those things your mom taught you.

  • Sit up straight
  • Be polite
  • Polish your shoes
  • Brush your teeth….

But here’s the piece of advice that is most crucial to your getting the RIGHT job — be yourself

I use a behavioral model to hire because I have found that people are more successful (and happier) when they are in a job that fits their temperament as well as their skills and education.  With that in mind, I need to know who the candidate really is.  What are his likes and dislikes?  What types of company environments make him most productive?  What kind of boss does he really work well under?  What does he think is his strongest attribute, and what is his weakest?

You can spend hours rehearsing answers that sound good, smart, savvy, etc.  But if the answers aren’t really you, you’re setting yourself up for failure.  You might get the job, but what if it isn’t a good fit?  What if the interviewer hired the person you were pretending to be?  Do you want to have to pretend to be someone else every day?

It certainly makes sense for you to be the best YOU you can be in an interview, but don’t try to be something you’re not.  Look for positions that really need the characteristics you naturally bring to the job.  Ask good questions in the interview to determine whether or not the job you’re interviewing for is right for you.  Interview the interviewer.

The economy has been tough, and there are lots of people who need to find a job.  But be careful.  Don’t let yourself be wooed into “faking it” to get a job.  Going that route will leave you with a choppy resume of short-term employment, and that makes your position weaker. 

If you are at the place that you just want any job, then this advice won’t be helpful.  But if you’re looking for the right job, take heed.  And best wishes!

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