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Job Interviews – Some Issues and Tips

August 19th, 2006Written by Gyutae Park


First impressions are everything and this is especially true for job interviews. Companies are most likely not going to know you personally. In fact, to them you’re just a piece of paper with some education and work history written down on it. Because of this, the interview is extremely crucial in making yourself stand out and in selling yourself as the right candidate for the job.

This past Monday I had an interview with Flair Interactive, an Internet consulting firm that I found a job listing for online. After the initial interest email reply they sent me, we sent up a time for a phone interview, which I’m guessing is a preliminary round for potential candidates for a job. During this phone interview, the woman at Flair asked me a couple questions about my resume and my background. She also described the job at hand and gauged my interest in such a position. During this stage, it’s important to really look over your resume and credentials and highlight some of the key assets that you have that are related to the job description. For example, if you’re applying for a position at McDonald’s as a burger flipper and you have past experience flipping burgers at Wendy’s, really emphasize this and build on it to hype up your experience and your qualifications. Remember that you’re trying to sell yourself to make it to the next round: the in-person interview.

The in-person interview is a little different because now you’re more than just a voice. You’re a face and it’s easier for people to judge based on looks, mannerisms, and first impressions. Of course this may not represent you as a whole or your working ability, but the company does not know this and they’re trying to minimize risk as much as possible. Therefore, it’s important to give off a good image at this point. You’ve made it this far so obviously you are at least somewhat qualified for the job. The in-person interview can make or break you. First things first, it’s a good idea to confirm your appointment a couple hours ahead of time to make sure someone is expecting you. Make sure you know where to go. If not, communicate with your interviewer any problems or issues you may have. They will be much more understanding if you do this. On Monday, I was interviewed at a place an hour away from where I live. Mapquest spewed out the wrong directions and I inevitably got lost on my way. In somewhat of a panic, I called the interviewer on my cell phone 10 minutes before appointment time and let her know the situation. She was very understanding and in fact redirected me to find the correct location although I was 15 minutes late. She most likely would not have been so kind if I had just barged in and made excuses for being so late. So always be prepared and communicate with the company.

Next, do your homework. This includes research on the company you are interviewing for, the job at hand, and your own related experiences and qualifications. You can almost expect what kinds of questions a company is going to ask based on the job description and your own resume. Be ready to back yourself up but never make anything up. This will just cause problems later on.

Just be yourself (as long as you’re not too weird or crazy). If a company doesn’t like your personality or style, another will. There are plenty of opportunities out there so don’t try to be someone you’re not just to get a job. You’re going to be spending a lot of time at work and you don’t want to make being fake a full-time job.

Dress nicely, be confident, and be ready. Good luck!

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