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Monday, February 9, 2015

¤ Over 40? How to Sell Yourself at a Job Interview

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Do you Know How to Turn Tough Interviewer Questions Into Knock Out Strengths?

By: Bobby Edelman  
You got the interview. Congratulations! Be prepared.

Once at the interview, you are going to be asked a lot of questions by your potential employer. In particular, they will ask questions such as what your strengths and weaknesses are. You might want to prepare for answering questions by listing some of your attributes. Talk to former co-workers with whom you worked closely. Ask them to list some traits about you that they most admired -- work related, of course.

Try to find some faults as well. You won't, obviously, spontaneously tell a prospective employer about these faults, but you may be asked to. A very common question that comes up in an interview is "What is something that has been a problem for you at work?" By studying your faults, you will be able to choose one that is somewhat innocuous or could be turned around into a positive.

For example, I’ve always been a very organized person – almost to the point of obsessiveness. However, employers look at organizational skills as assets not liabilities. So in an interview, I would tell them one of my shortcomings was that I wanted to be too organized.
Practice how you will answer possible questions in an interview. You want to seem somewhat spontaneous, but you also want to appear self-confident. The way to do that is to rehearse, not exactly what you will say, but how you will say it.

A great method is to rehearse in front of a video camera. Study your posture, the way you make eye contact, and your body language. If you don't have a video camera, a mirror will do. Have a friend do mock interviews with you. The more you repeat a scenario, the more comfortable you will begin to feel with it.

When it comes down to it, isn't this the main point of the interview? Speak slowly and clearly. I tend to speak very quickly, so this is something I must pay careful attention to when I am on an interview. Pause before you answer a question. Your answers will seem less rehearsed and it will give you a chance to collect your thoughts. Keep in mind that a very brief pause may seem like an eternity to you. It's not.

Since the interviewer's job is to make sure that not only your skill, but your personality as well, is a good match, you must establish rapport with the person or persons interviewing you. That begins the instant you walk in the door. Let the interviewer set the tone.

Nothing is as awkward as offering your hand and having the gesture not returned by the other person. Therefore you should wait for the interviewer to offer his or her hand first, but be ready to offer your hand immediately. Some experts suggest talking at the same rate and tone as the interviewer. For example, if the interviewer is speaking softly, so should you.

It’s alright for you to show your true personality, but be careful not to go too over-the-top. I am a very bubbly, naturally outgoing person who tends to get a little hyperactive in stressful situations. I also have a gift for humor which tends to make people feel comfortable with me.

In job interviews, I’ll try to tone down the excessive energy that I usually have and inject some humor into the conversation. This helps relax both me and the person doing the interview and we’re able to communicate much easier.

They say that body language gives more away about us than speech. Eye contact is very important but make sure it looks natural. A smiling, relaxed face is very inviting. Hands resting casually in your lap rather than arms folded across your chest also is more inviting. If you normally move your hands around a lot when you speak, tone it down some. You don't want to look too stiff, but you don't want to look like you're a bundle of nervous energy.

So what kind of questions can you expect during your job interview? Here are a few to think about along with some possible answers:
  • Tell me about yourself. (They are not looking for personal information here)
My background to date has been centered on preparing myself to become the very best _____ I can become. Let me tell you specifically how I've prepared myself...

  • Why should I hire you?
Because I sincerely believe that I'm the best person for the job. I realize that there are many other college students that have the ability to do this job. I also have that ability. But I also bring an additional quality that makes me the very best person for the job--my attitude for excellence. Not just giving lip service to excellence, but putting every part of myself into achieving it. In ... and ... I have consistently reached for becoming the very best I can become by doing the following...

  • What is your long-range objective? Where do you want to be 10 or 15 years from now?

Although it's certainly difficult to predict things far into the future, I know what direction I want to develop toward. Within five years, I would like to become the very best _____ your company has. I would like to become the expert that others rely upon. And in doing so, I feel I will be fully prepared to take on any greater responsibilities that might be presented in the long term.

  • How has your education prepared you for your career?

As you will note on my resume, I've taken not only the required core classes in the _____ field, I've also gone above and beyond. I've taken every class the college has to offer in the field and also completed an independent study project specifically in this area. But it's not just taking the classes to gain academic knowledge I've taken each class, both inside and outside of my major, with this profession in mind. So when we're studying _____ in _____, I've viewed it from the perspective of _____. In addition, I've always tried to keep a practical view of how the information would apply to my job. Not just theory, but how it would actually apply. My capstone course project in my final semester involved developing a real-world model of _____, which is very similar to what might be used within your company...

  • What is your greatest weakness?

I would say my greatest weakness has been my lack of proper planning in the past. I would over-commit myself with too many variant tasks, then not be able to fully accomplish each as I would like. However, since I've come to recognize that weakness, I've taken steps to correct it. For example, I now carry a planning calendar in my pocket so that I can plan all of my appointments and "to do" items. Here, let me show you how I have this week planned out...

  • What attracted you to our ad over others?

I approach my job hunting strategy pretty much like I approach my work. I took some time to think about the skills I want to use on my next job, the industry I'd like to work for and the location I want. I did some research on companies that were advertising and knew this company had the qualities I am looking for in my career and future.

If you are interviewing for a sales job, it’s entirely possible that the interviewer will ask you to sell him or her something. For example, I had one prospective boss who laid a pen on the table between us and told me to “sell” him the pen. What he wanted was to see how my persuasive skills were and if I could point out the great aspects of that pen to motivate him to “buy” it.

Usually toward the end of the interviewer, the person conducting it will ask you if you have any questions. You should have some. As in every other aspect of the job search, you are trying to show the employer how you can fill their needs. By asking certain questions, you are putting yourself in the job and showing the employer how you will satisfy the employer's needs. Here are some questions you may want to ask of the interviewer:

 How to deliver the knock out answers during your next Job Interview

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  1. By creating a 1-Page Job Proposal www.1-page.com you will walk in completely prepared. No only does it get people to the interview, but it allows them to be a expert in explaining the specific values they provide to that specific companies needs by gathering and presenting the exact information needed to get a job today!

  2. Printing this article and storing it in my interview folder. Good stuff. Thanks.


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