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The right impression during a job interview is critical. Much of this impression is created by an ability to communicate well with the interviewers, build rapport and present your skills and abilities with pride.
If you are at this interviewing stage, the resume probably has helped get you that far. What you really need to do now is to prove to the interviewers that the resume is a good representation of actual capabilities. In short, advocate why you are a good fit for the job. This will require an enthusiasm about the job as well as yourself.
There are many opportunities in the job interviewing process where you can demonstrate this interest and introduce yourself and background to future employers. These are not only in what you say, but in how you say it. Here are a few points to keep in mind.
Employers typically look for someone who wants the job and is excited about the opportunity. To demonstrate this excitement, control what you say as well as your body language, overall tone, etc. In fact, even your responsiveness to the employer's requests may indicate your level of enthusiasm. For example, if you are called for an interview, it may be a good idea to meet at the earliest date convenient to the employer.
The point is that the more you show the employer that you want this particular job, the more likely you will be perceived as a good candidate. Your confidence will inspire a hiring manager. People sometimes feel uncomfortable stating positive thoughts about themselves, but in reality what you say may be well-received and even taken for granted.
Take documents, reports, work samples, letters of recommendations along with you to interviews. Dropping a portfolio that includes examples of these items with your interviewers again helps your case. In addition, this information will outlast the interviews, meaning that you will get a chance to leave them with some positive ideas about yourself as well as some quality items that proves the claims in your resume.
Watch out, however. Many people put together such collections in a hurry or for a particular job, and fail to update them for the next job opportunity. It may not be a big deal if the employer sees that you are applying for other jobs, but this oversight may bring your attention to detail and focus into question.
If being interviewed by more than one person, the group probably will be watching you as your respond to questions. Be conscious of body language and focus. For example, always maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking with, but don't ignore the others. If one interviewer is taking the lead in asking questions, make sure your direct some of the answers and attention to the others.
Despite the typical pressure that comes with any interview, try to respond accurately to questions. If you don't fully understand a particular question, feel free to ask the person to repeat or rephrase it. Giving a vague answer to avoid asking for a clarification may give interviewers an impression you are simply manoeuvring or avoiding a straight answer — both don't make a positive indicator of how you handle pressure.
Find a balance
There is always a fine line to walk in terms of presenting yourself as interested but not desperate. In all cases, err on the more interested side. Many people who try to negotiate hard or to claim to have many other options end up excluding themselves from the process altogether.
Although you should not be begging for the job, giving the employer good reasons for why you want this job is a statement of confidence not only in your skills but in that you're the right fit for this position.
* Maintain a positive tone.
* Pay attention to interviewers.
* Explain why you want this particular job.
Source: Rania Oteify, Special to gulfnews.com
The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor