Excel in your job interview

Excel in your job interview

"Self-assured and well dressed, positive and engaged. There is much to think about in order to give the best possible impression in a job interview. In this article, we present some of a recruiting consultant's best tips and advice for increasing your chance at getting that dream job."

– Most importantly, you should be well prepared. The preparation you do before the interview just as important as how you conduct yourself during the actual interview, says Jonas Mauritzson, recruitment consultant at Hammer & Hanborg, who has counseled many hopeful jobseekers.

Over the years, he has worked with candidates who have done poorly in job interviews, something they could have avoided by preparing themselves better.

– According to Mauritzson, "Some applicants risk missing out on a dream job because they simply fail to tell the interviewer what they have done and are capable of." Competency is what employers look most for. Another mistake is that applicants talk too much about themselves in their eagerness to tell everything. The risk is that they do not get a clear message across.

Mauritzson has three main areas of advice:

1. Before the interview:

  • In order to get a job interview, you need to attract the interest of the employer in you and your skills, in your letter of application. Read the job notice carefully and see what applies to you. Focus on that, and explain briefly and clearly the ways in which you meet the requirements.
  • Do some reading about the organization and the company, both to show the interviewer that you are knowledgeable and also to find out if this is really the right job for you. For example, do you share the values of the company? If not, look elsewhere.
  • You will inevitably be asked why they should choose you. You should think through this carefully. Even if you mentioned it in your application letter, you will probably be asked to expand upon it during the interview.
  • Concerning clothing: You should be complete and clean, and should present a low-key profile. You are there to make an impression personally, not through your clothing. Most important is that you feel comfortable and at ease with what you are wearing.
  • Do not smoke immediately before the interview, and do not wear a strong fragrance. These things distract from you as a person.

2. During the interview:


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  • Answer the questions you are asked, and do not wander from the subject. It is desirable to be clear and brief. Be particularly careful if you are asked the question "who are you?". This does not require a long answer. It is better to be too brief and leave the matter open to more questions from the interviewer.
  • You want to appear interested, engaged, and enthusiastic. You want to convey the message that you have a sincere interest in the job. At the same time, don't overplay the role.
  • Also, be honest and straightforward. For example, if you resigned your previous job because of a conflict, you should report this. Emphasize the positive things that came out of it -- what you learned from the conflict and how you got out of it.
  • Prepare in advance some clear examples of what your concrete achievements were in your previous job. How did your efforts produce results for the company? For example, you may have been involved in producing a product that was so well accepted that it contributed to increased sales figures. Or maybe you have been voted "best teacher" in the annual survey of students in local schools.

3. Common interview questions:

  • Why are you seeking this job?
  • Why did you leave your previous job?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your skills?
  • What did you accomplish in your previous job?
  • Why are you the best candidate for this job?

So now you just have to roll up your sleeves, and proudly and enthusiastically give your prospective employer a firm handshake and let the interview begin.

– If you are a little nervous, this is not critical. Most employers make a substantial allowance for this, according to Jonas Mauritzson.

Author: Eva-Lotta Sigurdh

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