By Heather Eagar

When you are called for the interview, that is where you have to play to win. Although this one step will determine whether you get an offer or not, what actually determines how you perform in an interview depends on many things. So preparing with specific interview techniques in mind carries equal importance as being skilled for the position.

Five Tips: Your Job Interview

There are as many aspects to consider and prepare in with regard to an interview as there are career counselors and job sites. But trick lies in identifying what applies to you specifically. At the same time, you can’t forget there are some fundamental tricks that will help you get through even the toughest interview:

1. Preparing Well And Presenting Your Skills And Abilities: This is this core area which is going to be tested at the interview. And it is the fundamental reason for which employers will either hire you or not. So brush up and update your knowledge base by preparing well in the preceding week. You can anticipate harder questions in these areas and prepare accordingly. New grads need to be able to relate their knowledge to practical situations and this can be easier with internship experience.

2. Presenting The Best You: This may seem obvious, but sadly, it isn’t practiced all the time. Well groomed/combed hair, manicured nails, pressed suit and tie, and references & any certificates/resume copies neatly arranged in a decent folder are an important part of this step. Then your manners, body language, composure and reactions to harder questions come into play. Because your body language can give away any negative feelings that you may have, you can practice mock interviews with a friend beforehand. During the interview, try to stay relaxed and focused.

3. The First Impression Will Be The Only One: It’s not fair, but neither is life. Over-politeness, silence, unnecessary fear, stuttering, hesitation to question the interviewer for information and not asking for a question to be repeated if you didn’t hear clearly will be one-time mistakes. Be alert during the interview; if you need more time to think about a question, let the interviewer know this rather than just jumping in with an answer that is not well thought out.

4. Honesty And Accepting Weaknesses: Accept that you have weaknesses; be honest while highlighting your achievements, previous salary or reasons for quitting the previous job. You can and should project honesty and personal accountability as your best traits, particularly if you have already established that your skills and other abilities fit what the employer is looking for.

5. Be Specific: Answering the “Tell us about yourself” question should be about your career achievements and goals. In this respect, you need to answer specifically without getting into personal points of your life. The same goes when explaining how you handle particular tasks. The point of contention is how focused you are and how effectively you can employ this tactic.

The key to a successful job interview is to be prepared and be yourself. That said, you can’t let your guard down so much that you start revealing information that was not asked. Stick to the questions, and follow the tips above to nail your next interview.

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