Interviewing Advice

There are few things in life that are more stressful that going to a job interview. You’ve already gone through the steps in preparing your resume and sending it to potential employers. Now they want to see you in person. The problem arises when you get there and are at a loss for what you should be talking about.

Your interviewer is going to ask you questions, and if you’ve done your research, you should have good answers for them. But what happens when it comes time to talk when you’re not sure what to say? Here are a few tips on what you should and shouldn’t be saying in your job interview.

What to Say

Follow-Up Questions

During your interview, you are going to be asked a lot of questions. While the way you answer these questions is important, potential employers don’t just want you answer and go silent. One of the best ways to show your interest in the position is by asking follow-up questions.

Let’s say an interviewer asks about how you would solve a specific problem. Once you answer the question, ask them something like what was the biggest problem their firm needed solved recently, how it was handled, and whether they would have handled it differently if they could go back in time. Elaborate on your response and give an example of when you solved a problem yourself.

Demonstrate That You Are Motivated

Anyone can walk into a place of business, clock in, do their job, and go home. Let your interviewer see that you are motivated. Explain that if you are hired, you will prove that you are not only a productive and efficient employee, but you will do your part to help the company succeed.

While you’re at it, tell a short story about how your motivation has helped you in your previous job; and how it will help you in the future. This shows the potential employer that you can be counted on to do your job well. Mention your willingness to take on extra work and further your education. If you’re looking for a job in the health care industry a willingness to take a quick course on electronic health records for a new system they’ve had installed can get you the job. Make sure they know you’re willing to do your part.

What Not to Say

I’ll Take Anything I Can Get

This is something you never want to say in an interview, even if you will truly take any position that were to come your way. Employers don’t want someone who will take anything. They want someone who is going to want to do their job and be passionate about it.

When someone says, “I’ll do anything,” it is usually a red flag that you might not stick around, be motivated, or be a good fit. Instead, explain why you want the position and why you’d be a good fit. It is okay to casually mention that, while you really want the position you applied for, you would be willing to consider other positions as a way to get your foot in the door.

I Really Need This Job

A lot of people use this tactic as a way to pressure the interviewer into feeling sympathetic, hoping it will give them a better chance at landing the job. The truth is, lots of people are unemployed and many of them also really need a job. Explain why you’re the best option and avoid the guilt trip.

I Don’t Have Any Questions

Interviewers don’t like it when they ask if you have any questions and you reply that you don’t. Even if the interview explained everything perfectly, there should be at least one or two things about which you might be more curious. Research the company a bit and have a few backup questions prepared. Ask things like why the position is available, what you can do to succeed if you were hired, and where the company is planning on going in future.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you should and shouldn’t say in an interview. Be smart and you’ll have an offer for your dream job before you know it.

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