The writer of article is a year out of college. Within that time he has gotten shot down from some really good jobs and landed some even better ones. He has an incredible job right now that he fully realizes he in no way deserves and can only attribute to his solid interviewing approach. Learn from the underachiever who overachieved. Here, he gives five tips for nailing the interview for your dream job.
Personality: No matter how ridiculous your resume is or how fit you are for the job, you can crash and burn in an interview because you didn't come off personable. It is natural for people to like and pull for people they like, so smile and be friendly. Also, show your excitement for the position; jobs are not stupid blond girls – they won't want you more if you act too cool for them.
Practice Practice Practice: The absolute best thing you can do in preparation for a big interview is to go on a few 'practice interviews' beforehand. You’ll find out that 90% of the material you say in one interview can be used in any. So, set up a few interviews for jobs you know you don't want; get comfortable in the interview atmosphere, learn what kind of answers people are looking for, and make sure your sweat stains aren't too obvious in your interview suit.
Wait for Your Pitch: Look at the interview like you’re at bat in a baseball game. Don’t swing for the fences every question; answer each question completely and concisely, but don’t ramble just to sound smarter. Often after a long line of questions that you’ve probably already talked entirely too much about, you come across a question that you feel is perfect for you – one that you can answer better than any other – but you've already used up your 'A' material. Instead, be patient at the plate, know that longer answers don't mean better answers, and forget that baseball is a crappy excuse for a sport.
Language: Instead of 'When do I get raises/promotions?' try “What can I expect from my development within the company?” It shows them that
1) You're in it for the long run and you're serious about growing with the company and
2) You are professional. It may not seem important, but the way you speak is a direct reflection of you as a person and your level of education. So, don't start off an interview with a 'Hollerrr!' and opt instead for a 'Thank you very much for meeting with me.'
Know Your “Weakness”: When asked about weaknesses, most say something like “I’m a workaholic” or “I take work too seriously.' Myeh. Talk about something you had trouble with but have overcome: “In college I struggled to maintain a balance between school assignments and work at my job and both suffered. I began keeping a notebook of all my day-to-day tasks. I improved greatly and I'm now an excellent multitasker.” Answer their question while still making yourself look good. If instead they ask what your strength is, say the same thing sans the beginning part about you being a retard and not multitasking like every other normal candidate.
Of course, you should follow every interview up with a thank you note and several nights of intense personal prayer. But, if you follow these steps, the prayer may not be necessary.