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Five Tips for a Great Interview

By Michael Neece

1. Hey! What are you looking for?

Interviewing is just like playing darts. The interviewer's screening criteria is the target while each dimension of your talents represent a dart. At the start of the interview you must first find the target and then decide which 3 of your "experience darts" you are going to throw at the target. "What skills do you feel are required to be successful in this position?" is an effective question for you to ask at the start of the interview to discover what is most important to this interviewer and what they are most interested in learning about you. If you don't ask an "opening" question you trying to shoot darts in the dark because you don't know where the target is.

2. Ask Questions

It is your responsibility to make sure the interview is an interview and not an interrogation. You do this by asking questions throughout the interview. If you don't ask question you force the interview to be an interrogation. If you remember only one item from this article, remember this. That is why it's mentioned twice in this article.

3. Specific Examples

Interviewers ask questions about your experience to predict your future performance. Provide specific examples of your work and life experience to impress the interviewer. Describe what you have done. Focus on the actions you took and the results achieved. Be as specific as possible. Interviewers are less interested in what "the team did" or what you were "responsible for". They want to know what YOU have done. Behavioral Event Interviewing is a strategy used by skilled interviewers where they are trained to ask you for specific example of your experience.

4. How do you like me so far?

At the conclusion of each interview ask each interviewer for their assessment of your background. Ask them what they feel your strengths are and what concerns they have about your ability. Interviewers form opinions about you based on a 45 minute meeting called an interview. The potential for misunderstanding and miscommunication is enormous. Ask a couple questions at the end to make sure they understand your experience and talents accurately. This can make all the difference on whether or not you get the offer.

5. Visual Aids

Bring visual aids whenever applicable to convey the quality of your work. You can even prepare a few powerpoint slides or one page document to communicate your perspectives. Visual aids could include, writing samples, pictures of projects you worked on during school, etc. Visual aids can include anything that you feel helps you convey what you have done and what you can do for a potential employer.

-- Michael Neece is the CEO and Founder of Interview Mastery, the Internet's first and only job interview skills program using multimedia to build job interview skills rapidly. Featured in the Wall Street Journal, partnered with CollegeRecruiter.com and several other major job boards and web portals as well as nominated as "Most Innovative Company" in 2002, Interview Mastery is now the #1 program to help job seekers get hired faster.

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