Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Rise Above the Competition

Employment Exhibition
Image by Modern_Language_Center via Flickr

With the job market being so competitive these days, you need to be ready to stand out and rise above the competition.  Not only do you have to have the right skills and education but you also have to have something that makes you more memorable, because there are likely to be many others applying for the same jobs as you are that have the same education and skills that you have. 

The job interview is your place to show off that something special and make sure that you stand out.  How do you do that?

Practice Good Body Language

Whether you know it or not, your body language tells the interviewer things about you that you may not be realizing.  And yes, they are paying attention.  Practice talking without fidgeting.   We all have those little things we do like twirling our hair or tapping our feet.  Remember that crossed arms mean that you are holding something back or your feel defensive.  People who can’t make eye contact are often thought to be untrustworthy or suspicious.  And dress like you want to get the job!

Have a Friendly Attitude

If the employer has read your resume and cover letter, they know that you have the skills to do the job.  The interview will tell them if you are someone that will get along with others in the company.  If they like you after the interview they are more likely to hire you.  Smile.  Laugh at their jokes.  Be interested.  Ask questions.  Show enthusiasm.  These things are contagious and these are the kinds of people that employers like to have on their team.

Be Ready to Talk About Your Technical Skills

Technical skills are one of the most sought out aspects in a new employer and they are going to ask you about them.  If you mentioned something on your resume be ready to demonstrate your knowledge in that skill.  Be ready to give concrete examples.  Be confident in what you know and be ready to tell the interviewer exactly how you are going to be able to use your technical skills in the position that you are being interviewed for.

Be Ready for Anything

Interviewers often like to test you by seeing how well you react to the unexpected.  They know that you have practiced those tried and true interview questions over and over again (I hope you have anyway!) so they are going to throw some questions in that you just can’t possibly anticipate.  Be ready for them.  Know that the purpose of them is to test how well you stand up under pressure and when you are put in a situation that you can’t plan for. Be ready to answer questions about your online activity because employers may have already looked it that.  Always remember that they want to know how you can benefit the company.  And don’t be afraid to ask for a second to consider that.  Thinking before you speak is a good asset in any employee!


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