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How to Ace Your Next Job Interview

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Wed Feb 10 2016

How to Ace Your Next Job Interview
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Are interviews getting tougher? Most definitely yes. In fact, HR recruiter Angela Oakley reveals a shocking thought: “Job interviews are set up to make people feel like a failure. Think about the fact that employers typically see five candidates and four do not get hired. That’s a failure rate of 80 percent. Selling yourself effectively today is everything if you want to land the job, and that includes knowing how to effectively answer the tough questions and present yourself in a professional manner.”

Here are my top five job interview tips to help you excel in today’s marketplace. 

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1. Create a 60-Second Sell 

Most employers remember only a few things about any given candidate after the interview. The 60-second sell focuses the employer’s attention on your most important attributes. To do this, analyze the job duties, then select your top five selling points—your strongest abilities to do the job. Link these five points together in a few sentences that can be said in 60 seconds. This becomes your verbal business card. Use this tool early in the interview to answer such questions as, “What are your strengths?”

2. Use a Powerful Closing

Most hiring managers will write a short report and rank a candidate immediately after they leave the job interview, which is why you need a persuasive closing statement. As you complete the interview, summarize what you’d bring to the job using points from your 60-second sell. This will underscore the strongest reasons for the employer to select you for the job.

3. Prepare for Situational Questions 

Employers want specific examples of your past work performance, so they’re asking hard questions like, "What is a performance area in which your manager wants you to improve?" Your response must be a specific work situation, and you should include what you are doing to improve. Don’t mention something imperative to performing the job. You can discuss the issue, then outline how you solved a problem, learned from a mistake, dealt with a difficult co-worker or employee, and so on.

4. Use Social Media 

Contact your network and see if anyone knows anything about the company and the person conducting the interview. Ask for the name of the person who would be your manager and get the correct spelling. Check out the company’s website and read about the company on Glassdoor.com. Go to LinkedIn and read the manager’s profile. Notice any connections you may have missed. Reach out to them to learn any insider information on the manager and the job needs.

5. Know How to Handle Salary Negotiations 

Wait for a job offer before you discuss salary. This is when you will be in the most powerful place to negotiate. Most people get stumped when asked about salary and just give their current one. Other candidates bring up money too fast and lose the job because they haven't proven their worth. Too often your salary expectations are too low, convincing the employer that you must not be that good. Women almost always stumble on this issue. Learn what your skills are worth by visiting Payscale.com. Try to delay any questions on salary until you receive an offer, explaining that you need more job information so you can determine what the position requires and what would be fair. If pushed, give a wide salary range. Carefully practice your answers in advance.

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Be prepared for your next interview by using these five tips. If nothing else, you’ll be more relaxed and confident, which can help convince potential employers that you’ll represent the company well.

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