Use Your Resume
The resume’s usefulness does not stop with gaining the interview. It is your guideline for steering your interview. Carry your own copy with additional notes added. It is impossible (and unnecessary) to include all information in a resume so having additional facts and figures that support information in the resume can be a great aide in the interview. Think of it as a sort of “cheat sheet” for helping you to remember facts during the interview.
If you apply to a company, know something about that company! Knowledge is power. If a hiring manager calls ten people and only two of them can speak informatively about the company, its mission, and its products/service, those two will be the ones to move forward in the process! Ask informed questions that make sense and are company-focused.
Employers want to know not only what you’ve done but they want to know in what context. Be prepared to back up your claims to skills and expertise with specific scenarios and details about your performance. For example, if you have experience in project management, be ready to talk about a couple of projects you handled successfully. Select “stories” that will demonstrate your expertise. Bring in details and make sure to emphasize successful results of your efforts.
Curb the Chatter
Are you enthusiastic about your potential? That’s great but don’t let it get control of your tongue. An interview is a dialogue – it isn’t a monologue opportunity for you. Let the interviewer get a word in! Answer the question presented and keep your answers on topic. It is very easy to rabbit-trail off and chatter away but it is not helpful. It’s frustrating to the interviewer who probably has a limited amount of time and the information you chatter about may not even be relative. If you have trouble knowing when to stop talking, practice with a stopwatch. Limit your answers to two minutes if possible.
When the employer or recruiter calls you, you are “on”. Think ahead about what you will say, how you will handle specific questions, and have “stories” prepared that will demonstrate the skills and experience you offer. Use your resume as a guide and don’t prattle on about topics. Let the employer ask questions and ask some of your own. An interview is a conversation! Relax and make a great impression!
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About the Author:
Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 75,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!