Job Interviews For Dummies
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The first rule of job interviewing is to project a favorable image of yourself. The second rule is to never forget the first. While the following tips may seem obvious, interviewers say that job seekers often stumble over the same blunders.

  • Relevant experience. When asked whether you’ve had directly-related experience, say “yes” if you have and cite achievements proving it. If not, don’t just say “no.” Instead, comment that rarely are two jobs identical in every way, and that you are very interested in the job and give examples of how you handled common problems — such as cutting costs, dealing with disgruntled customers, managing difficult coworkers — that reveal your thinking processes, skills, and competencies.

  • Team relationships. When discussing projects on which you worked, the interviewer may be listening to see whether you go beyond taking fair credit for your accomplishments — are you a credit hog? How often do you use the credit-grabbing pronoun “I” compared to the team-playing pronoun “we.” Credit hogs may be unable to perform as team members.

  • Departure reasons. Griping in detail about why you want to leave your present job reveals your values, raising suspicions that a new position would merely replay your frustrations. Will you ever be satisfied or are you a malcontent?

Hint: Record your answers to potential job interview questions. The next day, put yourself on the other side of the desk: Listen for what interviewers may be hearing. Do you sound like a winner?

About This Article

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Joyce Lain Kennedy is a nationally syndicated careers columnist. CAREERS NOW appears twice weekly in newspapers and on websites across the United States. She is the author of seven career books including Resumes For Dummies, 6th Edition, and Cover Letters For Dummies, 3rd Edition.

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