Searching for a job can be a full-time job in itself. Networking, scouring the help wanted ads and filling out applications can sometimes seem like more effort than it's worth. But don't give up -- you never know when you'll get a call from the human resources department of a wonderful company asking to schedule a face-to-face interview.
When that call does come, you can delight in the idea that you are only one step away from your dream job. So shine your shoes and start giving some thought to the best way to answer the interviewer's questions! Here are a few tips:
Be honest. You are giving the interviewer his/her very first impression of you; be sure that you present yourself as trustworthy.
Display a positive attitude. Everyone prefers to work with upbeat people; no matter what questions you are asked, remain optimistic and enthusiastic.
Be sure to highlight your skills and abilities at every opportunity. If you have previously worked in the same job field, emphasize your advancements and achievements.
If you've got applicable education, be sure to point it out. Also, if you have attended seminars or other job related training sessions, mention what you feel you have gained from those experiences.
Give credit to others when appropriate. Mention that your last employer was a great motivator or was so bright and funny that he/she made the work environment comfortable and productive. Speaking well of others reflects well on you, too.
Never point out the shortcomings of others -- ex bosses or coworkers, in particular. The interviewer will rightly assume that you'll be doing the same thing to his/her company in time.
If you have limited job experience, spotlight other events in your life that have given you skills that would apply to this position. For instance, volunteering in the past may have taught you good people and time management skills.
Be open and friendly, but not too chatty!
Ask questions, too. Let the interviewer know that you are interested in the growth of the company and your possible contribution. Make him/her aware that you've done your homework about the company's history (You have, haven't you?!) and that you hope to play a part in its continued growth.
There are some topics to avoid, if possible. Try to keep the focus of the interview on what you can offer the company, and not on any limitations that you may have. If your children's daycare situation means that you'll need to leave the office promptly at 5:00 every day, this is not the time to approach the subject!