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Old 02-10-2009, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Interview skills

It looks like I'm heading back onto the job market. Which means I'm likely to be interviewing around soon, and competing against several other similarly qualified candidates.

Everything I'm looking at (currently) is a step up salarywise from my current position, which is actually relatively low for someone with my experience and responsibilities. I'm well qualified to perform the required duties.

Problem is, my interview skills are atrocious. Especially when I'm desperate and/or really want a particular position. I don't make eye contact, I don't smile, I slouch, I fidget, I stammer out responses. Of course, in a normal work setting I can be perfectly approachable, personable, and articulate. It's just when it matters to my career that suddenly I'm unable to control these impulses.

So, I'm thinking, should I take a shot of bourbon followed by some mouthwash to mask the alcohol smell before I go in to my interviews? I'm half kidding, of course. But all other things being equal, a job candidate who's professional, evened-out, calm, and confident is always going to beat out the nervous, fidgety guy.

Anyone else have this problem? Do you have any tricks to solve it?


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Old 02-10-2009, 06:42 PM   #2
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I always second think answer to questions

I found this helpful Interviewing articles | Monster


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Old 02-10-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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This may be a bit unorthodox, but I'd tell the interviewer right up front that you haven't been on an interview in quite a while and you are a bit nervous. Express that you are confident in your job skills but not so polished at interviewing.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
This may be a bit unorthodox, but I'd tell the interviewer right up front that you haven't been on an interview in quite a while and you are a bit nervous. Express that you are confident in your job skills but not so polished at interviewing.
Excellent!

I can sell-cold call over the phone, but my interview skills are lacking. Usually your interviewer will say something like"how are you", which is right where I respond,"just the usual interview jitters". That breaks the ice for me, and lets them know I am not at my best.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:40 PM   #5
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+1 to honesty - that's something they will remember and likely appreciate.

You really should work on getting over the eye contact thing, it's
very important to project confidence and competence in a face to
face interview.

A shot of Bourbon is a terrible idea.

They understand you are going to be nervous, so don't worry about
looking so damn nervous. You know you're qualified, you stated that,
so go into the interview prepared. Look over the company information
and get acquainted with their style.

So when you walk in you already know them. Then go about explaining
why you are qualified, just like you did in this post at the beginning.

A couple deep breaths work (seriously) to physically slow your heart
rate and control physical anxiety.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernerbits View Post
But all other things being equal, a job candidate who's professional, evened-out, calm, and confident is always going to beat out the nervous, fidgety guy.
That's totally untrue. Not having the skills they are looking for is the deal breaker. Poor communications skills is also a deal breaker. Not showing up for an interview, lying on you resume (so easy to spot BTW), being late, not being prepared, all those are deal breakers.

Lots and Lots of Engineers have confidence issues in interviews - in fact most I think.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:27 PM   #7
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Read up on common interview questions. Put together a question sheet with answers in outline form. Include both technical and non-technical questions.

Have your wife, girlfriend, local prostitute, drunk neighbor, etc... practice with you.

You can't just show up at an interview and hope everything is going to "work out." This is war. You have to be prepared.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:27 PM   #8
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It's OK to be nervous and jittery. Interviewers generally expect such things. If you weren't, you would be relaying a feeling that you don't much care about the interview.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:30 PM   #9
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Make sure you can talk at length about the stuff in your resume. This is one of the only things they have about you. There are going to be questions about it.

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Old 02-10-2009, 09:35 PM   #10
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You always talk faster than you think. S...L...O...W... down, and just say one thing at a time. This will help calm you and to make you sound less jittery.


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