© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new Job Interview "Secret"
It's easy to get caught up in the holiday buzz––shopping, wrapping, baking, visiting, partying! And it's also a way to escape thinking about the job interview that's just around the corner—maybe even right in the middle of all the feasting and fun. You may be tempted to put it off, change the date, and delay preparing for the moment you walk into the interviewer's office.
On the other hand, this is an excellent time of year to interview for a job. Why? Because people are typically in a cheerful mood, full of 'good will toward men' (and women) and
eager to extend a helping hand and a hearty handshake to friends and strangers.
This is your opportunity to return the favor by approaching the hiring manager with a sincere smile, a firm handshake, and solid answers to questions that will help him or her move your name to the top of the list of people to consider for filling the job opening.
Here's how to make the most of a job interview during this merry and happy time of year. Set aside a few hours to be alone with your thoughts and goals and desires for your new job. Then use the following six keys to unlock your future.
Key #1: Polish Your Resume
Check for typos and long-winded sentences or inaccurate information. Read. Read. And read it again. Then ask a trusted friend to read, read, and read it again—making any necessary spelling corrections or wording before printing a final copy.
Key #2: Plan Ahead
Set out your clothing, shoes, and accessories the night before so you can dress without stress and arrive early. Ladies, leave dangling earrings at home, and men, empty your pockets so you won't be tempted to play with your coins. A business suit or sport coat and trousers for men and a pants suit or skirt and jacket for women are always in good taste. This might seem obvious but many people appear in a professional setting in jeans and sandals. That's fine if you're competing for a job as a swim coach!
Key #3: Know the Company
Find out as much as you can ahead of time. For example, what is the organization's mission, its products and services, and how about customer and employee relations, and vacation, retirement, health coverage and salary ranges? You may not be able to get all of this info, but a bit of homework ahead of time can make all the difference.
Key #4: Prepare Real Life Examples
Write down some real-life examples from your current or previous employment, volunteer work, or community service. If you're someone who solves problem quickly and equitably, and has a way to overcome conflicts with difficult coworkers or customers, be sure to mention this during the interview. Always answer a question with an illustration from your experience. SHOW rather than merely explain.
Key #5: Think Before You Speak
Take your time answering a question. Don't let a nervous flutter cause you to blurt out an answer you'll later regret. On the other hand don't boast about yourself. Keep a humble honest demeanor. Be yourself. If you made a mistake somewhere along the line, it's fine to admit it. Then tell what you learned from it. This will show you're human and teachable.
Key #6: Follow Up With a Thank You Note
Whether or not you're offered the job at the end of the meeting, be sure to send a handwritten 'thank you' note as soon as possible. Display your thoughtfulness as well as your eagerness to keep in touch. Even if you don't get the job, you'll want to remain true to yourself. Never give away your power just because things didn't go your way at that moment. Make a good impression by being kind, honest, and professional and you may be the one the hiring manager calls when another position opens. It happened to a friend of mine and it can happen to you!
Jimmy Sweeney is the president of CareerJimmy and author of the brand new "Secret Career Document" job landing system. Jimmy is also the author of several career related books and writes a monthly article titled, "Job Search Secrets."
Visit our friends at Job Interview "Secret" and discover Jimmy Sweeney's breakthrough strategy that will have you standing out from the competition like a Harvard graduate at a local job fair… DURING your next job interview.