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How to Survive a Job Interview
By Brenda B. Covert
1 At some point you stop expecting people to hand you money, and you get a job to earn your own. A job will move you toward independence. That's a good thing, right? However, to get the job, you must first get through the job interview. Few things in life are as stressful as a job interview. So many worries run through your mind. Will I look right for the job? Will they like me? Will I say something stupid? Will I swallow my tongue and choke? Will they wonder what planet I'm from? As you apply for jobs, you will get a call to meet with the person who is hiring. You will want to make a good impression. You may have found the job in the newspaper or through a job service. You may have been recommended by a friend or relative who works for the company. That was enough to help you snag the interview. Now you must prove that you are the best person for the job!
2 The Boy Scout motto is, "Be prepared." Make it your own motto. Be prepared for your interview. Start by learning how the company operates. What duties would you be expected to handle? Read the job description! Pursue only those jobs that you know you are capable of doing. If you don't have the necessary skills, don't waste your time or the interviewer's time. If you have a strong desire to work for a certain place, but you aren't qualified, make plans to gain the skills or education that will make you attractive to that company.
3 Don't go to the interview without an idea of what you will say. Find someone to help you practice. Maybe a friend or a relative will pretend to interview you for the job. If not, use a mirror to practice explaining your interest in the job. Why are you seeking a job with that company? What qualifies you for the job? What are your strengths? (This is no time to be shy or modest. How will the interviewer know what you are capable of if you don't talk about it?) Practice saying positive things about your abilities. Next, what are your weaknesses? When asked about weaknesses, it's best to admit one. After all, no one will believe you are perfect! Choose a weakness that won't affect your ability to do the job. For instance, if you are trying for a job as a floral designer or landscape artist, you can confess that you aren't the best speller. Since top spelling skills aren't required for the job, it won't matter, and you will have been honest -- if it's true. Honesty counts!
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