Tag Archives: interview tips

Ace Your Interviews in 2020

Get that dream job this year with these top tips

Here at Job Journey, we want you to ace your interviews and get the job that’s perfect for you. That’s why we write blog after blog chock full of interview tips, job search hacks, and other great expert advice.

To get your interview skills revved up and running this year, we’re collecting a few of our top articles all in one place. Ready. Set. Go!

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Spring Forward: How to Build Interview Confidence

How to bounce back from a bad interview and build confidence.

Look_Interview_Tips_Feb2014It’s perhaps the most nerve-wracking aspect of the job search. You submitted your resume and got the call. It’s time to meet for an interview, and you’re wondering what to do next.How do you prepare yourself with the necessary confidence to be successful in this important moment in your career?

Research

Preparation begins with researching and learning as much as you can about the company where you’ll be interviewing. Spend time browsing through their website and any social media channels they have to learn about their culture and mission.

You’ll also want to spend time reading through every aspect of the job description so that you have a clear understanding of your possible responsibilities. If there are any skills that you know to be strengths for you, make a note and think about how you’ll work those into the interview. On the opposite end, if any aspects are new to you or are a weakness, be ready to answer for those areas as well.

After you’ve done the research, write down three to five questions to ask your interviewer about the company or job. When you have questions ready, it shows that you’ve prepared and have a genuine interest in the company and the work they do. Anything you can do to stand out from the crowd is helpful.

Practice

The internet will be a great resource as you begin the next step in building your interview confidence. Doing a search for common job interview questions, then spending time reviewing your responses will be a big help when the time comes for you to answer them in person.

Practicing will also help you avoid as many surprise questions as possible. To take it a step further, use five to seven questions in a practice interview with a family member or friend. Let them ask the question in an interview setting while you answer the questions with appropriate eye contact and body posture.

After the mock interview, ask for feedback on your performance, including any tips on things you might have done that you didn’t notice. Do you say “um” too often when answering a question? Maybe you tend to bounce your leg while sitting in an interview. This feedback will be instrumental in preparing for a successful interview.

Review

As the day approaches, it’s time to sit down and go through your notes. Highlight and memorize the facts, questions, or traits you picked up during your preparation.

You’ll also want to review and make sure you have everything ready for the interview the night before. Spend time thinking about your outfit, how long you’ll need to prepare in the morning, and how long it will take you to get to the interview. Also, make sure to have several copies of your resume and a portfolio of your work if applicable to the job.

Interviews don’t have to be a scary. With time spent researching, practicing, and reviewing, your next interview could be an enjoyable meeting, an opportunity to learn more about a company while sharing your own strengths and passions. It’s all up to you and your willingness to build your self-confidence before you walk through that door.

Looking for more interview tips?

We’re here to help. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S. and Canada. We employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. If you have any questions about the job search, contact your local Express office or create an Express account to apply for jobs online.

What else do you do to build confidence before a job interview? Let us know in the comments section below.

‘Twas the Night Before the Job Interview

Do you have a big interview coming up? Are you feeling festive? Take a look at our holiday poem below to help you remember the importance of preparing for your interview.

'Twas the Night Before the Job Interview

‘Twas the night before the job interview, when all through the house
A job seeker was ironing the wrinkles from her blouse
Her outfit, she prepared for the next day with care
In hopes she would have the perfect one to wear

On this night, she wasn’t nestled all snug in her bed
She was on the computer, researching instead
She closely studied the company’s website and map
To avoid an uncomfortable interview mishap

When her search revealed tips for interview chatter
She learned how to respond, to smile, and flatter
And away to the search engine she flew like a flash
To find more tips for this researching bash

The articles she found helped her knowledge to grow
Yet still, she felt there were more things to know
When what to her wondering eyes should appear
But a website that aims to advance her career

With excitement and hope, she began to click, click, click
And knew in a moment these tips would stick
This website she found, Movin’ On Up was its name,
Helped her prepare for the interview in a short timeframe

Yet, she still felt as though something important was missing
So she called up her friend and asked her to listen
She practiced her questions and by the end of the call
Her confidence was high enough to answer them all

With her outfit set out and her research complete
The job seeker settled down for a good night’s sleep
And in the morning she’d find she no longer had fright
On account of her great interview prep that night

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

5 Tips to Avoid Freezing Up In a Winter Interview

it's_cold_outside_webNothing is more chilling to a job hunter than suddenly freezing up during an interview.

One minute, you’re answering all the hiring manager’s questions with ease and the next, you’re sliding away on thin ice as your brain shuts off. How you react to a sudden brain freeze can play a big part in how well you complete the interview and whether or not you land the position.

So how do you avoid freezing up in a winter interview? We have five tips to help avoid the dreaded interview brain freeze.

Prepare Ahead of Time
Just as you would prepare your home or vehicle for nasty winter weather, prepare your brain for an upcoming interview. Practice answering interview questions in a warm, confident manner. Research the company and have a list of hot topics to discuss, ranging from company culture to challenges the company hopes you can resolve.

If you know the weather will be bad the day of the interview, be prepared to give yourself extra travel time. Dress professionally, but warmly, so you don’t shiver and rattle your teeth throughout the whole process.

Recognize the Signs of Brain Freeze
Anyone who has ever had the unfortunate experience of freezing up in a situation knows what the sensation feels like. Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t tell you’re in a brain freeze situation until you’ve slipped on the ice a few times during the interview.

First, tell yourself that it is okay to not have all the answers to every question. When in doubt, you could say, “I do not know, but could find out and get back with you ASAP.” Also, observe how quickly or nervously you are speaking. Take a nice deep, warming breath and slow down.

Some experts say it is fine to admit to an interviewer that you are nervous, but beware of using this tactic too freely. While honesty is top priority, confidence is a highly sought after trait in an employee.

Have a Snow Route in Your Brain
Have you ever been asked a question in an interview, and suddenly your mind goes blank? Luckily, you know you’re in brain freeze, so you can break yourself out of it if you already have a backup route in place.

Ask the interviewer to repeat the question. This tactic gives you time to calm down, hear the question again, and answer intelligently. If you are still stuck on thin ice, paraphrase the question back to the interviewer. Again, this buys a little time to dig yourself out of the snow drift.

However, if none of these tactics work, ask the interviewer for a moment to really consider the answer.

Limit Nervous Behavior
Even if you are scared to death and nervous as a winter hare, limit the giveaway signs of nervousness. Don’t fidget. Don’t speak too quickly or ramble on.

You know what nervous habits you possess, so practice controlling those ahead of time. Try speaking to a friend with your hands folded in your lap and your tapping leg still.

Holding a pen or a copy of your resume during the interview may help chill out the nervous behaviors as well.

Remain Positive
When it comes to not freezing up during a winter interview, the best advice is to remain positive, confident, and polite. Everyone has brain freezes on occasion, and interviewers know you are nervous. Cool your nerves by telling yourself that you deserve to be in the interview—you wouldn’t have been invited if you weren’t.

Have you ever had brain freeze during a job interview? How did you break out of the situation? Share your best tips with us in the comments below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Keep Your Cool: Job Interview Prep Guide

keep_your_cool_webYou’ve scored the big job interview you’ve been waiting for, and now all you have to do is ace all those questions, make a good impression, wow the hiring managers, and keep your cool. No pressure.

Okay, let’s be real. While getting a job interview is good news, it can also be a stressful time. You’re worried you’ll mess it up. The questions might throw you for a loop. You might end up looking like you aren’t a good fit for the job.

Everyone has those fears from time to time, but with a few tips and tricks, you can alleviate those doubts and lessen the stress of going to a job interview.

When Preparation and Opportunity Meet
Great preparation prevents poor performance. Lessen your stress by analyzing the job posting and description. Be clear in your own mind about what the company wants in a potential employee. Make a list of which skills and qualities you have that match the job description.

Why is this important? Preparing beforehand ensures that you’ll be able to discuss your skills confidently, and it also reminds you that you’re a pretty impressive candidate.

Assimilate Your Assets
While you’re at it, create a list of 10 assets and qualities you have that could benefit the company. Include certifications, computer skills, professional accomplishments, and unique abilities. Making this list again reminds you why you’re pretty awesome, but it also helps you prepare to discuss those skills during an interview.

You’ll be ready to answer specific job questions with confidence and flair.

Reconnaissance
Like a spy, gather as much information as you can about the company before the interview. Look to your professional network to see if someone knows a little more about the business and can give you a competitive edge over the other candidates.

Being able to confidently discuss the company shows you are prepared, thorough, and engaged.

Practice Makes Perfect
Take some time to practice common interview questions. When you practice interviewing with a friend or family member, the actual interview becomes a little easier. Think about each question and how you will respond before you even get to the interview.

Practicing a job interview helps calm your nerves and prepares you for tough questions so you aren’t left scrambling and fumbling for a response during the real interview.

Dress It Up
The night before your big interview, pick out what you’ll wear. Put on the outfit and then lay out the clothes so they are readily available. By doing this, you won’t be rushing around trying to find the right clothes and stressing out about how you look. You want to be well groomed and professional in order to project a positive image to the employer, so make sure your clothes are clean and ironed before the big day. Now that you’re looking ready for the interview, your stress level should be decreasing.

Early Bird Gets the Worm
Whatever you do, don’t be late! Be sure to leave early enough for your interview to account for unexpected delays like traffic or construction. Hurrying and worrying about being late can cause your stress level to skyrocket, so be sure to look up the directions to the office and give yourself an extra 30 minutes to get there.

Now, you can relax and practice your interview answers on the way!

Do Your Best
Right before you walk into your interview, take a few deep calming breaths. Smile, pull your shoulders back, and give a confident handshake. You’ve researched, you’ve practiced, you look great, and you arrived on time – you have this in the bag! Be honest, open, engaging, and bright.

By preparing ahead of time and taking these steps, you’ll reduce the stress associated with interviewing. Now, all you need to do is show the interviewer why you’re the best person for the job.

Do you have any tips and tricks for not stressing out before a job interview? Share your best tips in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Jump Start Your Next Job Interview with These Top Five Questions

interview_questions_webYou’ve landed the job interview, but you have mixed emotions. You’re both excited that you made the cut and anxious about how to answer the interviewer’s questions.

While it’s normal to feel this way before an interview, being well prepared and confident in providing answers that position you as the best person for the job will help you get it. One way to appear confident and well prepared is by making sure you know how to answer those important questions.

While interviewers ask questions geared to specific positions, most also ask several general questions at nearly every interview. This means you can actually prepare for these questions early, and with some tweaking, tailor them to your current job interview. These broad questions help companies learn a little more about you, determine if you are a fit for their culture, and see if you are qualified for the job.

Tell me about yourself.

This is your elevator speech. Usually the first question, it is intended to break the ice. Provide a brief recap here of your work experience and any applicable education and make sure to highlight the experience that specifically pertains to the position. Wrap up by mentioning what you like to do outside of work. Be careful not to give too long of an answer and use up all your interview time with this one question. Three to four minutes is a good amount of time, so rehearse this one with a stopwatch.

What is your greatest strength?

This is one of the easier questions. Determine two or three of your strongest skills and draft some responses. During the interview, reply with the skill most appropriate for the job’s qualifications. Wrap up your answer with how that strength has helped you succeed in the past and how it will help you effectively perform this job.

What is your greatest weakness?

This usually follows “What is your greatest strength?” and can be harder to answer. There are a couple ways to answer this. Try turning a negative into a positive. For example, you might get frustrated when team members try to outshine each other and jeopardize an entire project. Explain how you work to improve upon this trait and what this has taught you about yourself. Another option is to answer by mentioning a skill that is not essential to the job. Again, follow up with what you’ve learned and how you have tried to improve. It’s important that employers know you are open to continually improving your job skills.

Why are you the right person for the job?

If “Tell me about yourself” was your elevator speech, then this one is more likely a sales presentation. Look over your resume and find the two or three skills or attributes that make you a perfect fit for the job at hand and compose an answer that directly links these attributes to the job requirements. Convince the interviewer that you have the right skills, that you would be a great fit for the company culture, and that you can succeed in the job.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?

Draft one or more responses for the accomplishments you are most proud of and, again, link them to the job’s requirements. If you can provide evidence of how your employer benefited from your accomplishments, it could be your ace in the hole.

Hopefully you’re feeling a little more confident about those looming interview questions. Now it’s time to get to work and start preparing for your next interview. Good luck!

Is there a different question you are often asked during job interviews? Tell us what it is and how you answer in the comment section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

De-Stress Before Your Job Interview

de-stress_before_interview_webJob interviews can be a little nerve racking. Will the interviewer like me? What if I say something that sounds stupid? What if I don’t know how to answer a question?

To help you gain your interview confidence, take a deep breath and follow these seven tips for conquering your fears and de-stress before your job interview.

1. Get your portfolio together.
Don’t scramble to put this together the night before. No one knows your work better than you, so be your biggest advocate on interview day and have a stellar portfolio. While getting your portfolio ready, showcase your best projects. And, be sure to include plenty of copies of your resume in case someone unexpected joins the interview. On your resume, make sure it’s easily laid out for readability, organized, shows your training/education background, and lists your job history. Also, include a list of references for extra bonus points.

2. Prepare for interview questions.
Expect to be asked questions like:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What can you bring to the team?
  • Do you have any questions about the job?

These are typical questions interviewers use to learn more about you. A few days before your interview, practice answering these questions and watch yourself in the mirror so you can see your facial expressions or ask a friend to listen and give you feedback.

3. Do your research on the company and the position.
Not only will you need to be prepared to answer questions about yourself, but you should also be able to speak about the company and the position you’re seeking. What do you know about them? What do they do? Find out when they were founded, how many locations they have (if more than one), and some interesting facts about the organization.

Also, be able to share about the skills you can bring to the job. What are some specific duties you’re interested in? How do your skills match the job? Also, come up with questions you have about the job. How do you see this position growing with this company? What skills does the perfect candidate have? Questions like these will show that you’re taking initiative in learning all you can about the position.

4. Drive by the interview location the day before.
A big stressor for interviewees is the location of the interview. If you can, do a test run the day before. Get a feel for the traffic and identify just how much time you need to get there. And remember, you will want to arrive at your interview at least 15 minutes early, so factor that into your drive time.

5. Plan your outfit.
What are you going to wear for your interview? The key is to always wear professional in attire on your interview day. Get your outfit prepared the evening before your interview and make sure it is clean and wrinkle-free. Also, include your accessories such as shoes, a tie, or jewelry. Having your clothes ready to go will save you time on the big day.

6. Get a good night’s rest.
Go to bed early the night before your interview. Allow yourself to get enough rest so you wake up feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to face the day. Don’t stay up late trying to prepare, and be sure to set your alarm!

7. Stay calm on interview day.
After you’ve checked in for your interview, use your last few minutes to take some deep breaths, remember what your goal is, and remind yourself that you can do this. Remember to think positive.

Do you have any additional tips for de-stressing before an interview? Share them here!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.