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Interviewing Tips For The Job Applicant

Editor's Note: Editor's Note: The following tips are re-printed from Disability Direct, September 27, 2001.

The old adage "knowledge is power" is useful to keep in mind as you prepare for the job interview. In this context, knowledge means a number of things:know your own capabilities and limitations, what the job you want entails, what you can contribute to the job, and how to present yourself in the most positive manner.

There are several types of employment interviews. Being familiar with them can help you better prepare for your interview.

Patterned Interview: a structured format in which certain predetermined areas are explored using questions which have been written in advance and that are asked of all interviewees.

Non-Directive Interview: a flexible format, which is more conversational and does not rely on questions written in advance. The interviewer becomes more of an active listener.

Group Interview: a panel format in which members alternately ask questions of the applicant.

Interviews can be stressful events. These tips for the interview may be helpful:

Be Enthusiastic: Show your interest in the job you are seeking and in the business. Smile. Speak clearly.

Be Yourself: Don't put on an act. Being yourself can help you relax during an interview and cut down on stress.

Be Prepared: Review your resume/job application before the interview to have it fresh in your mind, because it will be fresh in the mind of the person who interviews you. Carry a completed generic application with you. This will enable you to provide information that may be required and to complete an application form if it was not done before the interview.

Know The Organization: Your knowledge of the prospective employer will contribute to the positive image you want to create. Research the organization before the interview: talk to others who work there; ask for information about the organization and for a job description when the interview is set up; use the public library's reference books on public and private organizations.

Be Honest: Tell the interviewer about your work skills, strengths and experience, including any volunteer work you have done. If you haven't had a particular kind of experience, say so, but also indicate your willingness to learn new skills. You don't have to embellish the truth. Simply present yourself as a positive person with skills to offer the employer.

Look Your Best: You will never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Dress appropriately for the type of job for which you are applying. Looking your best will make you feel more confident and more relaxed. It will also show the interviewer that you are serious about the job and about yourself.

GOOD LUCK! Don't give up if you don't get a job immediately. Keep trying. Look upon each interview as a learning experience, which can help you land the job you want.