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Ace the Interview

Congratulations, you have made it to the top of the potential employer’s list of outstanding candidates. It is time for the face-to-face interview. What can you do to prepare? Although interviewing can be one of life’s most stressful experiences, it doesn’t have to be. Being fully prepared is the key. With many candidates applying for opportunities, interviewing effectively will make you stand out.

Jaynie Ellison

Jaynie Ellison


In the words of Arthur Ashe, “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” From interview attire to company research, you must be prepared in order to land the job. You have to be in control and demonstrate ability and confidence. The “can do” attitude of a candidate who is humbly confident is essential to interview success.

Doing your homework enables you to go into the interview with the confidence that you are going to impress your interviewer so much that you will receive a job offer. This confidence will shine through during the interview. You are projecting professionalism, enthusiasm and motivation for the position.

Do your research. Find out the company’s products, services, annual sales, structure and other key information via the Internet, professional publications or former employees. Demonstrating your knowledge about the potential employer shows your interest level in the company and the opportunity being offered. Visit the company’s online “About Us” page to learn about the company’s background and business philosophy. Then compile a list of strategic questions to ask the employer. Bring the typed list of questions to the interview. Having the physical list shows you have put serious effort into getting to know the organization.

Be educated about what is going on in the industry in general as well as at different individual firms. Stay abreast of industry trends and market projections. Understanding economic and industry changes communicates to the potential employer that you are alert, strategic and forward-thinking. It establishes you as a passionate professional who truly enjoys their chosen field. Your involvement and knowledge of the industry shows you are willing to go the extra mile.

Employers are looking for job seekers who are infused with energy, drive, motivation and commitment because candidates who possess these qualities are alive with an enthusiasm that is contagious to their colleagues and clients. These characteristics translate into a team member who will learn the job to be done and then do it well.

Talk about results. Let the interviewer know what it is that you do better than anyone else in the world. Be ready to offer evidence of your skills and talents. Discuss several success stories where you utilized these skills and talents. Tie job skills and strengths into the company’s goals. Talk about how your core set of strengths and job skills match the position and would benefit the company. Discussing measurable outcomes separates the contenders from the pretenders.

Responses should be brief and concise, but be careful not to appear robotic or one-sided. Make sure to keep a steady conversational flow. Also pay attention to body language. Be sure to smile often, maintain good eye contact and pay attention to posture. Avoid fidgeting, gazing out a window, or furrowing your brows when asked challenging questions.

There is no impression like the first impression. Initial decisions about you are made in the first few minutes of an interview and are often based on your appearance. You are what you wear when it comes to an interview. Wear modern clothing and an updated hairstyle. Modern style is associated with energy and vigor, which attract employers. Of course, modesty, professionalism and the company culture should be taken into consideration when choosing your interview attire.

A large part of getting the job is having a marketing strategy. It is a candidate’s responsibility to demonstrate that they are the one. Without coming off as egotistical, job seekers need to point out what it is they can bring to the table that others cannot. It is not about hype or over selling; it is about pointing out special technical skills, unusual work or educational experiences that are unique.

Be engaging and personable. Your presentation, presence and energy are how you will be remembered by those evaluating you. How you carry your personal power should demonstrate that you have the right blend of technical and soft skills, mixed with enthusiasm and dedication. Go get your job.

Jaynie Ellison is the Director of Recruitment Services at ExhibitRecruiter Inc. Established in 1998, ExhibitRecruiter has been the premier recruitment agency specializing in the exhibit and event industry for over a decade. ExhibitRecruiter has partnered with companies of all sizes throughout the United States and Canada that specialize in exhibits, museums, environments and events. ExhibitRecruiter focuses exclusively in the experiential marketing sector. Her complete bio is on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jaynieellison She can also be reached at jaynie@ExhibitRecruiter.com Her direct line is 1-800-491-5434. For more information, go to www.ExhibitRecruiter.com.

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