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Fri, Apr 15, 2011

Career Management

Job Interviews: Tips for Turning an Interview into an Offer

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The way we hunt for jobs has changed drastically in the past decade — thanks in part to the continuing growth of the Internet, the social-media revolution, and the new ubiquity of mobile computing. Of course, some job interviewing tips remain the same: You still need a great resume — even though it might not be on paper (and may be augmented by video and other multimedia files).

Networking is still very important — even though it happens online more and more frequently. And a job interview is still a deciding factor in the hiring process — however, some of the rules and requirements of interviews have changed.  Here are some tricks for turning interviews into offers:

5 Thoroughly Modern Job-Interviewing Tips for Success

1. Doing Your Research Is More Important than Ever
You find the perfect job posted on Monster.com. So you apply, and — hooray! — you’re called for an interview. Now it’s time to do some research. The Internet and social-networking sites make that a lot easier than it used to be, so you’re expected to make the effort.

Be prepared to talk about the company’s recent achievements, the challenges it’s facing, and industry news. Also look up the people you’ll be interviewing with, and find interview-appropriate conversational topics or common ground you might discuss. (For more tips on how to demonstrate your research, read “How to Ask Good Questions at an Interview.”)

2. Make a Good Impression on the Phone
With more candidates to sort through, recruiters and hiring managers often rely on phone interviews as the first step in the interview process. It’s important to prepare for a phone interview as you would for a real interview — and that includes dressing for the occasion and finding a quiet place to talk, away from barking dogs or blaring daytime TV.

Sit up straight and smile — your professionalism will come through on the phone.  (Check out the “Phone Interviews: 5 Tricks for Standing Out” slideshare for more tricks on standing out during a phone interview, as well as more presentations from Monster.com.)

3. Prepare Sound Bites
Think of a job interview as something like an infomercial — and you’re the spokesperson as well as the product. So you’ll need some catchy slogans (or “sound bites”) that will lodge in your viewers’ minds and make them really want that product.

A sound bite is succinct, specific, and catchy: “I was the division’s top salesperson for three years straight,” for example, or “I wrote the highest-clicking article in the site’s history.” (For more tips, read “Selling Yourself in a Job Interview.”)

4. Get Ready for Tough Interview Questions
Interviewers will surely ask difficult questions, so it pays to have answers prepared. Think of past on-the-job situations when you’ve been challenged, when you’ve learned from failure, when you’ve disagreed with a boss, and so on.

Also be ready for questions you can’t prepare for in advance: an interviewer may want to determine how well you think on your feet, and will ask a puzzle question such as “How many golf balls would it take to fill this room?” When you’re asked a question like this, don’t just take a guess — think aloud, and let the interviewer hear your thought process (“First I’d have to determine the room’s volume …” and so on).

5. The More Some Things Change, the More Others Stay the Same
While there are new guidelines, the old commonsense ones still apply: You have to be on time, you have to be dressed professionally and appropriately, and you have to have a solid post-interview plan.  (Get tips on what to do after the interview, in “Follow Up After the Interview for the Win.“)

The good news? With new interview rules come new interview tools — check out the Monster.com mobile app and the new Monster.com Interviews mobile app, which puts all the interview tools you need (from preparation, through the big day, to following up) right in the palm of your hand.

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