J Patrick + Associates Blog

Pick Me! Three Tips for Brushing up on Your Interview Skills

Posted by Elissa Jane Mastel on Wed, Jul 06, 2011 @ 04:14 PM
describe the imageFeeling a little uncomfortable in interviews?  Don't feel like you're getting the respect you deserve?  Might be time for a little training in interview etiquette.  Don't worry, it isn't hopeless, here are a few ideas to get you back on your toes and earn the attention of your interviewer positively.  Tell employers to pick you, after fine tuning your interview skills.

1. Time to have dinner with fussy Auntie Judy.  Let her make comments on your table manners.  These days, table etiquette seems to take a back seat. You want a stickler for rules to spot the bad manners that could trip you up in an interview. You might have developed some bad habbits, sitting with your feet tucked under the chair, elbows on the table or slumped over.  Aunt Edna would never stand for this would she?  Earn the respect of interviewer and improve your image by sitting up straight with your hands nicely folded in your lap.

2. Tape a formal practice conversation.  A lot of us have developed the habit  of saying "like" too much. "I, like, can't believe, like, the job market is so, like, bad" or my personal pet peeve, "yah know what I'm saying?" Studies prove that interviewers were more likely to perceive a job candidate as less professional if the person said "like" too much, as compared to "uh." This is a habit that needs to be broken. Like, NOW.  Ya know what I'm sayin'?

3. Practice wearing your nice clothes.  Many of us work in more casual environments, where nice clothes are optional.  If you've been out of work, then you probably haven't put on a nice pair of slacks in a while.  I don't know about you, but after a long period of time, that pencil skirt and black pumps kind of make me feel uncomfortable if I haven't worn them in a while.  Time to go out to a nice restaurant, the opera or anywhere else where people dress up. Guys should know how to handle a tie when they eat (no, you don't flip it over your shoulder), and girls should know how to sit properly and not flash half the town when they get out of a car. No one wants an interviewer distracted because you can't walk in those shoes and find that suit jacket too tight.  Take your suit out and break it in before your next interview.  It's nice being comfortable in your own second skin.

In conclusion, sit up straight, speak clearly and dress to impress.  Remember you want your employer to be to meet a comfortable, confident, professional You so they pick YOU for the job.

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Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews, Resume Optimization, Career Strategies