6 Job Interview Secrets - Beat Your Competition

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The job interview is the final critical part of your job search; it's also one of the more challenging moments in your life. You know you are qualified for the job and you know your skills match the company's needs. How do you convince the employer you are what they need?

Here are 6 secrets to make your job interview a winning interview:

1. Be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm speaks volumes. It tells the interviewer you are interested and you are excited about the prospect of working with them. When it's a tough choice, enthusiasm could spell the difference.
2. Respond to impress. Especially when asked about yourself, don't recite your biography or quote pageant-type responses hiring managers have already heard; it's unproductive. When applying for a nursing job, for example, tell them the story behind your decision to pursue a nursing career.
3. Keep it under 60 seconds. Bear this in mind when responding to the first question in a job interview. Normally, this question would be a getting-to-know-you question like, "Tell me about yourself". Be brief and concise. You would want to spend more time detailing how you fit their requirements. You'd have this opportunity in succeeding questions.
4. Avoid clich. As you do in writing cover letters and resumes, don't rehash generic or common replies to standard questions. "What are your strengths?" is one of those standard questions where many job seekers give clich answers. Don't. You'd sound insincere or at least just parroting textbook replies.
5. Use stories effectively. Give unique, interesting answers to common - and often boring - job interview questions. Stories help you achieve this end. Instead of saying, "I'm a self-starter, self-motivated person, etc." Tell the interviewer about a challenge you faced, how you approached it and the positive results it created. When you give this as a reply to a question relating to your strengths, these types of stories demonstrate your strengths clearly.
6. Give short answers to hard questions. When a question throws you off, take a moment to think and be brief when delivering your response. Buying time to dig your way up by giving a lengthy, roundabout response will only make you talk about things you never intended to speak about. The best strategy for handling hard questions is to KISS it - keep it strong and simple.

Make the employer want to hire you. Use your job interview to put your best foot forward and convince the employer you are going to be a great addition to their team. Don't forget to send a Thank You letter to follow-up with each person you spoke to.
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