So you’ve finally landed an interview at the job of which you’ve been dreaming. It’s likely that your nerves have started to kick in, and you’re panicking a bit about what you’re going to say. Being a bit anxious shows that you care about making a good impression, so use the following tips to do so.
- Bring a Portfolio While the interviewer might not request one, it’s never a bad idea to bring along a folder showcasing your best work. Include relevant work samples. For example, if you’re a teacher, bring along lesson plans. When you’re going for an interview at an art museum, fill the folder with reviews that you’ve written or pieces that you’ve painted. Be sure to bring your best work and to make sure that your examples are clean, crisp, correct and appealing.
- Dress the Part Looking presentable at work is one “talent” that interviewers want to see that you have. In creative professions, there is generally more leeway with what you can wear to work. However, no matter how casual the dress code will be during your work days, get dressed up for the interview. A business suit, whether you’re male or female, shows that employer that you are serious about the position and have respect for the workplace. While looks aren’t everything, it’s important that you fit in with the work environment.
- Highlight Your Attributes You’ll obviously be asked a lot of questions during the interview. Don’t just give bland answers; explain how your answers show how you’ve actually used your best skills. For example, don’t simply say that you cater to the needs of each student in your class. Say that you use differentiated instruction techniques when you are making your lesson plans. By answering in this manner, employers will see that you have the technical knowledge necessary to excel in this profession. Furthermore, they will also be able to access how well you use the necessary skills in real life situations. You’ll need both book smarts and practical skills to qualify for most jobs.
- Lessons and Sessions Before you are hired for a job, you may be asked to conduct a mock lesson in a classroom or hold a trial consulting session with clients. Here is the chance to show your potential boss that you really know what you’re doing. Depending upon the length of the lesson or session, choose a couple to a handful of theories that are considered important in your field. Intertwine them into the trial. For example, if you’re doing a mock lesson in a classroom, you can try incorporating both the Socratic method and qualitative learning techniques into the plan.
No matter what type of job for which you are interviewing, you want to be certain that the employee is impressed. Don’t just start barking out a long line of theories though. Be certain that you actually are aware of how they should be applied. Always act respectfully, and be sure that you remember common courtesies apply.
Robin Manternach writes about jobs, personal finance & more at www.creditreport.org.