Master Your Next Job Interview!

In my last column, we explored how to approach an interview, and the importance of being prepared, which is mission-critical to your success.We looked at passion, preparedness and third-party endorsements. Now I'd like to introduce you to some basic rules of conduct for types of interviews. As I explain in my book, "How to Earn What You're Worth" (McGraw-Hill, 2004), not all types of interviews are created equal. Let's do a quick overview of interview types.The informational interview is one that you land as a result of your networking with friends or family. This is the type of interview that happens when there isn't a specific job available, but you are building future goodwill and fact-finding about any other potential leads within your industry. In this type of interview, it's important that you take the emphasis off of a specific job and focus on the interview as an opportunity to expand your network.The screening interview is used by companies is a prelude to a selection interview. The screening interview is typically conducted over the phone by a recruiter or human resources employee. In this type of interview, make sure you know the requirements of the job for which you're applying. The interviewer will probably have a technique that they'll use to guide the conversation. As I say in my book, let them.

A selection interview is the interview in which you typically meet with a hiring manager or the person who is likely to be your boss. The hiring manager often has the most influence over the hiring process, so this is a very important interview. You're really being assessed during the selection interview; therefore, it's very important that you make a connection. Remember to know your value, really listen to what they want, and be honest, not fearful. Focus on the job scope and responsibility, not only on the money.

In the group interview, you're being interviewed by a number of employees for the hiring company, including your potential boss, the people that would potentially work as your peers, and possibly some of your future reports. This can be an exhausting interview process, simply because you're dealing with so many different people. It's very important that in this type of interview, you don't play to one particular person in the room -- be it the easiest person to talk with or the most powerful person. You are being evaluated, at least in part, on your ability to interact with different personality types. Stay calm, be focused and finish your thoughts.

Stress interviews can be ... well, stressful. You will never know in advance of an interview that you're walking into a stress interview. The point of this kind of interview is to see how you conduct yourself under pressure. Take solace in the fact that this is only a test, and stay composed! Remember that the interview is nothing personal, and the interviewer is asking you rapid-fire questions in succession because it is his or her job. Remain unflappable and calm under pressure -- that's the goal.

Next time, we'll look at practicing ways to tell your story in an interview.

About Sunny Bates
Executive search, career and networking expert Sunny Bates is the CEO of retained executive search firm Sunny Bates Associates. Sunny is the author of "How to Earn What You're Worth," published by McGraw-Hill in February of 200

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Source: Money & Work

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