How to ace a Job Interview
Your job in a job interview is simply to show the hiring manager how perfect of a fit you are for the company.
But for good measure, let’s go through the interview. Here’s exactly how you should present yourself:
- When you meet the person interviewing you, extend your hand for a handshake. While you shake hands, look the manager dead in the eyes and match the intensity of the handshake.
- Tell the manager that you are pleased to meet him/her and mean it.
- When you take a seat, sit straight—no slouching.
- When you listen to the manager, lean forward a bit as if to show interest. When you speak, use your hands.
- Laugh at the manager’s jokes if you think they are funny, but never give a fake laugh. If a joke falls flat, just display a big smile.
- Maintain eye contact throughout the interview. Never deviate while the manager speaks. Then when you begin to speak, maintain the eye contact for at least the first sentence. Everything in you will want to look away when you begin speaking, but resist the urge. Once the first sentence is over, you may then dart your gaze away quickly before returning the eyes back.
- Have a prepared question at the end of the interview for the manager. Make it something about the company, not you.
- As you leave, do not ask where the bathroom is unless you are about ready to wet yourself. Simply thank the manager for his/her time, shake hands again (while maintaining eye contact and matching intensity), and walk away.
Negotiating a Salary
You need to negotiate your salary. Do not simply take a job of er without negotiation because you are desperate. I know of zero cases when a job offer was withdrawn because someone attempted salary negotiation. This is an expected industry practice. Furthermore, if you have received an offer it means that you are considered to be an asset. The company wishes to acquire you, and that gives you a small amount of power. So at least attempt negotiating. At worst you will only get the salary originally offered and at best you will get an even better Salary negotiation should ideally take place after a job offer. If you are asked during an interview what you expect to be paid, give a vague answer: “Salary is not my primary concern, but ideally I would be near the top of the salary range for the position.” If pressed, ask what the salary range is for the job. I have had human resources executives be so stunned by the question that they told me the range without even realizing the mistake made. If this happens to you, smile and kindly note that you prefer whatever the top number mentioned was.
The person to throw out the first number is at a disadvantage. When negotiating, try to hold out for a number from the other person. You may be thinking $60,000 annually is wonderful when the human resources representative mentions $68,000.
Do your best to talk in ranges instead of specifics. For instance, if you are told that the salary is $45,000 you could counter with “I was expecting something in the 50s to honest. This brings to mind a high number in the range but gives the representative the freedom to offer something lower as a compromise.