How to shine in a job interview

Lori Rush of Rush Recruiting & HR says her two most important tips are to be prepared and well practiced.
Lori Rush of Rush Recruiting & HR says her two most important tips are to be prepared and well practiced.

Before you can give an impressive job interview, career consultant Lori Rush stresses, you have to get yourself ready to be impressive.

“How prepared you are for the interview is how prepared you’ll be for the job,” Rush told College of Business students Oct. 28 in a one-hour seminar in Austin Hall’s Robert Family Event Room sponsored by the college’s Career Success Center.

Rush, a COB graduate and the president of Rush Recruiting & HR in Portland, says pre-interview prep should be both thorough and detailed. For example, what are the mission and values of the company, and how has it been affected by changes in the industry? Also, learn the firm’s lingo — if it prefers “clients” and you instead use “customers,” that shows a lack of homework and/or attention to detail.

Other highlights from Rush’s presentation:

— Remember an interview is your chance to gather additional information about the company and the job, so be ready to ask questions as well as answer them.

— Don’t interrupt the interviewer.

— Don’t be afraid of a few seconds of silence; if you’ve thoroughly answered a question, resist the urge to break dead air by saying something else, something you’ll likely end up regretting.

— Don’t talk negatively about a former boss, company or colleague.

— Anticipate questions you might be asked and practice answering them aloud. Have specific accomplishments to share.

— Be prepared to talk about your failures/weaknesses, what you learned from them, and how you’re bettering yourself.

— Close the interview strongly. Express your interest, ask about next steps, and include a query such as “what questions do you have about my fit for the position.”

— Follow up with a thank you note.

— And if rejected, use it as a learning experience, including politely asking why you weren’t a successful candidate.

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