How To Come Off Well In An Interview

ON THE JOB

July 17, 2009|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com

You've fought your way through a grueling job-search process and gotten called back for an interview.

Now what? How do you prepare and make sure you make an impression when your competitors are likely to be just as hungry and enthusiastic?

Jeff Garber, co-founder of 360JobInterview.com, who visited Baltimore recently to promote the launch of his company, offered some tips and advice on having a successful interaction with a prospective employer.

"A lot of people feel lonely and anxiety-ridden in the process," says Garber, whose firm has more than 300 human resources specialists in 55 industries that provide interview and career coaching via the online video service Skype.

* Know how to market yourself.

"When you lose a job, you find a new job: CEO of your brand," Garber says.

Figure out what makes you different and make sure you are able to articulate that to a prospective employer during an interview. Consider how your skills match the job, and what other experience you will offer the company.

* Know the company.

That means everything from their competitors to their fiscal health.

Ask smart questions so that you can demonstrate that you've done your homework.

"You're not competing against mediocre candidates," Garber says. "Everyone needs to up their game. Ask smart questions and show you have an interest in the company."

* Be prepared for basic questions, such as "Tell me about yourself."

Don't ramble, Garber says. If you're not sure how to answer a broad question, ask for specifics.

* Do not bad-mouth your former employer.

Even if you had a horrible experience, frame it in a positive light.

Other services also are available online to help you prepare for an interview. For instance, Glassdoor.com, an online workplace community, has launched a new feature that allows users to post interview questions from employers, such as Microsoft, Apple and several large financial institutions.

Workplace tidbit: Are you trying to earn some extra cash during this tight economy?

Some workers are resorting to some unusual ways to earn more money, according to a new survey by Careerbuilder.com, which asked more than 4,400 people to share some of their methods.

They include donating blood plasma; winning money on a game show; posing for an art class; giving people haircuts; working as a tarot card reader; and participating in university research studies.

What is the most unusual way you've tried to earn money?

Send your stories, tips and questions to working@baltsun.com. Please include your first name and your city.

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