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Tips to Get to Round 2 of the Interview
Friday, January 13, 2012

Getting through an interview can feel like such a relief. Not only does it take many candidates a lot of trying and searching just to get a call back, but also preparing to seal the deal once you're in. Doing things right the first time is extremely critical in getting the job because it's determines whether you've peaked or lost the potential employer's initial interest.

For those lucky enough to the a call back after an interview, that often means that there's more to come. The reward, at this point, is so near yet just out of reach. Here are some tips on to how to reel in the job offer or second interview once you've gotten a bite:

1) Ask them what reasons they would not hire you for. Even though the interview may be coming to a close, make sure you don't lose any momentum. At the end of the conversation, ask them if there is anything about your background that might be of concern. This question gives them a chance to clear up some doubts you may be having.

2) Ask for homework. Let them take you for a test drive by doing some trial assignments. Show them your capabilities and that you'll be able to perform if hired. See if there are any job-related task you can do while they are still in the interviewing process as it will also help them not to rule you out so quickly. Plus, if you show them right off the bat that you're already willing to work before being hired, you may be saving them some time in doing any more interview. If you do well, you'll likely be getting paid to do it soon enough.

3) Play off the interviewer's manner. Just because you're in an interview trying to make the best impression you don't have to turn into a robot. Imagine you're having a casual conversation with a stranger in any other setting. The interviewer wants to get to know you, not your nerves, so try not to act like you're under interrogation. See how they're acting and mimic their attitude. Pace yourself on their speed.

4) Relax, but don't sit back. You want to lean in and sit slightly forward to show them that you're attentively listening; that it's not just going in one ear and out the other. Slouching and leaning back sends the message that you're unconcerned. When comes to competition for a position, every once of obvious interest matters.

5) Use props. An interview can be treated almost like a show and tell. Even if not required, don't hestitate to bring a portfolio or some example of accomplishments that illustrate your best work. Interviewers like to see that the candidate has put some thought and extra effort into it. Or, if you see something impressive done by a competitor, bring that in and critique it. You'll prove to the interviewer you know what you're doing and how you think. Sometimes a prop can even calm jittery nerves.
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