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- Understanding interview formats
- Anticipating questions and preparing answers
- Researching potential employers
- Establishing good body language in the interview
- Reviewing your performance
- Answering questions using the Situation-Action-Result method
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Although you have prepared well for the interview and enter confidently, there are uncomfortable situations that can turn into a bad interview. A common situation you might encounter is drawing a blank to a question you're asked. In this case you'll want to ask for a minute to think. This will allow you the opportunity to collect your thoughts and answer effectively. If you've prepared well, the more common situation you'll run into is facing a bad interviewer. A bad interviewer might be unfocused, disinterested, and unprepared.
If this is the case, you'll want to take charge and say something like, here is the most recent copy of my resume, let me tell you about some highlights. This allows you to focus on your strong points as they pertain to the position. A bad interviewer may also dominate the interview by doing all the talking. In this situation you'll want to be an attentive listener and take notes. If you want to break into the conversation, lean forward and try to get your message across. If that doesn't work, they will eventually ask you if you have any questions.
This is where the questions you've prepared will show your critical thinking skills and match for the job. A bad interviewer might also ask inappropriate and illegal questions. In the U.S., this can be personal questions about age, ethnic background, or religion. In most cases the interviewer is not aware that the question is illegal, so it will be up to you on how to handle it. You'll want to think through what they are asking for and then rephrase it so it is appropriate.
For instance, the illegal question would be, "What is your native tongue?" You would rephrase to, "I can fluently speak English, Spanish, and Chinese." If the question is truly offensive, you should state, "This is a question that I haven't gotten before, why do you ask?" If you aren't familiar with what types of questions might be illegal, then check with your local laws. In the U.S. you can find this information at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.
Remember, it's not always your fault if things don't work out. You should give your best shot in each interview, even if things go bad. In the next movie, we'll discuss the importance and perception of body language.