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The Five Goals of an Effective Job Interview

From the beginning to the end of your session, your interviewer has one primary goal in mind: finding a new employee who will excel at this particular job. This goal might be broken down into sub-goals that you know nothing about, for example: finding someone who won't be intimidated by Sally, or finding somebody who can organize the 10 confusing new project contracts that will be starting next year, or finding somebody who will be willing to come in and clean out a set of smelly grease traps at three in the morning. But all of these goals can be gathered under one umbrella: identify that ideal employee in a giant stack of resumes.

You, on the other hand, have not one goal, but five. And you'll need to tackle each of the five in order to land the job. Here are those goals.

1. Look the Part

You'll need to look sharp. That's a given. But specifically, you'll need to look like the person your interviewer is searching for. Since you can't read her mind, you'll have to get as close as you can by using your imagination, putting yourself in her shoes, and reviewing everything you know about what a competent (insert your job title here) should look like. Choose your ensemble carefully and make sure every detail is clean, lint free, well-fitting, new-looking, and comfortable.

2. Gain Trust

Nobody wants to hire a candidate who seems be hiding something, who seems ashamed, confused, or unstable. So counter each one of those. Be open and talkative, comfortable in your own skin, on top of the situation, and so steady that total strangers would instinctively turn to you for guidance if the building suddenly caught on fire. When you start talking, make sure your words contribute to this impression. You know what you're talking about, and you have something valuable to say. So say it.

3. Inspire Excitement

Trust is a good first step, but it isn't quite enough to get you across the finish line. Your interviewer should look at you and see into the future, and the vision she sees should involve exiting new possibilities for the company. If she's picturing the growth that will take place in the new division, or the light that will spring into her client's eyes when they engage with you, or a complex, depressing problem that will magically unravel as soon as it's placed in your hands, then you're on the right track.

4. Open Up & Make a Connection

If you like meeting new people, and you leave every social gathering with a few new friends, then there's no reason why this shouldn't happen during your job interview. Follow all the regular rules associated with meeting someone: show respect and interest, find common ground, ask questions, open up and share information about yourself, be kind, and be positive.

5. Close the Deal

Don't leave without delivering your elevator pitch—the 30-second speech you've prepared to explain exactly why you're perfect for this job. If the right opportunity doesn't arise organically during your conversation, then simply take the stage and deliver your speech when your interviewer decides to wrap up the meeting. Leave her with this final impression.

Great Interviews Start with Great Resumes

Your interview won't reach its full potential until you've met the five goals above. But you can't start tackling these goals until you receive an invitation in the first place, which will require a strong resume. Visit MyPerfectResume today and start the process from square one.

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