Simple steps improve your chances for landing a job

Published 1:59 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Whether you’re interviewing for a first job or a fifth job, there are a few simple tips that can help you ace your way through it.

To start with, unless you’re interviewing for a creative job, keep your resume simple and to the point. Include the basics and any major accomplishments worth noting, but make sure it’s in an easy-to-read format on no more than two pages.

Next up, when preparing for your interview, research the company and any specifics that may be relevant to the position you are trying to obtain. For example, if you’re interviewing for an event-planning position, try to find out all the details you can about the events the company currently holds; are they fundraisers or just events? Where are they? How many people attend? What companies support or attend the event?

If you’re interviewing for an accounting position, research as much of the company’s financial information as possible.

Another key to a successful interview is preparing for the questions that could possibly be asked. Most interviewers always ask some of the same basic questions, such as what are your strengths and weaknesses, what is something in your career you have been most proud of, where do you see yourself in five years, what would your current employer say about you and situational questions such as, if “this” happened how would you handle the situation.

While in your interview, try not to be fidgety and always make eye contact. Be confident but don’t over do it.

About a year ago I had the opportunity to interview a 24-year-old fresh out of college gentleman who put his hands behind his head, kicked back in his chair and told me that he knew in five years he would be the executive director of a non-profit.

He was interviewing for a coordinator position and, needless to say, his overly confident attitude did not get him the job.

Most importantly, be yourself, dress appropriately and be on time. After the interview send a hand-written thank-you note to everyone that interviewed you. Using these tips will not guarantee you securing the position, but they will make you a more likely candidate and more comfortable about the interview process.

Kelli Keith is director of marketing and development for Easter Seals of the Birmingham area. You can reach her at 314-2187.