Great tips for Controlling the Job Interview

Posted by cpoblog on October 10, 2011 in For the candidate... |

As per article in Men’s Health magazine (, Great tips for Controlling the Job Interview (20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition Nov. 2008):

You’re being evaluated before you open your mouth so use your time wisely!

Before a word is spoken, an interviewer will assess a new acquaintance and look for evidence to back that impression according to Gitte Lindgaard, Ph.D., of Ottawa’s Carleton University. A polished look helps you secure subconscious approval.

A limp handshake makes a worse impression on a prospective employer than body piercings, tattoos, or a crazy hair color, according to a 2006 survey of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. And a strong handshake can convey vitality, say researchers at the State University of New York, whose findings back the belief that grip strength may correlate to genetic fitness. Keep your wrist and forearm horizontal to maximize force. An inverted or rotated wrist diminishes grip strength.

Don’t worry if you feel you’re talking too little. In a seminal study, people who were eventually offered jobs spoke about 2 minutes less than their interviewers did. Use prompts – “Tell me about a problem your team recently faced” – so your interviewer has a chance to talk shop, and you can flash your problem-solving skills.

A typical interviewer can assess integrity with high accuracy in 10 minutes… tell the truth and resist “image-protecting behaviors,” according to a 2007 Journal of Applied Psychology study. Chances of success dropped by two-thirds when applicants omitted details, distanced themselves from failures, or hid embarrassing chapters. Omissions that surface later hurt double.

Interviewers may not remember your answers but the do remember how you answered. Be specific. “They’re looking for examples that indicate how you’ll function in the future,” says Carole Martin, the author of Boost Your Interview IQ. Come prepared with stories and examples that demonstrate leadership ability, communication skills, integrity, and proven performance that you can shoehorn into any answer.


Work Experience: Screeners may forgive up to 6 months of unemployment, a Harvard study shows. Don’t fudge dates, and use your cover letter to explain gaps. Fill jobless time with volunteer or temporary work.

Work experience and academic performance matter a lot to employers. But involvement in business and social organizations demonstrates leadership and can offset shortcomings, a study says.

Emphasize practical abilities such as communication, organization, and initiative-talking skills. One study found that resumes with accomplishment statements were more appealing to screeners.

1 Comment

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