From our intricate and extensive marketing across the country, we’re pleased to share this result of the first EMS economic survey: people seem to be getting more opportunities to interview for new positions.

Hopefully, this is a sign that the job market is starting to loosen up. Realistically, it’s a sign that we should write about job interviewing techniques that have worked successfully for our clients.

Approach a job interview as you would a one-on-one presentation. Start with advance preparation, where a little EFFORT makes all the difference. Then, on game day, stick to The Fundamentals: eye contact, gestures, pauses and energy are all critical.

Plan content. We know someone wants to ask this: how can I practice if I don’t know the interview questions? Take it from EMS: most interview questions are softballs (Tell us a bit about yourself…). Know what you want to say before you ever walk into the room. We recommend arming yourself with a few well-practiced examples:

  • A story of a work situation that demonstrates your skills and abilities.
  • Your thoughts on the industry or the position that show off your expertise.
  • A short synopsis on how your background qualifies you for the position.
  • A non-work experience that shows off your personality, style or strengths.
  • A specific example of how you’ve worked to improve your skills, overcome a weakness, or upgrade your talent.

POW! Prepare a few POW! statements, short thoughts that make big impressions. If it doesn’t feel appropriate to start your interview with one, wait for opportunities to share a statistic, a quote, an anecdote or an example that helps make you sound memorable and qualified.

Anticipate questions. What are the toughest questions that someone will ask about? Prepare your response to a question about a time lapse on your resume, or one about why you left the ABC Company after six months.

Ask questions. Remember that you are interviewing employers just as they are interviewing you. Make sure your questions are more substantial than “How much vacation will I get?” and “Will I get a car allowance?” Ask questions that demonstrate your insight into the industry, the position or the company, such as: Why did this company drop that redesigned product line? How has the growth of Company Y affected this business? What role does the account manager play on your team?

Speak with confidence. You can’t completely eliminate qualifiers (if, think, hope…) or personal pronouns (I, me, my) during an interview, but do limit them. Don’t say “If I was hired, I would be an effective leader, I’d be a great team player, and I’d work hard.” Instead, be positive and focus on the company: “With me in this role, XYZ Company will get a proven leader, one who is a team player and who will work hard to get the job done.”

Multiple interviewers? If you’re meeting with more than one individual, be sure to connect with everyone at the table, even if only one is asking questions. Use eye contact: not shifty-eyed back and forth, but focused eye contact that stays with one person for a complete thought. And don’t forget to reach out to the person who comes in late or at the end-for all you know, that may be the final decision maker!

Wrap up. Take a moment to summarize why you’re the right person for the position. Look everyone in the eye to let them know that you’re looking forward to working with them. Remember that POW! statement? Use it again at the end.