Connie’s Career Corner: Live and Learn



“Live and Learn”


Tip for the day:  The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is today.

Q:  Dear Connie:  I have an interview coming up, and I am extremely nervous because I have not had one in twenty years. Do you have any good tips for me?

A:   Dear Nervous:  First, take a deep breath and relax. If you come into an interview feeling nervous and afraid, it will often be reflected in your answers. The best defense is a good offense – prepare and practice your answers as much as possible before the interview so that you will go in feeling more confident.


You also need to keep in mind that it is often not what you say that is important, but what the interviewer hears.  If you tell the employer how much you disliked your former employer, the interviewer may actually be hearing that you are negative and angry. If you complain that you could not get along with certain co-workers, the interviewer may be hearing that you are not a team player and cannot get along with others.  Imagine how you would respond to certain answers if you were the one conducting the interview and tailor your answers from that perspective.


“Can you tell me about yourself?” is one of the hardest questions to answer because many job candidates immediately start talking about their personal lives. When you are interviewing, remember not to get too personal with your answers. Although you may be proud of your grandchildren, the interviewer probably could care less.  The better approach to this type of question is to speak of your career and professional milestones and skip stories about your personal life.


You may want to consider setting up a mock interview with someone who is experienced in interviewing. That person can ask you common interview questions and give you feedback about what areas you need to work on. This will also make you feel more relaxed because you will now have some interviewing experience under your belt. You may also want this person to critique your body language in order to ensure that you are not sending negative signals to the interviewer.


Finally, remember that each interview is a learning experience. If you make a mistake, just be sure not to repeat it the next time you interview.  Interviewing is like a sport, the more you practice at it, the better you will become.


Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to

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