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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Coppola

Tips for Success in Job Interviews and How to Present Yourself Well

Interview tips for success

There is a strong correlation between how much the interviewer likes the interviewee and whether or not they get the job. What is always remembered is the impression that the candidate made on the interviewer.

In summary:

  • Be articulate.

  • Demonstrate confidence.

  • Avoid "yes" or "no" responses.

  • Show enthusiasm.

  • Respond to nonverbal cues such as nodding and smiling.

  • Avoid excessive mannerisms and fidgeting.

  • Avoid bringing up negative information about past job experiences, co-workers, or former employers.

  • Always present the best of your background or qualifications

Before Hand

The first step in your preparation is to identify your skills, interests, and career goals before you arrive at the interview. A comfortable self-knowledge will help you answer the interviewer's questions about your goals and desired direction within that organization.

The next step is to study your prospective employer

Before hand

Research the hospital and what achievements they have made in medicine and for the community.

At reception

Arrive 15 minutes early and wait at the front reception, do not sit down, even if asked to as this shows the prospective employer when they come in to greet you that you are ready and waiting, and also it stops the receptionist from forgetting about you. Stand with hand in hand behind your back and slowly rock back and forth on your feet. This shows a confident and controlled attitude.

Upon entry

When the person comes to greet you and shakes your hand, put your briefcase down and shake their hand. While shaking their hand maintain eye contact and smile. Repeat their name back to them in the course of the handshake. If they ask you if you would like a glass of water say yes, as this makes way for further action. Walk into the office at the same pace as them.

The approach

Try not to walk slowly as this conveys that you have plenty of time or have nothing else better. Pick up the pace in your walking and also when you initially talk to them as this shows further confidence and readiness.

Sitting down

Wait until they sit down for you to than sit. If your chair is seated directly opposite them, try and turn it away 45 degrees from the person to avoid being stuck in the ‘reprimand’ position. If you cannot angle the chair, angle your body instead. This leads to building rapport.

Your gestures

People who are cool, calm, collected and in control of their emotions use clear, uncomplicated, deliberate movements. High status individuals use fewer gestures than low status individuals. Mirror the other person’s gestures and expressions when appropriate.


Try to keep a good discount away from the other person so that you are not entering into their personal space.


Pack your things calmly and deliberately, do not rush at the end. Shake hands and thank each interviewer individually by saying their name and smiling at each person.

In answering questions, pause to give yourself time to compose an answer that is concise and thoughtful.

If you feel that they did not hear or understand you properly the first time, repeat what you said in different words.

If the interviewer asks you a question, it is good to repeat what whey said but in your own words. This not only confirms what they are asking you, but it also proves to the interviewer that you are listening.

The interviewer may give you the first sign that the interview is coming to a close when he or she asks if you have any further questions. At this point, you should ask questions that will reflect both the insight you've gained from the interview and your professional values. Be careful not to ask something the interviewer answered earlier, although this is the perfect time to ask for clarification on anything you're not sure you understood.

Thank the interviewer, shake hands, and make your exit. On the way out, thank the secretary or receptionist.

Promptly send a thank-you letter.

Your job may require some deal of stress in which you need to be able to not only answer this question, but do so convincingly.

Most importantly you need to be confident in yourself that you can handle stress or not. So, if you can handle it, and are expecting the question, you should not let a moment skip before you respond with a strong, “I work extremely well in all situations, and am a master at dealing with stressful circumstances.”

The next step is to demonstrate how you are a master at dealing with stress by having a anecdote — a story — that shows your competence and ease with managing stress. Provide details so that the interviewer gets the whole picture.

Finally, one other way employers test the stress quotient of job-seekers is through the use of a stress interview, where there are often multiple interruptions and tough questions that are designed to see how well you can handle stress (especially when you may already be nervous about the interview).

Always take the time to answer a question, if you take a sip of water this buys you a couple extra seconds of time to answer the question.

Also do not be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question, if they are trying to catch you off guard by asking a number of difficult questions, it stops them and puts them on to a tangent in which they need to repeat what they just said in other words.

Keep in mind that the two most important concerns of the interviewer are:

1 – Do you have the ability to do the job? 2 – Can we stand to have you around while you do it?

Common Interviewing Questions

1 – Tell me about yourself. This seems to be an innocent enough question. But be aware that Interviewers often ask this as an invitation for you to share your life story or personal information. Interviewers often want to know personal details like your age and marital status. So this question often elicits background information such as when you graduated high school or college, your marital status, number of children, etc. When you hear the tell-me-about-yourself question, think of how you can answer with details about your prior work experience, abilities and professional accomplishments that will fit this job.

2 – What else should I know about you? If the "tell-me-about-yourself" question doesn’t prompt you to reveal personal statements, later in the interview (when you have been lulled into complacency), the interviewer often asks this question. Reiterate why you are the best fit for the job. No personal info is required. It’s up to you what private details you reveal. 3 – Why should we hire you? Talk about a job where you used skills you believe will be necessary in this job. Point out how your skills or experience meet the needs of the organization.

You can say, “Because I am the best candidate for the job,” as long as you add the reasons that make you the best candidate. Be confident and enthusiastic and emphasize several reasons why you should be hired. “I’ve got extensive experience in (whatever) with the specific skills you are looking for. I’m a fast learner who has learned to adapt quickly to change …” Give examples to back up your statements that demonstrate your unique qualifications.

4 – What are your weaknesses? One/ of the secrets to answering this question is being honest about a weakness, but at the same time, demonstrating how you have turned it into a strength. For example, if you had a problem organizing your work in the past, demonstrate the steps you took to more effectively keep yourself on track. This will show that you have the ability to recognize aspects of yourself that need improvement, and the initiative to improve.

Do not say, “I don’t have any weaknesses,” or “I am a bit of a perfectionist.” Those answers will turn off interviewers. They know the first is probably untrue and the second is impossible. Being a little bit of a perfectionist is like being a little bit of a liar. Better to use a weakness that is really something you are trying to learn like a foreign language or a new software program. Make sure that any weakness you talk about is not a key element of the position.

5 – What is your greatest strength? This is your opportunity to highlight your best skills. Focus on your top three or four. Examples would be: “my leadership skills, problem-solving ability, team-building skills, interpersonal skills, ability to work under pressure, professional expertise, ability to resolve conflict” and so on. Be prepared to offer examples for each skill you mention.

9 – Where do you see yourself five years from now? If you say, “In your job,” you have shot yourself in the foot. Interviewers ask this question because they want to hire people who are focused on specific professional goals. Vague works best. “In five years I expect to have more responsibility and new, exciting challenges.”

Do not indicate that you hope to start your own business, change careers, or go back to school. Such responses indicate a lack of long-term interest in the organization. Keep in mind that throughout the interview, the interviewer is trying to discover if you are a good fit and can make a positive contribution in the job.

10 – Why do you want to work here? “Because you have a job,” won’t win any points for you. Instead, use this question to talk about what you know about the company, and how your background and experience relate to issues they may have. This shows the interviewer that you have done your homework and at the same time, gives you another opportunity to show how your qualifications and experience match the job. “What I can bring to this job is six years experience and knowledge of the industry, plus my ability to build and sustain patient relationships …”

11 – Why did you leave your last job? If you lost your last job because of downsizing, restructuring, the company closing, etc., say: “I didn’t leave my last job. My job left me.”

If you left on your own accord, do not say anything negative about your former company, boss, or co-workers. You might say: “There were many aspects of my job that were rewarding but I believe this new position will give me the opportunity to contribute even more.”

12 – What did you dislike most about your last job? If you loved your last job, say: “What I dislike most is that it ended.” If you didn’t love your last job, do not say anything negative. Instead, use a variation of the statement: “There were many aspects of my job that were rewarding.”

13 – What is a weakness you still have? A negative question again. Repeat a “weakness” you may have used earlier that indicates how you are working to learn something new.

18 – What salary are you looking for? Negotiating salary can be a minefield if you aren’t prepared. This strategy is an excerpt: “Do not disclose your salary history or the salary you are seeking. Instead, ask: ‘What is the range for this position?' You focus continuously on asking for the range, not the salary. When you disclose, you lose the power of negotiation.”

Behavioral Interviewing Questions

Behavioral interviewing focuses on the candidate’s actions and behaviors and therefore minimizes the personal impressions that can affect hiring choices. This style of interviewing is based on the premise that the best, most effective way to predict your future behavior is to determine your past behavior.

These questions ask about what you have done in previous jobs, not what you would do. You will know it is a behavioral question when the past tense is used. “What did you do … Tell me about how you handled … Describe a time when …”

19 – Describe a problem situation and how you solved it. If you had responsibility in your previous jobs, you can describe a work situation where you were responsible for turning it around. If you do not have professional experience, describe something like prioritizing your schedule and making to-do lists to give you enough time to study. Regardless of the issue involved, you demonstrate that you can think critically and develop a solution.

20 – Describe how you handled a stressful situation in the past. Give an example of how you used your problem-solving or decision-making skills to reduce stress. An example might be that you learned the value of a time-out for both yourself and your staff. Or if it’s true, how you actually seem to work better under pressure and deadlines.

21 – Tell me what has been your greatest work-related accomplishment? Choose an example that was important to you and also helped your company. Give specific details about what you did, how you did it, and what the results were. Talk about an accomplishment that relates to the position you are seeking. Interviewers like to hear about accomplishments that reduced expenses, raised revenue, solved problems or enhanced a company’s reputation.

22 – How did you keep current and informed about your job/industry? The interviewer is concerned that once you get the job will you continue to learn and grow? You could say, “I stay on top of what is happening in my industry by reading newspapers, magazines and journals. I am a member of several professional organizations and continually network with colleagues at the meetings. Whenever possible I take classes and attend seminars that offer new information or technology.”

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