Key Points to Remember During a Job Interview

By: Phil Baldwin – CEO/Owner of RDI

Are you looking for a job and need one as quick as possible?

Good news! You should be very excited about the potential positions that are waiting out there to be filled.

In 2018, an article by Jeff Cox of MSNBC stated that “There are more jobs than people out of work, something the American economy has never experienced before. The jobs market had reached what should be some kind of an inflection point; there are now more openings than there are workers”.

If you are entering the job market for the first time understand that the timing is right. Some real opportunities are waiting for you based on your level of expertise, training, or education. You should be prepared, possibly for a long haul; it could be a challenging, tedious life experience, requiring some fortitude and determination.

Finding the job that’s right for you is normally not an easy journey. First, you will need to be prepared, show up in person, dressed appropriately, and ready to start work immediately if asked to. Being in person, confident, ready & eager to work will solidify your sincerity and desire to be chosen for the available position. There will always be competition, including many who are unemployed, for any position and you will need to look better, smile brighter, and communicate more effectively than anyone, standing out above the crowd, convincing potential employers that you are a qualified leader, not a follower. You must convey that you are doer, that you have the qualifications and determination to be a custom fit for the position.

Key Points to Remember during an interview:

1. Be Prepared, Be Rehearsed, But Be Yourself.
Representing yourself as someone that is not who you really are can come back to haunt you in time. Employers are very astute; working with them will provide them with a good representation of who you are as a potential employee.

2. Be Honest
Keep your answers complete and to the point and do not attempt to over verbalize your answer, this can negatively affect the outcome of your interview. Keep in mind, that employers do not come to trust employees until they ascertain that you are a person of excellent character. Honesty is always the best policy. It increases your value as an employee and can provide your career with longevity. It is one of a number of things that can earn you bigger rewards and expressions of gratitude which could help you climb the corporate ladder.

3. Display Confidence
Explain your confidence; why you feel that you can do the job and do it well. Be ready to provide examples of challenges that you overcame and why. Be prepared to divulge your previous work history including dates, previous supervisors, and challenges. Communicate your reasoning in how you came up with the best solution to solve the challenge.

4. Be Polite & Respectful
This will earn you high marks during the interview. Never call an interviewer by their first name unless previously requested. Make sure to use proper titles such as Sir, Mr, Miss, Ms, Mrs, or Madam in the conversation. Initiate a handshake with your introduction as well as your exit as it will display a measure of professionalism that most definitely will be noted. Be prepared to pronounce the names of the person or persons interviewing you. Planning and preparations will help you succeed and keep you from failure, but it does take work.

5. Know the Position That You Are Applying For And Be Willing To Discuss It In Detail
Impress your interviewers buy verbalizing your understanding of the position that you are applying for. This one point can put you ahead of the game if you make a good effort in communicating that you are aware of the ends and outs of that job and what it requires, during the interview.

Be ready to feel tested and rejected as it is part of the process. There will be a learning curve until you become polished and confident during an interview.

6. You Could Be Tested Academically
Interviewers will ask for your academic records so be prepared to have them with you; be sure you make copies in advance.

Various employers will test you to see if you possess the qualifications that they are looking for. If you went to school to learn a trade you will need to provide your certifications and degrees. If you had received any awards or honors you will want to present those in hard copy form with your resumes.

7. You Could Be Tested For Drugs Or Alcohol
This type of drug test is known as a Pre-Employment Drug Test. As a part of the application process, these drug tests are normally administered by employers as a contingency of an employment offer. Pre-employment drug tests are given based on state laws, company policies, and drug-free workplace policies.

What do Pre-Employment Drug Tests Normally Test For?

Basic drugs. Drugs that are most commonly abused in our society, for example, Marijuana, Opiates, Cocaine, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, or PCP.

  • Marijuana (Pot, Weed, Cannabinoids, Hash)
  • Opiates (Codeine, Heroin, Morphine, Opium)
  • Cocaine (Crack, Coke)
  • Amphetamines – Methamphetamines (Speed, White Cross Ecstasy, Meth)
  • Phencyclidine (Angel Dust, PCP)

For more drug terms and slang names see our Drug Abbreviations List

Since the opioid crisis and the problem of overprescribed or illegally acquired pharmaceutical drugs, employers are now adding to the list of drugs that they want to test for. So it is possible that you could be tested from 5 drugs or up to 15 drugs depending on the employers’ needs or wishes. You will want to list every drug that you had a prescription for. Make sure to take time and not forget about any prescriptions that you have recently taken; you should look back at least 90 days.

Why Are Pre-Employment Drug Test Given?

Employer drug testing is an attempt to create a drug-free workplace which can be very important in creating a safer work environment as well as a more productive workforce. Drug testing has been proven to save company funds and help to lower insurance costs.

What Will Happen If I Fail A Pre-Employment Drug Test?

You will not be hired. Failing the drug test will result in your name being removed as a candidate. Keep in mind that your test results will be kept private and will not be displayed on any public record that could be seen by future employers. This is due to the fact that drug test results are protected by both state and federal law. This is not the case if you are being tested by the Department of Transportation as a D.O.T. test. D.O.T. drug test results will be kept by the employer for a minimum of three years and will be passed on to any future employers that request those records.

If you have worked hard in school to make good grades for a great future job, stay away from anything that could hinder your success in the future.