Don’t Make Assumptions

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This is a good piece of advice to follow in life, but it also has a special place in an  interview setting.  You want to be viewed as someone who understands what is necessary  and can deliver the expected results – more than just in the interview room – and making assumptions will not guarantee you will be viewed like this.

The easiest and best way to avoid assumptions is to ask for clarification.  If a question is
asked that is ambiguous or you really aren’t sure what they mean, ask them to explain it
to you.  Sometimes, without meaning to, an interviewer will use company jargon or
acronyms in a question or in conversation.  You can respond by saying, “I’m sorry, I’m
not familiar with that term, could you explain it to me please?”  Not only will this show
that you are paying attention but it will also demonstrate that you have an interest in the
company and what they are about.

When you are answering a question and you need to include company specific
terminology, be sure to explain what you mean.  In addition, you cannot assume that your
interviewer will know what you are talking about either.  Take a moment to either set up
your answer with the required information to understand what you are talking about or
pause and explain certain phrases or words.  Better yet, if you can use common terms in
the place of company specific ones, it is the preferable way to go.

Lastly, don’t assume that the job is in the bag.  No matter how confident you are that you
are the most qualified person for the position – it isn’t yours until you have received a job
offer.  Make the best impression you have and keep the mindset that you are still
competing for the job and sell yourself accordingly.

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