Interviews. Sounds fairly easy, all you have to do is talk about what you’ve done and how that relates to the job opportunity. In fact, the interview is the hardest part of the job search process and the single largest reason why people don’t get the job. Yes, you must have a great resume with relevant experience, but can you interview? But interviewing is not just talking about yourself, it’s asking the right questions, giving the right answers and expressing yourself in the right way.
This post (part of CareerAlley’s Job Search Marketing Toolkit) focuses on the interview process, providing some links to advice and resources to help you nail that interview. What is clear from the links below is that the overall theme is consistent (without being repetitious).
Suggested Reading: Interview Like A Boss: The most talked about book in corporate America.
There are a few critical things you need to prepare in order to have a successful interview:
- Company Research: When you are asked “and what attracts you to XYZ Corp?” you must know the answer to the question. A lack of a basic understanding of the company will probably cost your the job. Employers not only want the right person for the job, they want someone who selected the company for specific reasons. You must do your research on the company before you interview. This will allow you to be proactive in the interview process.
- Study the Job Description: Spend time comparing the job description, specifically the skills and experience, to your resume. To the extent that your resume does not explicitly list the skills or experience, ensure you speak to these during the interview. Convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job because your experience and skills are a great match.
- Practice Questions: Read a list of common (and uncommon) interview questions and ensure you have thought of the answers. Leverage the Internet to see if you can find interview questions related to your industry. Most important, have a list of your own questions that you want to ask. You should have a list of twenty (don’t use all twenty) so that you have some spare questions in case the interviewer answers some of you questions before you get a chance to ask.
- Know Your Interviewer: It’s always helpful to know as much about your interviewer as you can. This will help you understand the interviewer’s education, experience and background. LinkedIn is a great source, but sometimes a focused Google search will provide some key information. Don’t bring up any information you may have found (like – “I see you were a swimmer in college:), this can be a bit creepy.
- Acing the Interview – Another article from our friends at About.com, this article provides an overview of what you need to do to “Ace the interview”. In addition to the basic steps, the article includes links to interview questions, company research (via About.com) and detailed responses. Following the article is an amazing list of additional resources including how to dress and additional related articles.
- How To Master Telephone Interviews – Telephone interviews have become more popular over the last few years and have almost become a standard “first” before the “in person” interview. The skills required for a telephone interview certainly overlap with the “in person” interview, but there are a number of things you may need to do differently. This article provides important points on the What, When and How of telephone interviews. There are advantages to a telephone interview, you can have materials available that would not be possible in an “in person” interview. This article covers what to have and what to do.
- Preparing for a Job Interview (like your future depends on it) – Another great article, WSJ does and excellent job of listing the important aspects of a job interview – questions, mock interviews, interview answers, attire and more. Take a look at the tips on the left hand side of the page as well.
- The Best Job Interview Advice – This article, from the timsstrategy.com blog, provides what you need to know about preparing for an interview. This is an excellent article and supports the overall process laid out in some of the other links listed above, the difference is that this article provides some additional insight and steps not included in other interview preparation articles. Best of all, download their Sip Strategy straight from the blog.
- Job Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts – Last, but not least, you do need to know what not to do (and reinforce “what to do”). This article, provided by Quintcareers.com, provides some points not covered in the other articles. Of course, it is a bit worrying if you have to be told “don’t chew gum”. The list is somewhat long, but the overall article is short. Don’t forget to check out some of the links embedded within the article as they provide additional support to the overall process.
Career Tip of the Day: How to Answer the Most Terrifying Job Interview Questions
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Good luck in your search,