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There is nothing more exhausting and challenging than the process of trying to find a job. It is time-consuming and sometimes overwhelming. Lots of ups and downs. Leads, the hope of an interview, and finally the ever-challenging interviewprocess. Interviews are, without a doubt, the hardest and most stressful part of any job search. We so often forget to put in the time and effort to properly prepare for our interview. Your interview is like the “final exam”, fail this and you will fail your job search.
As difficult and anxiety-inducing as interviews can be, making a good impression at an interview is a skill that can be developed, practiced, and honed to a point where you have the confidence to not only have a great interview but get the job offer as well.
There are some focus items that will help you ace your interview.
1. Practice Makes Perfect:
Instead of trembling in your house, waiting for the big interview, take every opportunity to interview that you can. Practice with friends and relatives. interview for jobs even if it’s for a job that you don’t necessarily want, nothing will give you interview experience like an actual interview. interview practice is one of the keys to success. See if a Recruiter will do a mock interview with you. You need to know how the process works, and you need to figure out what you do well and what needs some work.
2. Focus on Relevant Experience:
Let’s face it, the interviewer is only interested in one thing – can you do the job? Focus on relevant experience based on the job description. Also, discuss any pertinent projects or key achievements that seem relevant to the job description, information the interviewer has given you, or questions the interviewer has asked. The thing to remember is that no one has your specific experience, the interviewer is not a mind reader and no one can tell your story except for you. Before you go into your next interview, plot out the major points you know you will want to discuss, this includes meaningful experiences that have shaped you, your values, and your work ethic. People like stories and interviewers are no exceptions.
Nothing is worse than not knowing as much information as possible about the company where you are interviewing. Do as much research as possible and then work on adapting your “pitch” to fit the particular workplace philosophy of the job and company where you are interviewing. Also, find out as much as possible about your interviewer(s). LinkedIn is a good place to start. If the interview is as a result of a Recruiter, see how much information they can give you about the company and the individuals you will meet. If you can’t find specific information on the Internet, see which of your network connections can help. The more you know about who is interviewing you, the better your chances of succeeding.
Relevant questions are key (more on that in #5 below), but also very important to your decision process is understanding why the position is open. Some key questions are:
Is it a new role?
If a new role, why was it created, who does it report to, and who had these responsibilities previously?
Did the prior person quit (or get Fired)?
Does the role manage any individuals (and are any of them problematic)?
5. So Many Questions, So Little Time:
The theory is that, as the interviewee, you should try and control the pace and direction of the interview. In reality, that does not always work and, if it does, the interviewer is probably not going to be happy. Make sure you have an extensive list of relevant questions. The reason I say “extensive” is that many questions on your list might be answered by the interviewer(s) before you get a chance to ask them. Saying “You’ve answered all of my questions” before you’ve had a chance to ask one is not a winning strategy. Some of your questions should demonstrate that you’ve done your research on the company and the role.