You've perfected your resume, made the contacts, written the cover letter, and landed the all-important interview. The work has just begun. Many applicants overlook interview preparation, and in turn, they are overlooked by potential employers. Individuals must prepare for the interview so that their accomplishments are highlighted and all surprise questions have a self-assured response.
First, plan to insert selling points about yourself into the flow of conversation. You can do this while you are answering the interviewer's questions. You can learn to use their questions as launching pads for your own personal presentation. Selling yourself means you must be confident in who you are and what you have to offer.
An extremely important element in the interviewing process is chemistry, or building a relationship with the interviewer. Employers are looking for credible, professional people who not only have the skills and abilities for the job, but fit in the organization. What is the key characteristic here? Be yourself. The interviewer, especially if experienced at it, will be able to size you up in the first 10 minutes. The rest of the time is spent asking questions that reinforce that intuitive hunch.
You need to anticipate every question and formulate the answer to each one. Then practice working in your answers to the things you want to get across.
Make a list of 10 questions you absolutely do not want to answer. Then figure out how to answer them to your advantage. Turn the unexpected into the expected.
Here are a few questions typically asked by interviewers in the initial interview. Again, be prepared to answer them: What motivated you to send a resume to our company? Why are you leaving your current employer (or if not working, why are you not working now)? How did you learn about this job opening? What do you know about our organization?
You'd be surprised how many applicants stutter and stumble through these ice-breaker questions.
Review your resume carefully before the interview. If you don't, you may be caught short when asked to comment on it. For instance, you may be asked to detail merits you have listed.
Interviewing success depends on your preparation and confidence in your qualifications. Evaluate your selling points, practice responses and be sure to rehearse. Then you're ready to take the stage.