© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
For most job candidates, the first job interview is the only job interview. The target company uses the resume to screen out the people who have no qualifications for the position, then turns to the first job interview as a way of seeing which of the technically qualified candidates have the personal and professional characteristics the company needs to fill the open position. Only those who could conceivably take the slot make it to the second interview. As a result, job seekers should prepare themselves for the first job interview by learning as much as they can about what the company is looking for, not only in terms of technical job expertise but also the more intangible factors such as attitude, commitment, and integrity.
A good place to start doing research for the first job interview is in the job description. This document gives the candidate a brief and concise summary of the technical characteristics the company needs, and the duties new employee would be responsible for performing. Basically, by reading the job description of what the target company is responsible for, the candidate should ask himself or herself if he can do those things. That information will be among the kinds of questions the interviewer will ask––in order to see if the candidate can do the job for which he or she is applying. If the candidate satisfactorily answers these questions, then the next set of questions will be to determine if the candidate has the personal characteristics the company promotes that lead to success.
To get an idea of the personal and leadership qualities the first job interview will cover, the candidate may need to move beyond the job description. A bit of research in the trade presses, Internet bogs and social networking can all shed light on what kind of person the company seems to attract and reward. When you have a good idea of the profile the company is looking for, the next step is to take your job and personal experience and apply it to this profile in a convincing way. Compile a list of experiences, successes, and actions that exemplify how you have displayed the required characteristics and skills so far.
In a first job interview, seek every chance to turn questions about your skills, desires, experience and characteristics into a chance to talk about how you have accomplished success in your current or past workplace. Relating abstract concepts like your job performance to tangible results and successes goes a long way towards creating credibility and specificity. If you can consistently do this, show up on time, make eye contact, give a firm handshake, let the interviewer initially steer the conversation and remain engaged with the interviewer, then you should do very well in your first job interview. Afterwards, take some quick notes about the interview and send a thank you note, plus some extra bit of information about the subjects you covered and you should make a great first impression that would lead to a second interview.
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