© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
To prepare for a job interview that gets you the job you want, begin with the basics. Do you know what job you are being interviewed for? Not just the title, but the duties, the job description, and where that position fits into the department, the company and the industry? If you aren't sure, or if your answers are general and vague, you can prepare for a job interview by doing some research. Going online is a good place to start, though even more relevant answers are likely to be found from people who have worked in that position or for that company.
The second step to prepare for a job interview is to use this information to determine what the company is looking for. Specifically, what skills and experiences is the hiring manager interested in? Next, what kind of problems must the new worker solve and what actions must her or she take to be considered a success at the job? Once you have gotten this information straight in your mind, then you'll know the image you'll want to project at this interview. The next step is to determine how you are going to prove that you can solve the problems and accomplish the actions the company representative wants to hear about.
Ultimately, the best way to prepare for a job interview is to review in your mind situations and incidents when you solved the relevant problems or accomplished the desired actions at some point in your working life. Your job interview strategy is going to consist of waiting to be asked your opinion on work issues, or examples of your performance. That’s the perfect time to include this information. Use those questions as springboards for stories about your past successes. Ultimately, such examples are better ways to prove your suitability for the job than simply discussing your qualifications and experience in an abstract or general way. That's because concrete and specific examples of your skills in action are more vivid, more memorable and more believable than simply talking in generalizations. To many interviewers, listening to someone talk about his or her qualifications without giving any real-world background, often indicates the person is simply making it up as her or she goes along.
The last step to prepare for a job interview is to take care of all the physical and logistical details well ahead of time. Do you know exactly who you will be speaking with? Do you have your interview clothes cleaned, pressed and hanging up ready to wear? Do you have a map or good directions printed to make sure you get to the office on time? Once you arrive, make sure to give a firm handshake, smile, and let the interviewer lead the conversation. Take notes during the interview so that you can write a thank you note and follow up until a final hiring decision is made.
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