© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
The first job interview advice that anyone can give you is simple: Be yourself. Trying to pass yourself off as someone with a personality and skill sets significantly different from your own is an endeavor that is destined to fail, either in the interview or on the job—if you do win the position. Being true to yourself, however, doesn't mean winging it and not preparing ahead of time. As a matter of fact, the more you prepare, the more confident you become and the more authentic. When you have done your homework already, and covered all your bases, you are able to focus on responding in the moment, and you'll be more comfortable. The result is a better and more realistic experience during the interview.
The second piece of job interview advice is to do your research on the company before you sit down across from the hiring manager. You should not go into an interview before you know the basics of the company, its products or services, what the department you are interviewing for does, and what role you'd play in the position you are interviewing for. In addition, you should know what results are expected of someone in order to be considered a success in the position. All of this information can be found if you ware willing to look hard enough, whether online, in trade magazines or by talking to people who currently work for or formerly worked for the company. Other pieces of information are contained in the job description of the position and the advertisement for it.
The third piece of job interview advice is to compare what the target company is looking for to your own job experience and characteristics. What attributes and achievements of yours demonstrate the qualities the target position requires? Your job interview preparation will consist of finding ways to link those two bodies of knowledge together in a plausible and convincing way in your own mind. The days are over when interviewers would talk to you about these characteristics and qualities in the abstract. Employers have learned that people tend to say what they believe the interviewer wants to hear, and are willing to claim experiences that don't have a basis in reality. As a result, employers today demand proof in the form of past behavior.
The fourth piece of job interview advice is to remember and write down some examples of desired behavior. The idea is to have your examples already developed and ready to work into your job interview answers at the appropriate time. Though it's hardly worth your time to write out these potential answers fully and memorize them word for word, it certainly cannot hurt to create a short, bullet point version of these responses and familiarize yourself with the most pertinent points. If you've done your research well, you should be able to guess the kinds of skills and characteristics the employer will focus in on with enough precision to put in an excellent showing. This performance, combined with your professional appearance and punctual arrival should go a long way towards making the good impression you want to make.
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