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Job Interview Skills

How to Prepare for an Job Interview

In this stage of the interview process you should spend a great deal of time preparing yourself both mentally and physically for an interview. A great deal of work goes into this stage. During this stage your research skills, memorization skills, and ability to mentally conquer the interview hurdle to gaining employment will be put to the test. The following necessary preparations should be taken before the day of the interview:

Research the Company/ Organization
In today’s Internet savvy culture it is no longer acceptable to just “show up” for an interview. All companies/organizations large and small have websites which allow you to become acquainted with the organization. Entering the interview you should be able to discuss the history of the company, key competitors and define how the company performs in comparison to its competition.

Catalog Your Skills
Whether or not we believe we are talented we all have hundreds of skills that we utilize daily. When you catalog your skills you are simply listing those skills that you possess which are necessary to succeed in the job for which you are now interviewing. If properly reviewed before the interview, being able to discuss these skills in greater detail with the interviewer provides you with an outstanding opportunity to convey these skills to the interviewer with seeming ease.

Prepare a Few Questions
Asking well thought out questions puts you above the rest of the applicants with similar skill sets. A good question will demonstrate to your prospective employer that you have done your homework researched the company and are interested in learning how the company can help you meet your long and short term career goals.

Plan to ask questions about internal career development, recent news articles about the organization, the stability of the position for which you are applying etc. You should never ask questions regarding salary, vacation time, or sick leave.

Prepare a 60-second Personal Statement
Preparing this statement allows you to answer the “tell me a little bit about yourself question.” In this statement you should focus on trying to sell your prior work/life/educational experiences to your employer without even mentioning how these experiences relate to the position.

Write Down 5 Success Stories
Writing down 5 success stories allows you to be prepared to better answer behavioral interview questions when they arise. (Behavioral Interview Questions will be discussed later in the booklet.)

Research Salary Data
To ensure you have a realistic idea of salary ranges go to www.salary.com to see what the average salary should be for your position. This will help you better prepare to answer the question: “What starting salary are you looking for?” should the interviewer bring it up.

Rehearse or Practice
Rehearsing or Practicing not only involves reviewing what you have physically prepared for the interview, it also involves practicing your facial expressions, eye contact, handshake and body language. This stage is very important because the better prepared you are for the interview the more relaxed you will be.

During this stage it is important to reassure yourself that you are as mentally prepared as you will ever be for the interview. Try to make yourself feel as comfortable as possible with the idea of going on the interview. Studies show that interviewees that are more relaxed and conversational during an interview have a greater success rate of securing the position.

Motivate Yourself
A lot of times people are upset after losing a job and have a difficult time preparing themselves to reenter the work force after a layoff or an extended period of being unemployed. It is during these times that it is important for the person preparing for the interview to remember that “when one door closes, another opens.”

Realize Your Salary Requirements
In your physical research you found out the likely “ballpark” salary for the position. Prior to the interview you need to become comfortable with that starting salary.

Be Able to Answer the Most Common Interview Questions
These questions and answers will be discussed later in the booklet.


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