Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fancy-Shmancy Interview Prep

When I’m looking for a job, I’m nervous about my resume, scared for my cover letter, and terrified of the interview. It’s easier for me to write a fancy-shmancy letter than it is to charm a potential employer. First impressions are key in job hunting, but there is such a thing as more than one first impression.

Writing an amazing cover letter and resume are important of course (I’ll touch on them in my next article), but it’s usually the interview that sets you apart from other candidates. Interviews aren’t as easy as some people might make them seem. Sure, it’s easier if you’re a people-person, but there’s a lot of preparation that goes into pulling off an interview successfully.
You should never go into an interview without having prior, thorough knowledge of the following:
-          Yourself: This might sound super cheesy (“know yourself…oOooOOOooo”), but it’s very important. The purpose of an interview is to market your skills and experience to a potential employer. It’s extremely difficult to do that if you don’t know how to articulate those facts beforehand.
-          The position you applied for: You will be expected to answer questions with information related to your position. There’s no point of going to an interview for a baker and talking about how well you can act; you’re going to sound unqualified, even if you can bake a mean cake.
-          The organization you applied for: People feel complimented if you remember subtle things from prior conversations you’ve had with them and bring those things up (e.g. the names of their kids, a trip they mentioned they were going to take). Businesses are no different. If you are able to reference information about the company when you are answering questions (e.g. competitors, organizational changes, outlook for the industry they are in), it will make you seem knowledgeable and a perfect fit for the organization.

There’s so much I can tell you about interviews, but for more information please refer to this AA&CC tipsheet: .

There are lists of questions, tips & strategies, and resources that might help you out. I wish you all success in your job hunt!

Speak to you soon,

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