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Top 7 Tips to Be Sure You Are Prepared for Your Professional Job Interview
By Pam Jonsson
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Job interviews are tough. Intelligent preparation will lower your job interview anxiety, and will help you feel in control of the situation. This will, in turn, make your job interviews much more successful and productive. But how should you prepare? How much should you prepare? What should you prepare? These 7 tips will assure both your readiness and confidence at the job interview.
- Be sure to do your research.
Know the industry, in particular recent trends. Know the company. Visit their website and make a thorough analysis of their products or services. Find any information you can on their objectives, mission and vision statements, strategic growth plan, their general policies and special projects. Look up the career history and professional background of the executives in the company. Get a sense of the corporate culture from any business directories that may be available and from contacts you have.
- Prepare answers to typical job interview questions.
There are volumes and volumes of great information about job interviews on the web. Most of it is free. Take advantage of these wonderful resources! Simply go to your favorite search engine - Google, Yahoo, MSN - and type in something like "job interview tips", "professional job interviews" or "executive interview tips". Then download sample questions. Take time to prepare and practice powerful answers to typical interview questions. Then test yourself. There are even websites that give you multiple choice quizzes on the best job interview answers.
- Call to ask who will be on the selection panel.
This is where you can jump ahead of the competition. This critical step is missed by many job applicants. All you have to do is ask for the names and position titles of the people who will be interviewing you, in advance of the job interview. Then find out as much as you can about each of them. Mainly their position titles and role in the company, but other tidbits, as well. Information such as history with the company, special projects, credentials or qualifications and favorite charities can also be useful.
Knowing the interviewers' names and position titles before you go to the job interview gives you 3 big advantages.
• You will be able to call people by name when you arrive, giving you the benefit of instant rapport and a positive first impression
• You will be less likely to forget their names in a pressure situation and... job interviews tend to be pressure situations!
• It will convey the all-important impression that you are primarily interested in them and their needs
- Ask how to prepare for the job interview.
Here's another step that your competition may miss. When you receive the call inviting you for a job interview, get all the necessary details such as time and place, as well as names of individuals on the selection committee and then... wow them by asking their advice on how to prepare for the job interview.
Most often, the hiring person or team will give you some fairly specific direction to ensure you make good use of your interview time. They might advise you to bring along a career portfolio, to be prepared to answer 1 or 2 industry-related questions, or to put together a brief presentation on a sample topic.
If they'd rather you just show up and give spontaneous answers, that's fine too. At least you'll know what to expect. And you'll gain rapport with them by asking their advice and demonstrating your excellent planning skills.
- Ensure you have a briefcase with sufficient copies of necessary documents.
Interviews are stressful for the employer too. Help the selection panel save face by having extra copies of your cv or resume on hand, just in case. You can also impress them by producing a career portfolio with your top achievements and credentials available for reference during the interview.
- Take time to think through specific challenges the company may be facing and solutions that you might try.
People are hired to solve problems. The more problems you can solve, the greater your perceived value to your target employer. List your top problem-solving skills and think of some of the biggest problems you have solved for previous employers. Be prepared to bring these forward.
- Prepare for situational questions with specific examples.
For example, if you are asked how you would solve a conflict within your team or on your staff, rather than describing what you would do, it is most convincing to describe what you did do in a similar situation. Bring forward your past successes to show the likelihood of future successes. Remember, what you would do is theory. What you did do is proof.
There's no reason you should have to put up with a job that makes you unhappy. And you shouldn't have to feel stressed and overwhelmed by your job search either. There is a much better way. Discover how you can find the perfect job for you with Pam Jonsson's FREE downloadable audio and ebook at [http://www.JobSatisfactionGuaranteed.com]
Article Submitted On: December 17, 2008