© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
If you have just been scheduled for an interview for a job, congratulations. Everything you have been doing so far, including writing your resume and drafting your cover letter, has been a success. Once you have your interview, then you will be one giant step closer to your eventual goal of getting your dream job. Your interview, however, is the biggest opportunity to get the job and also your biggest obstacle to be eliminated. The simple fact that you have been scheduled for the interview proves that you are capable of doing the job. But keep in mind that all the other candidates will also be capable.
Your mission in the interview for the job is to set yourself apart as the candidate who is the most able to come in and start solving the company's most pressing business problems both now and in the future. At this point, there's nothing you can do to change your personality, your credentials or your job history, so your challenge is to present these things in the most effective way possible. The most efficient way to do this, is to discover what exactly the interviewer wants to find out about the candidate and formulate a strategy for conveying that information to him or her as convincingly as possible. The first part of that equation, finding out what the interviewer is looking for is simple. You will need to do some research.
Before you go to interview for a job, you should have a copy of the job description to study. That document lays out in a clear and matter of fact way the duties the target position requires of the person who wins the job. The hiring manager will focus the interview on questions that help him or her determine that fact. Other places to get valuable information include the Internet, trade publications and people you know who have worked in the target company or industry. These sources will all give you good information about what or who the target company is looking for. Once you know that, the next challenge is convincing the interviewer that you are the right candidate.
As you prepare for the interview for a job, you should think of actions, successes, incidents and patterns in your job history which prove that you meet the requirements you've determined from the job description. Your strategy for the job interview will be to find ways to work these incidents, patterns and achievements into as many answers as possible. Giving concrete and specific examples from your life adds several important elements to your interview. In the first place, true life stories establish credibility and believability. In the second, they demonstrate experience at solving the most important problems the job must address. In the third place, answers which take the form of stories and anecdotes and illustrations are simply more vivid and ultimately more memorable than general, abstract answers.
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