© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
Preparing for a job interview need not take an extraordinary amount of time or energy, but whatever effort you can contribute to the activity is bound to pay off big dividends for you when you finally sit down in the chair across from the prospective employer. Of all the things you can do to prepare for an interview, conduct some research, whether online, in print publications or among company employees. Research should be your number one priority. Time spent learning about the company reaps excellent rewards. That's because once you know what the company is looking for, then you are better able to give answers which convince that company representative that you are the person for the job.
While you are preparing for a job interview, you should be looking for convincing, vivid, interesting and powerful answers to the simple question of what can you do for the company. After all, that is what the interview is about in the first place. It's not a social visit. It's not a chance for you to talk about your career aspirations, it's not a trip to get a free cup of coffee from someone. The only reason the interviewer is taking time out of his or her busy workday to talk to you is because this person wants to help the company find someone who can make it more successful, and your resume has led this individual to believe you might be that person. The more convincingly you can use the information that you have learned during your research to prove that you are that person, the better your chances of success will be. In addition, the more you research the company and the challenges and opportunities the workers face, the more intelligent, interested and insightful you will appear when you are given the chance to ask questions during the interview.
While you are preparing for the job interview, don't forget to take care of the basic, mundane issues, as well. Mark the time and date of the interview in a place that you are sure to see when you need to. Get directions ahead of time so that you can make it there on time without panic or drama. Have your interview clothes cleaned and pressed and hanging somewhere ready to put on when you need them. Print up a clean and neat version of your resume to bring with you. All of these things will help you to focus on the interview when that time comes.
And finally, preparing for the steps you take after the interview will also give you an edge over other candidates. When you get out of the interview, immediately take notes about the person you talked to and the subjects you discussed. Then follow up with a note or email thanking the man or woman for his or her time. Be sure to include a sentence that expresses your strong interest in the opportunity. To make this communication even more powerful, include a "gift" with this communication, such as a link to an article about a topic or subject which the interviewer expressed interest in. Even after the first note, be prepared to send occasional emails, to keep reminding the interviewer that you are interested––right up to the time you hear the position is filled—hopefully by you!
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