© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
Preparing for a job interview can be a nerve-wracking task for many people. They become overwhelmed with the infinite number of possible job interview questions which they might be asked, and become obsessed with how they are going to portray themselves so they will impress the interviewer. As it happens, though, these people are getting worked up over nothing. In the first place, trying to pretend to be someone or something you are not is never going to work. If you are faking your personality and character, people are likely to sense that something about you is "false" or "off" in some way, which will hurt your chances. In the second place, though the number of questions the interviewer could ask is infinite, in practice the questions are limited.
For instance, would you start preparing for a job interview by reviewing your elementary school report cards, or by memorizing the answers on a Trivial Pursuit game? Of course not. You know the interviewer is only interested in the information which is relevant to performing and succeeding at the job in question. Even without knowing much about the job, you know that your Social Studies grades or the name of the shortest serving U.S. President aren't likely to fall in that category. As it turns out, with just a bit of effort, you can get even more specific information about what kind of information is considered relevant, information so specific that you will be able to predict the job interview questions before you even appear.
Preparing for your job interview, researching the position and the company, and focusing on being yourself, will give you the ability to guess accurately what the interviewer will ask. The first piece of research you should do is get a copy of the job description for the target position. That document tells you the duties of the job, the requirements and the sorts of skills and abilities the position requires. For the prospective interviewee, the job description is a "cheat sheet" for what he or she can look forward to getting asked in the interview. In essence, the interviewer is going to ask you if you can do the things on that job description, and if you have the skills and characteristics it specifies.
Preparing for a job interview should consist of coming up with examples from your work and personal history where you have accomplished those things which the job description delineates. That's because simply saying that you can do them isn't enough. You have to prove it, verbally, by describing and recounting how you have done them in the past. What's more, these examples and illustrations are also very helpful in illustrating how you would do similar tasks in the future, if you are given that kind of question in the job interview.
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