© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
Job interview preparation doesn't have to be a time-consuming, mentally taxing, nerve-wracking affair. Once you master the basics of what an interviewer is trying to get from you, you should be able to prepare for any interview in a minimum of time and effort. To summarize, job interviews are held with the simple purpose of discovering whether you have the skills, characteristics and temperament to contribute to the company in the way that the target position must in order to be successful. Once you know this, then your job interview preparation should be geared towards making sure the answer to that question is an emphatic yes. Naturally, the first step of that preparation should be to learn what the target position requires from the employee, and the skills, temperament and qualities the employer is looking for.
Finding those answers requires research, the job interview preparation secret weapon. Going online, reading trade publications, talking to current or former employees of the target company all help you get a firm idea in your mind about what management is looking for. Once you have that in mind, you are ready to begin thinking about how you will answer specific questions that you will encounter in the job interview. In general terms, these questions will probe your technical skills, your workplace interaction style, and your personality. In all three instances, the interviewer will probably start asking you questions about your past, trying to get a sense of the way you have behaved in your former work places, with the idea that you will probably behave in a similar way in the future.
Your job interview preparation strategy is to match up the skills, qualities, and characteristics that the target company is looking for, with the kinds of experiences that demonstrate that you have those characteristics. As you do, remember that the more relevant and specific you can be in these answers the more vivid, persuasive and memorable your response will be to the interviewer. By contrast, responses that are general or abstract, sound like someone hoping to answer in a way he or she believes the other person wants to hear.
A final job interview preparation tip is to take care of the mechanics of the job interview. Try to think of an intelligent and insightful question to ask the interviewer when he or she gives you the opportunity. Put the meeting time and location directions in a place that will help you arrive on time. Be sure that your interview clothes are clean, pressed and ready to step into when you need them. Make some time in your schedule to follow up with the hiring manager by note or email immediately afterwards, and create a reminder to write again a week later. If you follow all of these job interview preparation tips to the letter, you are sure to stand out from the crowd of other applicants.
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