© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
The keys to a successful job interviews aren't any great secret. As a matter of fact, they are the same keys to achieving a successful musical performance, sporting triumph or job success--preparation, practice and the ability to seize the moment and act with confidence. Preparation for a successful job interview starts with learning as much as possible about the position, company, department, co-workers, industry and field as you can. Sources of this information include the job description, your personal network, the Internet and the trade press. Use this information to determine the areas of problem-solving competence and personality traits that the target company reps consider the most important for the position.
The second part of preparation for a successful job interview consists of creating convincing responses to the questions you would be asked to determine whether your competencies and personality match the requirements of the position. Try to think of times when you have displayed the qualities the company is looking for or achieved results which they want. These responses will be more believable and vivid if they take the form of personal experiences and success that you have achieved, and especially if you are able to tell the interviewer the problem you faced, the steps you took to solve it, and the result you achieved. Responses which take the form of general or abstract statements sound as if the job candidate is making up answers as he or she is going along––and should be avoided.
Practicing for a successful job interview by having someone ask you questions like the ones you believe are likely to be asked. Additionally, give your mock interviewer instructions to ask you unexpected questions out of left field. Videotape these practice interview sessions and watch the way you react to the questions and the responses you give. Evaluate where you can improve and repeat the process as needed. Take as much time as you can to get the interview process easy and comfortable in your mind. Practicing these skills until they are natural will give you a considerable advantage over other candidates who have to respond without this level of comfort.
The last part of the successful job interview, the ability to seize the moment with confidence is more difficult to prepare for and practice. It is not something you can focus on individually, but is an end result of the other aspects of the job interview process. With enough preparation and practice, you should get the sort of confidence that will allow you to perform at a top level, without really trying, in the interview. Since all the preparation and practice in the world isn't as productive as a real live interview, a good strategy is to interview at a variety of places in order to gain ability and confidence for when you step into the office of the interview for your real dream job.
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