© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
The most valuable tips for a job interview are tips that apply long before you ever sit down in the interview chair. Like most things in life that appear daunting and difficult in the moment, preparing ahead of time, as far as possible, can reduce the fear factor and make a job interview a much more enjoyable and comfortable experience. The best way to prepare for the job interview is to do the research and thinking that lets you know what the company is looking for before you walk into the interview. Once you know what the interviewer is looking for, then you can start preparing yourself to present your experience and skills in a way that convincingly demonstrates that you have those qualities.
One of the most basic tips for a job interview is to get a copy of the job description before you go on the interview. This document can be found in the job advertisement, or if you need to, ask the HR professional or whoever set up your interview, to provide you the documents by email. They describe in great detail what the position requires, and even what kind of leadership roles the potential employee is expected to perform above and beyond the day-to-day tasks of the job. Reading this document should give you an idea about the purpose of the majority of the job interviewers questions. In essence, he or she will be looking for responses from you that will demonstrate that you can do the things the job description lists as required duties.
Another basic tip for job interviews is to spend some time talking to people in the company and industry about the requirements of the position. They can fill you in on the corporate culture and informal requirements of the job, which may not appear on a written description. Once you've got a clear idea of what the company is looking for, you can prepare for the job interview by coming up with your responses that will demonstrate your resemblance to the profile of the ideal candidate you have created.
A last tip for job interview success is that your responses to the questions your interviewer asks are best answered in complete sentences with examples from your past. Concrete, specific events from your professional and personal life that vividly exemplify how you apply your characteristics and skills to achieve success speak louder than some general, theoretical answers about the same topic. For that reason, a good tip for job interview preparation is to create a pool of success stories that you can use when appropriately prompted by the job interviewer. And last, practice before you put these answers to work in a real interview. Get a friend or colleague to coach you a bit and put you through a mock interview, videotaped if possible, to let you work on your strengths and weaknesses so you'll be ready when it comes time to do the real thing. Then show up on time, dress appropriately, shake hands firmly, look the interviewer in the eye, and give your very best effort.
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