Job Interviews: How Do You Pass Muster?

job interview pic sm.jpg Some job interviews seem like a friendly get together, a lot of chatting and laughing, and then you've got the job! They're easy because the decision has already been made. You have the job, they just want to get to know you better. These are niche jobs normally where there are few candidates to choose from.

Other interviews include psychological tests, proficiency tests, panel interviews, and lots and lots of questions. By the time you're done, you're mentally drained.

It's the latter kind of interview that you need to prepare for. But how?

Prepping for a job interview is a multi-step process:

  • Research
  • Get Ready
  • Do It
  • Follow Up

Research To prepare for an interview, you must research and figure out what your prospective employer needs.

Check out the company's website to find out more about its business. If you have a contact in this company, even a Linked In friend of a friend, talk to them. You want to know what's happening inside this company. Knowing about where the company is going and where it's been will help you prepare your answers to interview questions. While a contact inside the company isn't necessary, it will help you. After you've done your research, you should have a list of questions for the interviewer. These questions should have you excited about the opportunity presented to you. The questions you ask are what will set you apart from the other candidates.

Job skills are the basic ingredient for being considered for a job, but employers need workers with people skills, reliability, integrity, and commitment. These are what will get you hired.

Get Ready How do you get ready for a job interview? Review your resume; if necessary, update it. Print a few copies to take with you.

Notify your list of references. Get your interview suit pressed and cleaned. Yes, I said suit and yes, I'm talking to men and women. A basic navy business suit is a MUST have for interviews. It doesn't matter if the company has casual dress, go in there looking your best. You have plenty of time to dress down once you have the job.

Prepare answers to typical interview questions! Don't go into an interview and not have an answer for what your strength or weaknesses are.

By being granted an interview, you've achieved a big first step. The employer has seen a lot of resumes and thinks that you might be a good fit for their company.

It doesn't matter if this is your first interview or your 53rd interview, you must go into EVERY interview positive that you're going to get the job.

If you make no attempt to be likable, you will not get the job. You don't want to work with someone you don't like every day; they don't either. Being nervous about the interview is okay, but get yourself up and ready for the interview.

Do it Job interviews are very similar to dress inspections in the Military. You have to look professional AND be there on time. It doesn't matter if the company dress is casual. Go in your SUIT (both men and women).

Unlike military inspections, a satisfactory interview performance requires more than just looking good and being timely.

The interviewer(s) need to get to know you quickly and figure out if you can and want to do the job. The "want" is the key to that equation.

Wanting to do the job is all about attitude. Do they ask you to do some things you may not be excited about?? Are you willing to do something you don't care for to build up your reputation in the company, to get your foot in the door, and make a name for yourself? You want your interviewer to have no doubt as to your ability and willingness to perform the tasks you're being hired for.

End the interview with questions that show you are really interested in the company, the business, and your fellow employees.

Skip questions about salary and benefits as they will be covered later.

Follow Up Within 48 hours, follow up your job interview with a thank you phone call or email to your interviewer. As long as you are smart and professional (don't stalk them on Facebook), you're not 'bothering' them. You can follow up with HR as well, but it's not necessary.

Make sure you ask for the business card of every interviewer. If they forgot to bring one with them, ask them for their email addresses.

Avoid the form follow up letter. These canned letters aren't going to help your chances. Your goal for the follow up letter is to let them know you care and you want the job. The chosen candidate often beats out others by a small margin. In the letter, review the positive items you covered in the interview. Discuss how you can meet their needs, and wrap up the letter with a friendly, last paragraph.

If you don't get a phone call from them in a couple of weeks, give them a call. Things happen and people get busy. Most people will not mind the call.

Good luck in your job search!

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