Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Doing your homework for interview is the recipe for Success


Interviews can be daunting to the most experienced job seeker, and a terror for the less experienced. Preparation before the interview can make a huge difference in your confidence level. Here are some basic questions to get you thinking about the process. Those same questions keep coming up -- in every interview. They can be tough ones because they are about you and your thinking process. Preparing for them ahead of time can save you some grief during the interview.


One of the questions most frequently asked in an interview is:




The answer you give to this question will set the tone for the rest of the interview. Focus is the key or you will wander about in a circle, or dig yourself into a deep hole. The secret to success with this free-form question is to focus, script and practice. You cannot afford to "wing" this statement, as it will have an effect on the rest of the interview.


List five strengths that you have that would be pertinent to this job. (Experiences, traits, skills). What do you want the interviewer to know about you when you leave? Practice with your script, until you feel confident about what you want to emphasize in your statement. Your script is a way of helping you stay on track, but shouldn't be memorized, resulting in sounding stiff and rehearsed. You should sound natural and conversational.


One of the most dreaded questions by candidates is:




This open-ended question, and others like; "Where do you see yourself in five years?" throw most candidates off balance. The object of the question is to check for your self-awareness and communication skills.


If you are the type of person who prefers an organized way of life, you may find this question a "piece of cake". But, if you are among the majority of persons who let life happen as it comes along, you will probably not have a smooth answer without some forethought.


The best answers will come from you thinking about what you want. Most successful business people will tell you that a key success factor is the ability to set and achieve goals. Begin by setting short-term goals. Right now your goal may be "to get a job". But, what kind of job? And, where do you go from there?


No one can tell you exactly how to answer this question - it will come from what is important to you. However, the more focused and employer-centered you can be about your goal, the better your chances will be of steering the interview in the right direction.


Another among the dreaded questions is: WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU?


This is another broad question that can take you down the wrong road unless you have done some thinking about what to say ahead of time. This question is about selling yourself. Think of yourself as the product. Why should the customer buy?


Prepare and know your product -- YOU!

Summarize your experiences.

Develop a "sales" statement. The more detail you give the better your answer will be. This is not a time to talk about what you want. It is a time to summarize your accomplishments and relate what makes you unique.

Start by looking at the job description or posting. What is the employer stressing as requirements of the job? What will it take to get the job done? Make a list of those requirements.


Next, do an inventory to determine what you have to offer as a fit against those requirements. Think of two or three key qualities you have to offer which match what the employer is seeking. Don't underestimate personal traits that make you unique - your energy, personality type, working style, and people skills.


Completing an exercise around this question will allow you to concentrate on your unique qualities. No two people are alike. Take some time to think about what sets you apart from others.


Regardless of what you are asked in an interview, preparation and practice will improve your performance and give you a better chance at competing with the other candidates. Knowing who you are and what you have to offer is vital for success!



What are your weaknesses?


The most dreaded question of all. Handle this question by minimizing the weakness and emphasizing the strengths. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits: "I am always working to improve my communication skills so that I can be a more effective presenter. I recently joined a debating club which I find very helpful."



Why do you want to work here?


The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you've given this some thought, and are not sending out resumes just because there is an opening. Doing research should give you plenty of reasons why you want to work there. As an example, "I've selected key companies whose mission statements are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about what the company does, and this company is very high on my list of desirable choices."


What are your goals?


Sometimes it's best to talk about short-term and intermediate goals, and not lock yourself into the distant future. Something like, "My immediate goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of additional responsibility."


When were you most satisfied in your job?


The interviewer wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences. "I was very satisfied in my last job because I worked directly with the customers and their problems; that is an important part of the job for me."


What can you do for us that other candidates can't?


What makes you unique? This will take an assessment of your experiences, skills and traits. What makes you stand out? After your assessment, bring it all together in a concise manner: "I have a unique combination of strong technical skills, and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge, and break down information to be user friendly."



What salary are you seeking?


It is to your advantage if the employer tells you the "range" first. Prepare by knowing the "going rate" in your area, and your bottom line or "walk away" point. One possible answer would be: "I am sure when the time comes we can agree on a Ereasonable amount. In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?"


There is no way of predicting which questions will be asked in an interview, but by reviewing some of the "most common" questions you will begin to focus on how to present yourself in the most positive manner.


At 12:21 AM, Anonymous gloria glass said...

good tips are mentioned here. will keep them in mind

PhD Telecommunications | Doctorate Industrial Engineering Degree


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