Job Search January Challenge #10
Whether you’ve been called for a job interview or are merely anticipating that call, it is never too soon to prepare. Your entire job search will be more productive if you imagine yourself from an employer’s perspective and present yourself as an effective job candidate.
Prepare for common questions
Most hiring managers ask at least a few standard questions. You can prepare for these anytime. Here are a few of the most common:
- Tell us about yourself
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years
- What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses
Prepare answers for these and other interview questions by narrowing your answers to 30-60 seconds, and presenting only relevant information that highlights your ability to do the job well and to work within the company culture.
What would you ask?
But how do you prepare for the remaining questions? Walk a mile in the employer’s shoes. If you were hiring somebody for this position, what would you need to know? Write out a list of questions you would ask and be prepared to answer similar questions. Even if you don’t anticipate your actual interview questions, the answers you’ve prepared and practiced will help with answering the surprise questions.
Consider which points you’d like to get across to a target employer. Which work traits or characteristics would be most impressive to an interviewer? Are there job skills or experiences that might directly benefit your target employer? Or perhaps there’s a seminar or project you’ve been involved in that is particularly relevant to this position.
Choose a few talking points that you’d like to mention, whether or not you are directly asked about them. Plan to interject these points into your answers or highlight them when you answer the “Tell us about yourself” question.
Questions for the employer
If you don’t have questions, you’re not prepared. If your questions are limited to your personal interests, like when you will get coffee breaks, you’re not displaying that you’ll be a productive employee.
A few good options:
- What are the most important duties of this position
- What would you consider to be exceptional performance from someone in this position in the first 90 days?
- Have I answered your questions satisfactorily? Is there anything you’d like to know to help you better see the fit between me and the organization?
Challenge #10: Prepare for Your Job Interview
Plan to come to the interview working. Show the interviewer that you’ve considered what this position requires and are the solution to their needs. Prepare and rehearse answers and talking points. Create a list of questions to ask the interviewer that will show you will be productive and working in the company’s best interests.
Just joining us? Start at the beginning with Job Search January’s 21-Day Challenge!