Whether you are fresh out of college, high school, or just new to the workforce, there are a lot of easy things you can do to make sure your job interview is successful. While there are vast resources providing a plethora of information, we’ve narrowed a few key items we think will benefit your job interview success.
Preparation is Key
Any interview coach, career coach, resume writer, recruiter, or hiring manager will tell you that in order to be successful, you must be prepared. The better prepared you are, the more confidently you will be able to speak about the value you bring to the organization. You will have a better understanding of what will be required of you and you can ask more thoughtful questions to the interviewer.
One of the keys to being prepared for your job interview is to know yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses. You also will want to be prepared to relate personal or professional experiences to your target job position. Take a job posting and go bullet by bullet through the description and write down an experience you had that relates to each description, requirement, or qualification.
Write it Down
Don’t skimp on this. One way to really solidify your understanding of the job and your relatable experience is to actually take the time to write down your strengths and relatable experience. Getting your mind to work by taking pencil to paper really helps to clarify your thoughts and think out key messages you want to discuss, as well as refine your understanding of what will be required.
Develop Your Key Message
If you want to stand out among the many applicants that are vying for the same job you are, you need to really clarify your key message of value. This means you need to understand what the hiring organization is looking for and how you are the best fit for that position. Think of it as an elevator speech; what can you say to the employer in 15-30 seconds that will convince them to hire you? Think of your message as a hierarchy, start at the top and deliver your bottom line message of value and how you can immediately help the organization. Then support that statement by backing it up. For example, “I will increase sales and drive revenue for your organization by using proven sales strategies, communicating effectively with customer and providing world-class customer service.”
Conduct a Mock Interview
Whether you work with a professional interview coach or a friend, you will benefit tremendously by engaging in a mock interview. While a friend can be a great assistant for this exercise, a professional interview coach will be able to provide you with expert feedback about how you answered the questions and where you can improve. Having to think through the answers you’ve prepared for, in addition to answering surprise question will be a huge benefit towards preparing for your job interview. You can find interview questions all over the internet to help. You may even want to watch some YouTube videos for additional help
Make sure you understand the culture of the organization you are applying for and dress appropriately for the job interview. If you are interviewing for an entry level banking or finance position, don’t show up in jeans and a polo shirt; slacks and a button up shirt with a tie would be more appropriate. Dress for the culture.
As we first mentioned preparation is key to ensuring success at your job interview. The more you prepare the better your chances for success. Understanding yourself and the position you are after, coupled with practicing interview questions will go a long way. Good luck!
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