Would you rather walk into a job interview with confidence or fear? Interviews can unnerve even the most experienced job seeker, and in today’s competitive job market proper preparation can be the difference between a job offer and a rejection.
You wouldn’t ever walk onto a stage for a big presentation without preparing your words and practicing your delivery, would you? A job interview requires the same sort of preparation, but the process does not need to be overwhelming. You can increase your odds for success by spending a few hours composing answers to the most common interview questions, researching the company and developing situational stories that demonstrate the depth of your experience.
Identify and Articulate The Value You Offer
What expertise do you offer an employer? What would you like to be known for? Many jobseekers have not paused to ask themselves what they truly bring to the table. If you are not clear on how you add value to the team, how can you convey this effectively to the interviewer?
Research Your Potential Employer
Well-informed candidates impress interviewers. Show the employer that you are aware of the challenges they are facing and present yourself as the solution to their problems. It is also important to learn about the company’s vision and culture to make sure that the company is a good fit for you.
Don’t Just Tell Them – Show Them That You Have What They Need
Develop situational stories that demonstrate how your previous employers benefited from you doing your job so well. Use quantified and qualified achievements from throughout your career to build S-O-A-R stories based upon the Situation, Obstacles you faced, your Actions and the Results (also called C-A-R stories, for Challenge, Action and Result). Include both hard skills and the more subjective soft skills into every story, emphasizing the qualifications that enable you to excel in your role.
Expect, and prepare for, experience-based questions to determine if you have the skills to do the job and the behavioral questions recruiters use to uncover the real person under the interview facade. Employers are looking for someone who CAN do the job, WANTS to do the job and will FIT IN with their group.
A good job interview is a two-way information sharing session. Because you never know how long the interview will last, do not wait to sell yourself as the idea candidate. Work your strengths and expertise into every answer to show that you offer a valuable skill set that the employer needs on their team. Keep in mind – you are not bragging. You are sharing useful information about yourself with someone who is asking to hear it.
The key to interview success is to walk into the interview with confidence, rather than fear. Why go through it alone when a friendly, knowledgeable resource is available to help? As an experienced Career Transition Specialist, Trish Thomas helps her clients identify and articulate their marketable skills, so they gain the competitive edge over other candidates. Schedule your free consultation today firstname.lastname@example.org.