Preparing for a job interview is an area that job searchers typically don’t do well. In my experience as a recruiter, I have dealt with many people who work really hard to make it to the interview stage and then get lazy.
Trying to wing it during an interview – just showing up and expecting to think of answers off the top of your head – is no way to prepare for a job interview.
Properly preparing for a job interview is what sets successful job searchers apart from less successful ones.
Certainly success in a job interview has little correlation to your ability to actually do the job but the bottom line is that the interview process is what companies use to determine whether or not you are someone they want to hire.
Obviously, you need to do research such as thoroughly looking over the company website and paying particular attention to recent press releases and company news that will tell you what the company is working on.
Here are some other job interview preparation techniques to set you apart from other candidates who are interviewing for the same job:
- Ensure that you have a short list of about 6 questions typed out and organized in order of importance that you can ask during the interview. Not asking the right questions – or any questions – can indicate to an interviewer that you didn’t properly prepare for the interview.
- If you know anyone who works for the company or used to work there, ask them about their experience and get the “real” scoop on what the company is like. Ask them what skills the company really wants employees to have and what sorts of questions they tend to ask during interviews. Alternatively, try to find someone who graduated from the same school you did who works there and ask for their help.
- Do an Internet search for past company press releases and tv or radio interview transcripts that can shed light on valuable company information you didn’t know.
- Do an Internet search for the name of the person/people who are interviewing you. You might find an article they have written or quotes that were attributed to them that you can mention during the interview.
- Search for information regarding the company’s closest competitors and compare how the company performs against them.
- Pay attention to company advertisements on the radio, tv or in print in case the interviewer asks you about your thoughts regarding their advertising strategy.
- Search business publications and online resources to learn more about the company from a financial perspective. If the company has financial analysts covering the company, you can find out how the market views the company in terms of their abilities and challenges.
Preparing for a job interview is something you need to do well in advance in order to be successful. Look for original ways to separate yourself from the people you are competing with for a job by learning as much as about the company as possible using as many sources as you can think of.
Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter. Carl has helped many job searchers find their dream career and would like to help clear up some of the job search myths that exist while helping people avoid common mistakes that cost them jobs.
Visit Carl's website to separate yourself from other job searchers: http://www.find-your-dream-career.com
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