Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I decided to beak away from the things to avoid and move on to more helpful issues for candidates. Here are three things to do before an interview.
Google. You need to do your homework before your interview. You would be amazed at how many candidates I have interviewed over the years who had no clue about the company they’re visiting. Obviously you should review the company’s website itself, but don’t stop there. A corporate website is only going to tell you the good stuff. You need to find news articles and other sites that will give you a more complete picture.

Get your stories ready. You know you’re perfect for the job, but the interviewer won’t know that until you can clearly show how your past experience has prepared you to succeed in this role. The best way to do that is to demonstrate specifically what you have done and what results you achieved. If they’re looking for someone with the ability to build rapport with clients, for example, think of specific instances in which you have done that. Practice succinctly saying what issue was with this particular client, what you did to improve the relationship, and the result you achieved. You’re not only showing that you have the skills to do the job, but you’re also letting them know that you understand what they’re looking for and can bring those skills. Candidates who can deliver that message in a clear, well-organized story are the ones who get the job.

Get your questions ready. You know that part at the end where they say, “Do you have any questions for me?” That’s huge. I have had candidates who did an okay job in the interview itself, but their questions were so intelligent and insightful that it bumped them into the next round. On the flip side, there’s no worse way to end an interview than by saying, “No, I can’t think of any questions.” That’s short for “No, I’m not really all that interested in you or the company; Even if that’s true, you are not going to get the paycheck by saying so. The best approach is to make a list of questions before the interview. That shows that you’re organized and that you care enough about the job to have come prepared. This list will also save you in event you interview with The Talker: the interviewer who talks the entire time and tells you everything you could possibly want to know. When he finally stops and asks if you have questions, you could not possibly think of a thing, because he’s covered everything.

A little preparation goes a long way when it comes to interviewing. So few candidates really do this well that your effort will set you apart from the crowd, and that could mean the difference between an offer and a rejection letter.

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