Here are three interview preparation tips which will greatly improve your odds of being invited back by an employer.
- Practice makes perfect. Let’s face it, an interview is one of life’s most stressful moments. You’re under the hot light, and the interviewer is trained at making otherwise self-assured people crack. How can you practice? Follow this proven method: The day before the interview, sit down and write a list of all the questions that you could be asked. I know you don’t know the questions, just guess. Your guesses should range from the sublime “What’s your greatest weakness?”, to the general “Why do you want this job?”, to the very specific “Do you know how to use the Whamo 430?”.
At the end of this process, you should have a list of 20 – 30 potential questions. The next step is to write a detailed, one paragraph answer to each of those questions. Why are you doing this? To mentally prepare for the interview. It will eliminate nervous stammering and voice quivering, and you’ll sound confident and smooth. In an effort to continually improve on this process, after each interview, go back and add any new questions that were posed by the interviewer to your list.
- Do your homework. There’s nothing that frustrates me more than a candidate who isn’t prepared. I expect you to have visited our company’s web site, learned about our product, read the recent news about the company, and have made an attempt to learn about our market. Now, to be clear, that doesn’t mean I want you to come in as some kind of armchair expert, as nothing kills an interview faster than a candidate shooting from the hip. Rather, I want you to show me that you want the job by your willingness to do some homework.
- Develop five questions that will showcase your intellect. There’s nothing worse than a candidate that answers, “Do you have any questions?” with a feeble, “No, I think you’ve told me everything I want to know.” This is a candidate who’s missing the point. The purpose of this question is to demonstrate how your brain works. This is your chance to show you are smart, inquisitive, and a good listener. The secret?
Develop five questions that you can use in almost every interview. A few of my favorites are:
- How do I get an “A” in this position?
- What are the long-term goals of the organization?
- If I earn an “A” in this position, what areas of growth would be available to me?
- What’s the leadership style of my manager?
- How would you describe the candidate that is a great cultural fit for the company?