Preparing for an Interview
~ Google the top 20 interview questions and have a friend conduct a mock interview. Practice is essential, and doing so “out loud” is critical. You will be surprised at how your answers sound when given a voice versus rehearsing “in your head.” An added bonus would be to video your mock interview so that you can study your body language and eye contact.
~ Give some thought to how you will answer questions that will be challenging. For example, most interviewers will ask “tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.” You’ll want to identify specific examples that you can expand on. A strength could be leadership skills highlighted by describing a team project that you took the lead and relay the outcome. For the weakness part of the question, choose something that isn’t a required skill for the job and talk about how you are improving the deficit. For example, your knowledge of Excel might be limited and you could be taking an online course to improve your knowledge. We all have weaknesses, so don’t say you have none; by mentioning something not critical for the job but showing that you are taking steps to improve is a positive response.
~ Have at least three questions ready for the interviewer. If asked (and most likely you will be) never say that you have no questions; this indicates a lack of interest. Some examples include – “What do you most like about working for the company? What is the philosophy of the company? What are the company’s long- and short-term goals and how can I help you reach them?”
~ Never say anything negative about a former employer; whatever the story is as to why you left (or are planning to leave), formulate a positive “spin,” i.e., I reached a level where no future challenges were available, or I was looking for additional opportunities for growth.”
Kathy Keshemberg is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer and Certified Career Management Coach. Since 1983, she has created thousands of interview-winning resumes and related job-search materials for satisfied clients around the world. Need assistance with your career? We’re here to help! www.acareeradvantage.com