Once you have received a call that your resume has been selected and you are on the short list for a job, your hard work is not over. It is just beginning. While sending an edited resume was a great start to your battle to get this job, now you have to take on the war, an interview.
Everyone can look good on paper, but in person is where the real good people stand out and others fall apart.
One of the ways to make sure you rise to the top of the interviewees is to make sure you are prepared for what will happen during the interview.
It's time to do a little studying.
First, you should get to know the company that you are trying to work for. The more you know about them, and understand their workings, the more you will be able to gear your answers in the interview to their needs and wants from their employees. If you sound like you already can recite the company line, they will realize you are that much closer to being the perfect employee. They will also appreciate that you cared enough to know about them before coming in.
Once that research is done, it's time to figure out what you are going to be asked when you are called into that office. There are some common questions you can expect such as:
-Tell me a little more about you.
-What makes you want to work for our company?
-Why do you deserve to be selected for this job?
-What are some of your past successes?
-What types of career goals do you have?
There are many different ways these same questions can be asked as well. Your best plan of action right now is to sit down and make a list of all the possible questions they could come up with. Put yourself in the shoes of the person doing the interview. If you needed to make sure you selected the best candidate for the job, what would you ask? These are the same questions you need to be able to answer.
Now you need to craft answers for each of these questions. As you come up with each answer, remember to keep in mind the company you are applying with. If they are in a particular industry, your answers should be ones that suit that industry.
You should write these answers down. That way you can get a real good look at what you would say, and how it would sound. Notice how long the answer is? You don't want to ramble on. Many people think if they just keep talking they will sound intelligent. The truth is a short, straight, to the point answer will make you sound more intelligent. A rambling thought process, put into words, will often make you look like you can't complete a thought clearly and concisely. You may want to put your answers in the form of bullet points. For example
What are some of your past successes?
At Company X, I created a cost-sharing program that saved $10K per year. I Instituted a customer rewards program that brought a 14% increase in repeat sales.
You don't need more information than that for your answer sheet. As long as you remember those important points, you will be able to elaborate on your own if the interviewer asks for more information about that cost-sharing program or the customer rewards program.
The importance of being prepared for any questions that may come at you in an interview can't be overstated enough. While you may be the right candidate for a job, nerves can get to a person once they are under pressure and being drilled with questions in an interview. Having prepared answers and knowing what you will say before you go in will help you avoid being caught without the right words when the time comes.