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Foundation for a Successful Interview

 

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

You’ve done it!  You’ve gotten a call back for an interview.  This can be a spectacular feat if you have not been getting to this point in a tough job market, or it can be a stumbling block if you’ve repeatedly gotten to this stage but have rarely gotten beyond it.  Here are a few things to do to prepare for your next interview:

Revisit why you want the job.  Look again at the job description and what you turned in as part of your application.  This is your chance to review the message you want to convey so that you can be consistent.  Reviewing what you know so far can also help you focus on what you can do to address the needs of the company.  Part of the message is that you don’t what A job, you want THIS job with THIS company.  Figure out why this is the case for you, and be prepared to articulate that when the question comes up.

Know how you want to come across.  Part of preparing for the interview is in knowing how you want to represent yourself. What you wear matters.  Dress like you would for your first day on the job.  This will demonstrate that you will be able to follow their dress code if they have one, and can help them picture you in the role.  This also applies to your answers to their questions.  They are trying to see if you can do the job at hand, and if you can fit in with their team so you will have to balance providing the answers that are needed with showing them who you are and who you will be in this role.  For example, If they’re looking for passion, show a bit of your fire.  If they’re looking for adaptability, illustrate how you can go with the flow.

Interview them.  The questions you ask during the interview are not just about showing you’ve done your homework and that you were listening, it is about getting to know who you will be working for.  It is no secret that those who leave jobs, more often than not, leave because of their managers.  When you get in front of your prospective manager, ask the questions you need to know to ensure your success at that company.

Know what success feels like.  It would be easy to say that you want a job offer by the end of the interview.  You should prepare for that by knowing the minimum you are willing to accept in terms of pay, hours, or work environment.  Beyond getting the offer, you should also know what it would take for you to walk away from the interview feeling as though you succeeded even without the immediate offer.  This can be anything from knowing you built a rapport; to answering the questions honestly and authentically.

As a foundation, these are points that will set you up for success.  Evaluate them and your performance with each interview so that you know what is working well for you, and what you need to improve on as you move forward.

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