When we speak at a job fairs on the topic of interviewing, we know that our audience want to learn how to land their dream job. We think there’s a lot more that goes in the process – here are the cliff notes:
#1 – Organize your job search. If you don’t understand what companies and jobs are best for you, how can you be successful in the interview process?
#2 – Research the company, and most importantly study the job description. What clues you have are largely woven into this document – albeit usually lacking in the total picture of what is and can be expected of you once you land. It’s ok to pass on a job because the company is not a fit for you. Build your negotiation matrix on the deal breakers. For example, do you need medical insurance? Make sure they have it or can pay enough so you can purchase yourself.
#3 – Quality, not quantity – it doesn’t do you any good to just apply using the same resume to 100 different positions. Take the time to tune your resume and cover to the job description. They are scanning and rating your submission based upon this anyway – and it will really allow you to talk about the results you’ve produced that are relevant to the company.
#4 – Who do you know? Hit LinkedIn and Facebook company pages; read the details on the company execs and get a professional intro to the company to support your case. You are the one who must articulate your value above the competition.
#5 – Do a Mock Interview – this is a great reason to hire a career coach. They can tape you, and give you a report card in specific areas that you will be rated on. Interview questions are usually organized into three types: Behavioral, Functional and Stress – look up some of these and prepare.
#6 – BrandYou – do you have a great LinkedIn profile? Have you searched for your name to see what comes up? Privatized your personal social activity so that your prospective employer doesn’t see you singing with a lampshade on your head at that party?? Your brand is summed up of all the information they receive on you – cover, resume, web, referrals (those you provide and those you don’t know about). Take the time to have a solid results-oriented story ready for the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ question you will get.
#6 – Make a friend. Just because you’re not a fit for this position doesn’t mean they don’t have another or a colleague in another firm that is looking.
And – if you are the interviewer, preparing 5 minutes prior to your candidate arriving doesn’t do serve either of you. Having a weak job description doesn’t either. We help as many companies fill positions as we do clients engaged in a job search.
So tell me – what is your favorite interview question?