Start by doing your research on the company you are interviewing with. Try to get as much information as possible by using search engines like Google and Bing. On the day of the interview make sure you have 2 pens, 2 resumes and all your prior employers dates and address available. If you have any degrees , certifications or recommendations have copies as well. When you arrive at your interview be sure to make sure you look neat and professional, check yourself in the mirror. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression!

Once you arrive at the location, walk in with confidence, greet the front office person. You should alway’s be polite with anyone you encounter at the job interview. I once had a candidate walk into my office and start complaining about everything; little did they know that I was sitting at the front desk covering for the reception for a few minutes, you should have seen his face when he realized  he was going to interview with me. Remember, you never know whom you might be talking too!  It’s alway’s best to make sure you know where you are going prior to the day of the interview, you don’t want to be rushing around or be late. A good rule of thumb is present yourself no earlier than 15 minutes prior to your interview. Some companies will want you to fill out an application even if you have a resume. When the receptionist says  “They will see you now”  listen to her instructions carefully. “It’s the first door on the left” thank the receptionist and head into the interview.  How you interview for a job can set the path for your  future.

As an Executive Recruiter for more than 17 years, I have been debriefed by hundreds of candidates and the Employers with whom they met, post interview.  My success as a recruiter was directly related to how well my candidates did on the interview. I only made money if they got the job. Therefore, knowing intimate details of how the interview went became an advantage for me in getting future candidates job offers, as I continually perfected the interview preparation.

How to answer interview questions, what questions you should ask, and what not to do (mistakes to avoid) and what to do in the interview was the main focus of the preparation given to my candidates prior to their interviews. Expert preparation can land you your dream job.

Here are some tips for an interview from the highly successful interview preparation given to my candidates.

In an interview there is the interviewee, the person being interviewed, and the interviewer, the Employer conducting the interview.  The interviewer(s) could be decision-making VPs, Directors, line Managers, HR Directors, or  junior personnel clerks who knows little about the job itself, or several people in a panel, all with a stake in the hiring decision. Prepare to adapt as needed, though the core of the job interview preparation stays the same. It’s like you’re an artist and there’s a blank canvas, you want to paint the picture they want to see. Keep in mind there’s always a third-party in any interview.

Prepare a needs-assessment drill. Put yourself in the employer’s chair. What sort of candidate would impress you if you were interviewing people for this particular job?

To prepare to qualify to what it is they need done, review the job advertisement or description, which usually give details of the qualifications, skills, traits and abilities important to the employer. Write each point you relate to and make sure you have a clear understanding of the position. Remember , you are also there to see if you even want this job.

How to Answer Interview Questions

All questions are liabilities that you can turn into assets.

Standard interview questions to prepare for.

  • Tell me about yourself?

The opening gambit of many interviews, some people find this request overly vague and annoying, failing to recognize it as the perfect opportunity to begin a targeted sales pitch. All questions are liabilities that you can turn into assets.

Standard answer, I call this the 2 minute drill. Respond with a brief (no more than two-minute) answer. Include information about past experiences.

Advanced response to this question is “I’d love to, exactly where would you like me to start”, 9 out of 10 times they will say start where you like, and then answer with something relevent.

Personal interests are an opportunity to discuss your passion for what you do.

What are your strengths?

Again, target your response to qualify to the employer’s needs. If you know it’s a high pressured job and you have nerves of steel, say so. If negotiation skills are required, discuss your strengths.

  • What are your weaknesses?

Some see this as a trick question or merely a stupid one but it comes up often in interviews and requires a sincere response. It tells interviewers that you’re objective about yourself, that you recognize your flaws and use initiative to overcome them.

You could instead disclose a valid weakness and place it on a work in progress.

Samples of other questions covered are, Why did you leave your last job? Why do you want this job? Salary?, How do you deal with conflict?  Where do you see yourself in five years? or What do you want to be doing in five years? What makes you the best candidate?

Prepare to tell stories about yourself. Brief, pithy (success) stories about yourself and your abilities are a graphic way to sell yourself in interviews of all kinds

Hopefully, this helps and Good luck !


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