Three Things You Need to Know Before Walking into a Job Interview

March 30, 2011

Picture of a crowd from a "Where's Waldo" book.

Interview tips that will make you stand out in the crowd.

By Samantha MacDonald

If your usual job interview prep involves the phrase “wing it,” then this blog entry is for you.

According to Certified Career Coach Brenda Cody, performing well in an interview boils down to three things: preparation, preparation, and preparation. Luckily, she has a plan that will get you prepared and help you land that in-person interview, second interview, or job of your dreams.

Before the Interview

Have you ever noticed that one of the hardest questions to answer is “Tell me about yourself”? Avoid the awkward silence by creating flash cards to practice answering the frequently asked interview questions. On the front, write a generic, often asked interview question, such as “What are your strengths?” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?” On the back of the card, write your answer in a bulleted list. Then use the cards to practice your answers whenever possible—while you’re doing the dishes, working out, waiting at the doctor’s office, or any other time that you have a few extra minutes. The more you practice, the less rehearsed the answers will sound.

Another good idea is to record your prepared interview answers with a video camera or voice recorder so you can see and/or hear what you will sound like. Don’t like what you hear? Make an effort to change what you say or how you say it as necessary.

During the Interview

Interviewers aren’t the only ones who get to ask questions in the interview, you know. Make sure you prepare a few questions that show you’ve done your research on the company and the position and ask them. At the very least, you should leave knowing what the next steps are, a timeframe for the next round of interviews, a timeframe for the hiring decision, and when can you expect to hear from them.

Also, don’t forget to close the sale! Prepare a closing statement in which you reiterate your qualifications and interest and ask for the job.

After the Interview

Make yourself memorable by writing a thank you note to each person who interviewed you. It can be a brief card or e-mail that thanks them for speaking with you, states your continued interest in the job, and touches on your qualifications. Also, put a reminder on your calendar for the date your interviewer indicated you would hear from them by. If they haven’t gotten back to you by then, contact the company to see how the hiring process is going.

Use these tips and walk into your next interview confident and ready to land that job!

http://www.TeneoTalent.com offers a new process of sales recruiting that uses sales assessments for both employers and job seekers to create long-term fits. We also offer career development tools through our sales career-coaching program, including resume writing. We offer career advice and career matching. And, although our organization has a national focus, we have many Denver and Boulder sales jobs available at the moment.


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