Many people call me a few days before a very important interview asking me to help them prepare. Yes, I help them. But, they are missing the opportunity to be their absolute best – both polished and confident in their interview. That comes from preparing well in advance.
You are probably wondering how you could possibly prepare when you don’t know the exact details of the job. So, here’s how to get started, before you receive the call for your interview.
- Identify the key requirements of your targeted jobs by reviewing the descriptions of jobs you’ve already applied for or are interested in pursuing. Review a minimum of 3 to 5 of your targeted positions.
- Create a list of common qualifications, skills and attributes from these job descriptions.
- Then, using this information you can uncover your key interview stories. Create 3 to 5 interview stories that prove your qualifications and your ability to deliver results in those areas.
By preparing these 3 to 5 interview stories in advance, you’ll have plenty of time to practice and refine them by testing them out on your networking contacts. That way they’ll resonate in your next job interview. And, by preparing in advance, you’ll feel more confident too!
If you need help identifying the common elements of your targeted positions or want help identifiying and refining your best interview stories, just call me at 416-570-7959 or contact me by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be pleased to help!
Today’s job interviews requires you to do more than just answer interview questions. If you are a professional, more and more employers are requiring you to present your technical skills in a variety of ways. These technical tests are often part of the initial screening process – before you meet the hiring manager. Some of my clients are asked to give definitions of specific technical terms. Others are asked to complete test projects of up to 2 hours in length. One person, applying for a senior research position, now has to successfully complete an 1.5 hour research assignment to make it to the next round of the selection process.
And, employers are continuing to ask senior professionals to present business plans. Typically the employers asks candidates to present a “first 90 day business plan” to an interview panel. Employers want to ensure you have both the technical savvy and the necessary presentation skills to get your ideas supported and implemented in the workplace.
The key to winning the technical screening is to ensure your technical skills and your presentations skills are up-to-date, well honed and rehearsed before you hit that round of the interview process.
Over the last month, I’ve watched a business person who’s really great at selling. However, this week her selling techniques shifted for the worse … and as a consequence, her sales are way down. Suddenly, when she’s talking to customers, it’s like she doesn’t care whether she’s sold something or not. What’s interesting is what she’s saying to herself … and to anyone in listening distance. She’s repeating over and over and over: “No one is buying.” “My business is just drying up.”
So, if you are in the midst of a job search and job interviews, check what you are saying over and over to yourself and hear what you are saying to others. You could also be shifting yourself into a mental space that limits your possible job opportunities because it’s shifting your attitude and affecting your actions.
Here’s a simple and effective way to help you shift into a more positive mindset. I heard it from Hale Dwoskin at Sedona Training Associates. Simply write down all your obstacles, problems, blocks and issues in the past tense. For example: “I used to believe that I’m never going to find another high paying job. ” And, accept at least the possibility that those obstacles are just memories. Then watch. See how you start to do things differently and watch how that changes your job search and your job interviews results.