Knowing how to do job interview prep correctly can turn a job interview from a dreaded test to an eagerly anticipated chance to demonstrate your suitability for the job. Fortunately, job interview prep consists of four simple elements that are easily executed. First, learn as much as you can about the job and company. Second, compare the requirements of the job to your
own qualifications and history. Third, create sample answers that link the requirements of the job to actions and results that you have accomplished in your past. Fourth, practice these answers with an interview partner until giving them is natural and effective.
The first part of job interview prep is probably the most tiresome, yet is the most important. Knowing what the target company is looking for creates the base of all your job interview preparation activities. Only by knowing what the company wants lets you guess what the interviewer will ask from you. What's more, knowing what the interviewer wants will give you the clues you need to answer those questions effectively. In an ideal world, you would want to know about as much about the target job as your current job, but this is hardly practical. As a practical matter, you will at the minimum want to know what the job's daily duties are, what results are expected and what personal attributes are most highly valued by the corporate culture. Creating a list of the most valued elements in a candidate should offer a rough guide to the specific subjects your job interviewer will target.
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The second stage of your job interview prep is to compare the questions you've created with your own job and personal experience. How would you go about answering the questions you've created, using examples, stories, results and incidents from your job history? For job seekers looking for promotions in a similar field this process can be much simpler than for those looking for a job change, but even career switchers should find a way to creatively match up requirements with qualifications. The third phase of the interview preparation is creating some answers that will effectively do that. Interview answers that address the question, provide information, and then reinforce that information with a vivid dramatic example are particularly effective. These miniature narratives are especially compelling when they contain a situation, actions and results.
The last step of the job interview prep is practicing these answers. Find an interview partner or friend who can ask you these questions, and if possible videotape the session. You should review these taps looking for places where you are hesitant, awkward or fail to address the question in a way that matches up with the requirements of the job your research uncovered. These are the areas which you should repeat the process if necessary until you are able to naturally and fluidly turn every interview question into an opportunity to demonstrate how you have already convincingly displayed the attribute or requirement that the interviewer is looking for.
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