The process for having your very best job interview has four steps; Research, Question Prediction, Question Preparation, Practice. Research, the first step, is also the most important since all the other steps build on what you find out about the target company and job. In the research phase, you are looking for any and all information that you can find about the target job and company. To do this research, go online, read in publications and talk to people who
know about the company or position from personal experience. To get a sense of the importance of research, imagine that you were asked to interview for your current job. Think of all the insight you would have about what experiences and skills to highlight in that interview.
To have your very best job interview, ideally you would like to develop that same level of familiarity with the target company and job. Since that's not possible, you should focus on the key areas of the jobs duties, the results the job is supposed to achieve, the environment you will perform the job in, and the attributes or characteristics the target organization admires. When you have those elements clear in your mind, create a list of what the company is looking for. This profile of the perfect candidate provides a basis for predicting what questions the interviewer will ask. Namely, he or she will ask the questions which will hopefully reveal those attributes, experiences, results or characteristics. If, for example, you determine that attention to detail is an important element the company needs for the target job, you can be sure that the interviewer will ask you a question designed to assess your attention to detail experience.
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To give your best job interview, you can take those questions and prepare answers for them. Since you know the profile that the interviewer is looking for, you have a goal to work towards. Your answer preparation process should consist of taking your existing experience, attributes, characteristics and history and using those elements as a way to prove you fit the desired profile. An effective way to do this is to develop miniature narratives for each question you may receive, narratives which contain stories from your past that demonstrate that you possess the desired characteristic. Each miniature narrative should contain the situation that you were in, the actions that you took, and the results you achieved. To make these narratives even more convincing, shape the story so that the situation, actions and results of the story match the realities of the target job as much as possible.
The last stage of preparation for your best job interview is practice. Get together with a friend or job search partner and conduct a mock interview using the questions you have developed, as well as surprise questions the mock interviewer will make up on the spot. If you have access to a videotape or tape recorder, capture your answers and use those to evaluate how convincing you believe you appear.
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