Preparing for your big interview
Often, people who are job searching will stop at nothing to get an interview, but will then go to it in a casual, unprepared manner. Going into an interview without preparation is a costly mistake that no job-searcher can afford.
When preparing for your interview, plan to insert selling points about yourself into the flow of conversation. You can do this while you are answering the interviewer’s questions. Learn to use their questions as launching pads for your own personal sell. This may take extensive rehearsal. If you fail to sell yourself because you are unprepared, it can cost you the job. You must be confident in who you are and in what you have to offer.
You need to anticipate every question and formulate a clever answer to each one. Then practice working into your answers the things you want to get across. Many times, people in an interview situation are thrown by a question they hadn’t expected and really didn’t want to be asked. Don’t let this happen to you.
Make a list of the 10 questions you absolutely do not want to answer and then figure out how to answer them to your advantage. This way, you take control by turning the unexpected into the expected. You must also be aware that every question may prompt a follow-up question. Your interviewer may ask, “Do you feel you showed leadership at your last job?” Your answer of “Yes, I have leadership skills” will more than likely be followed by “What are they?” You are in trouble if you have not anticipated follow-up questions. Preparation allows you to be one step ahead, allowing you to anticipate and to follow up the interviewer’s first question before they can ask the second. Always be prepared to answer the who, what, where, when, why or how of any question asked of you.
Review your resume carefully before the interview. If you don’t, you may be caught short when asked to comment on it. For instance, you may be asked to detail the merits you have listed. Be prepared to put your best foot forward and show the interviewer you are on the ball. Employers respond well to enthusiasm and to the interest you exhibit about their company, so learn as much as you can about it.
Every salesperson knows that you have to ask for the order. The same is true for the job seeker. If, after the interview, you really want the job, say so. You can gracefully ask for the job by saying, “I am sure you have a number of good candidates to consider, but I want you to know that I would like to work for you, I will contribute something positive and, if you hire me, I won’t let you down.” If you take this approach, you will really stand out, because few people actually ask for the job.