Job interview preparation
May 23, 2008, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Careers

Instead of letting myself freak out on my way to my job interview today, I forced myself to focus on preparing for the interview. I reviewed the following questions in my head:

-What are my strengths and weaknesses in relation to the job duties?
-What are some positive and negative things about my current/past jobs?
-Name exceptionally good experiences I’ve had with a customer, coworker, and boss.
-Name exceptionally bad experiences I’ve had with a customer, coworker, and boss.
-Come up with a way to spin the negatives into positives (“I’m not experienced with XYZ, but I’m a very quick learner,” etc).
-Think of at least two or three questions to ask about the job/organization.
-Think of a few key facts about myself I want to bring up during the interview to set myself apart from the other candidates.
-Remember everything you know about the organization.
-Recall your experiences and comfort level with computers, including programs you’re familiar with.

While you do want to make sure you know the above things, make sure you don’t rehearse them to death. You want to sound prepared, not robotic.

Two of the best pieces of advice I’ve come across for interview preparation are:
1. Learn as much as you can about the organization prior to the interview.
Interviewers like to ask the interviewees what they know about their organization in order to weed out candidates who aren’t serious about the job or who aren’t interested in their specific company. If you can impress them with your knowledge of the company, you’re one huge step closer to landing the offer. Even if they don’t wind up asking you questions about the organization, your research will give you a much better idea about whether you really want the job. 

2. Always send a thank you card to your interviewers as soon as you get home.
Make sure you get and remember everyone’s names who interviewed you as you’ll need them to address the thank you card. Even if you don’t think the interview went well, sending a card is a dying courtesy that many people no longer follow. You will create a positive, lasting impression that can help you stay memorable to your interviewers and give you that extra edge over the other candidates. Besides, who doesn’t like a nice, hand written note? No one.

All in all, I think my interview went well today. I was prepared for all of their questions and had a pleasurable report with all of the interviewers. Now the agonizing waiting game begins.