Interview Tips

Interview Tips

Five Important Interview Tips

By Debbie Shalom, founder of Amazing Resumes and Coaching Services

In order to increase your chances of landing a great job, you should take time to define your strategy and prepare your resources. Successful job offers are direct results of effective planning. A productive interview needs to be well-researched, planned and implemented. Follow these tips and future interviews will deliver positive and powerful results.

  1. Carefully research the company. Learn as much as you can about your prospective employer's business model. Visit its Web site and read their mission statement and/or company philosophy. Identify main products, services, and functions. Speak to employees, vendors, or other contacts with inside knowledge. Acquire strategic information that will enable you to speak knowledgeably and offer valuable insight during your interview.
  2. Thoroughly read and analyze the official job description. Visit the company's Web site or ask the recruiter/hiring manager to provide you with this information. Identify key skills and determine whether or not you meet the job requirements.
  3. Be prepared to recognize and engage in various types of interviews. Interviews have different purposes and characteristics. The experienced job seeker should be familiar and comfortable with all varieties. Telephone and behavioral interviews have very different formats and objectives. Telephone interviews are prescreening tools used to determine whether or not a candidate matches the position's requirements. Employers try to streamline their search be eliminating candidates who do not fit their basic requirements. Your goal is to pass the prescreening test by proving you have the required skills. Your prize is an invitation to a face-to-face interview.

    Behavioral interviews are based on the belief that "past performance is an indicator of future value." After identifying which skills and knowledge are necessary to fill the open position, employers will then develop and ask questions based on these competencies. The questions often ask the job seeker to tell about or describe a time in the past when they had to respond to a certain situation. Interviewers want to know how you handled these issues and what the outcomes were.
  4. Be passionate. Every employer believes his or her company is special and unique and therefore wants to hire the best person for the job. Show your passion for the company and its products by preparing "big picture" questions that address the employer's needs. 
    Sample questions to ask include:
    What are the two most important tasks and issues related to this position?
    One year from now, what would you like to say about the person whom you hire for this position and what he or she was able to accomplish?
    How will this accomplishment impact the entire organization?
  5. End strongly. Finish the interview by quickly summarizing how you can deliver solutions to their problems. Thank the interviewer for taking the time to speak with you. Sincerely express your interest in the position and ask what the next step will be. Request the interviewer's business card.

    Remember: Positive and lasting results are built on solid groundwork. Take the time to learn about the company, the position's requirements and different interview techniques. Preparation will generate profitable results.