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Interview Prep 101: Go In Prepared

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Proper Interview Prep Leads to Confidence

The job interview is considered one of the most stressful processes one can go through. And understandably so. After all, we are talking about a face to face with individuals who determine at the very least your immediate financial well-being. But a lot of that stress has to do with the unknown. The unknown is always worrisome. How do you alleviate most of that stress? By going into the interview thoroughly prepared. Of course, it is almost impossible to prepare for any and every question and circumstance. But you can go in ready for most questions and inquiries. Here are some tips for properly navigating the interview process.

 

Small talk is sometimes more then they let on

A good interviewer understands how to strategically get some information from you without your even knowing it. When one wants to know something real about someone, it is best to get it when their guard is down. At the beginning of the encounter, the interviewer may engage in what seems like small talk that on its surface is harmless. But in actuality, the interviewer could be looking to determine your state of mind and outlook on life, along with answers to questions that may be illegal to ask you. For example, asking you about the traffic coming over to the interview can actually be about listening to the nuance of how you answer the question. Do you complain about the traffic? Crap about how difficult it was to find the place? This can tell your interviewer whether you are negative or positive at your core. Maybe they ask how things are at home. Your response may be to elaborate on coordinating with your spouse to get the kids ready for work. They now know you are married with children, a question they can not ask you legally during the interview. Be wary of these initial informal conversations at the start of the process. Remember that the interview begins the second you drive your car up on to property. I guarantee most of your competition will not be aware of this.

Prepare Responses for Most Common Questions

As mentioned before, proper interview prep is the key to relieving stress throughout the interview process. There are some questions you can be pretty sure will be asked in some form. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Tell me a little about yourself.
  • What would you consider your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What interests you about this job?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why would you excel in this position?
  • What do you know about our organization at this point?

Take some time to prepare your answers for these questions. Rehearse them over and over again until you feel natural answering them. Knowing how you will respond to questions such as these in advance will help you to relax during most of this process.

Be Mentally Prepared for Unorthodox questions

Unlike our most common questions, it is a little more difficult to prepare for questions of the strange variety. Now, not everyone does this, but some employers will engage in this just to see how you respond to the question itself. Some have no right or wrong answer, they just provide a gauge for how you respond to get expected. Some of the weirder questions that have been asked in the past include:

  • “If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them how would you choose which ones to answer?”
  • “Who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman?”
  • “Describe the color yellow to somebody who’s blind.”
  • “If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do?”

Again, there is no way to prepare for these types of questions. But knowing that some like them can be around the corner can help at least breaks you for dealing with them.

Look for Recent Stories and News

Want to impress your interview were? Ask them about recent small business they purchased on the west coast. Or inquire about the new product that is reportedly in R&D. Or perhaps ask them why experienced a 4.3% decline and revenue during the last quarter. By researching the latest information about the employer, it shows them you are truly interested in what they do and where they are in the industry. Look for not-so-common periodicals during your interview prep that may offer insight that mainstream media outlets may not cover.

Research the Position and its Duties

I know it goes without saying, but it should be said anyway. Be sure you go into the interview armed with as much information about the vacancy as you possibly can. If there is a posting for this position, make it a point during interview prep to study it so that you can ask questions involving specific qualification and duties. If there is no posting available, see if you can find any that are similar. Nothing annoys the interviewer more than a candidate who wastes their time interviewing for a position for which they have no knowledge. After all, how do you know if you are qualified or if it is a good fit if you know nothing of the specifics?

Do Mock Interviews If You Can

You know what they say: “Practice makes perfect”. You can perfect your interviewing style by engaging in practice interviews. Now, you may not be able to simulate the pressure aspect of the interview. However, you can rehearse everything from inflection, to hand positioning and eye contact. Have a colleague or family member to ask you a list of prepared questions that you believe you may be facing. Also, if you can, consider videotaping your session. This way, you can review everything from your positioning to your delivery. Make mock interviews part of your overall career search arsenal. You can go through mock interviews online. Click here to see one such company that provides this service.

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