Know Yourself- Skills, Accomplishments, Goals
This is the first step you need to take to prepare for an interview. Just as successful salespeople must know everything about the product they sell, you must know your skills and be able to “sell” them to an interviewer. It is what your skills, accomplishments and goals actually are.
Usually, one of the first questions you will encounter in a job interview is, “Tell me something about yourself.” By making a list of your skills and accomplishments that match the employer’s requirements, you can answer this question with ease and start the interview on the right note. The closer your skills and traits are to the job description, the better chance you have of landing the job.
Preparing for an interview
An important part of knowing yourself is having an accurate assessment of your qualities and skills.
Identifying these before your interview is important, you will want to use some of these traits to “sell” yourself in the interview. Using the scale below, rate your perception of your competence in each quality and skill.
4 3 2 1 0
Excellent Good Average Weak Poor
- _____ Enthusiastic/Energetic
- _____ Resourceful
- _____ Goal Oriented
- _____ Competitive
- _____ Responsible/Reliable
- _____ Effective Team Member
- _____ Analytical
- _____ Creative
- _____ Ability to teach/train
- _____ Motivating
- _____ Effective communication.
NOTE: Think of examples for each rating of 3 or 4. You can use these examples during your interview.
Research the Company – Learn as much as you can beforehand
Just as in learning any skill, successful interviewing requires preparation and practice. This is not the best time to try and “wing it.” A successful interview is very much like a sales encounter. You must demonstrate your interest by finding out everything you can about the company and the position before the actual interview. The kinds of things you should know about the company include:
- How long has the company been in existence?
- What services does the company provide or what products does it make?
- Who are their major competitors?
- Which is the parent company?
- What are the company’s assets and earnings?
- Does the company have any international operations?
Prepare Your Questions
Know the purpose of asking questions
- Questions demonstrate interest, preparedness, critical thinking, and desire to achieve.
- Good questions reveal your knowledge about the job, show that you pay attention, and establish a personal connection with the interviewer.
- Allows you to learn more about the position and the organization. Helps you determine if the position and organization are right for you.
- Gives you the opportunity to further “sell” your qualifications by gathering specific information from the interviewer. By listening to the interviewer’s responses to your well thought-out questions, you may learn more about the organization’s needs and prepare accordingly.
Practice, Practice, Practice
When preparing for an interview, practice in front of the mirror and work on your voice modulation and clarity in speech or you may even record your voice and do the self-evaluation.
During the Interview
Be Prompt and Prepared
On the day of your interview you should plan to arrive 10 – 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Be sure to ask for accurate directions and take into consideration the distance you must travel to reach your destination, you might encounter traffic, parking issues, and even time zone changes if it’s a long trip and remember to carry all the important documents and of course, a copy of your resume.
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