The Job Interview…Ouch!

The Job Interview…Ouch!

The Job Interview Doesn’t Have to Be So Painful.

Here’s my disclaimer: job interviews aren’t what most people would call FUN.

Not the kind of thing you take pictures about and post on Facebook.

You don’t create a Christmas card with a picture of you, interviewing, on the front.

BUT…interviewing can be successful. An opportunity for you to shine…radiate confidence…feel great about the effort you put into preparing.

Here, then, are my top three interviewing tips:

3. Know yourself.

Unless you’re desperate and willing to take whatever crumbs they throw you, it is essential that you know yourself, what you bring to the table, and what you’re looking for in your next employer.

If you want to find out about a company’s culture, is a great resource. You can also reach out to people in your LinkedIn network who currently work at that company, or who have worked there previously.

What is important to you in an employer? Is it their social consciousness, their promotion-from-within practices, their geographic location? There are no right or wrong answers here.

You MUST also be able to articulate what you bring to the table. Your strengths, leadership style, how you manage conflict…

2. Do your homework.

As you get to the interview phase you need to do homework around what’s going on with the company.

This information should then be woven into the questions you ask the employer AND the answers you give to their questions. This serves two purposes: Your knowledge of the company will make you seem highly intelligent AND very interested in the position.

Here’s what you want to know: How it is performing financially (it it is a public company this information will be available), plans for growth, how the company fares relative to its competition, and how the company is positioned relative to the competition (i.e. is it the low-cost provider? Does it serve a specific niche?)

1. Prepare your toolkit.

What’s an interview toolkit, you ask? Ten stories you prepare ahead of time using the C-A-R format.

You will use these stories in response to questions asked by the interviewer.

If she asks “Tell me about a time when you faced a crisis in your business unit,” you have a story in your toolkit. If she asks ‘What is your greatest career achievement and why?” you have a story in your toolkit.

The C-A-R format is as follows:

  • Challenge: What was the circumstance of the story? Set the stage.
  • Action: What steps did you take to address the situation?
  • Result: How did things turn out? This is your opportunity to really shine!

Write your ten stories out using the C-A-R format; practice them in front of a mirror and with friends.

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