6 TIPS FOR SUCCESSEmployers seek talented, motivated, focused candidates to perform critical work at different levels of their organizations.
Preparation and practice are your keys to success. Your resume just wins you the chance to compete with others just as good on paper as you. You can learn about what the employer might do in the interview but you can’t control it. What you can control is how well prepared you are in every interview.
KNOW THE JOB
- Study the employer’s job description, others like it that you might find at their competitor’s sites, and general descriptions of your field so that you understand the tasks you’ll be asked to perform, the outcomes that will result, and where they fit into the bigger picture of what the employer is trying to do.
- Achieve a sense of the skills, traits, education, knowledge base and experiences possessed by their ideal candidate.
- Look at jobs at higher levels so you can speak to career paths and your goals.
- Be prepared to discuss your skills, traits, knowledge areas and experiences and where they align with what you’ve learned about the job and the employer’s ideal candidate. Top candidates do this for every interview.
- Discuss interviewing practices and questions with your network and Career Services staff to get an idea of what might happen in the actual interview.
- Envision yourself making a good impression, the employer’s questions, your own questions and the closing the interview.
- Practice interviewing so you’ll know when you’re hitting your mark, struggling and will see what needs improving.
KNOW THE COMPANY AND INDUSTRY
- Research employers and talk to your network about the work environment, the employer’s work culture and values.
- Get a bigger picture of outside factors that influence their success by conducting industry research.
PREPARE QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE
- Employers love candidates with insightful, purposeful questions.
- Write out questions and let the employer literally see how prepared you are.
- Ask questions that will further illuminate their needs and preferences so that you come out of the interview as sure as possible that you connected all your selling points to the job and its setting.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
- Your appearance scores points before you open your mouth.
- Seek help from contacts and Career Services if you have doubts about attire and grooming.
- This is something you clearly control – so you need to get it right!
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
- Practice interviewing with Career Services and others so you can get feedback on how you handle everything.
- Look for chances to use all you researched.
- Gain experience with different styles and types of questions.
- Don’t wait until you have a real interview to start practicing since you never know how quickly you may be asked to interview.