Preparing for a job interview
How can one be best preparing for a job interview?
Success is 80% preparation - Be prepared
- Attitude is everything. Come with a positive attitude. It is very positive that you have been invited for a job interview. The company obviously thinks you can be a good fit. Don’t show up all defeated. Leave all your doubts at home.
Moses is the perfect example of what not to do when preparing for a job interview. He did not think he was apt for the job. He still had in mind his previous failure when he tried to prove himself as the deliverer of Israel and was rejected. He had to run for his life. He never overcame this failure.
- Then what is the big lesson to learn from Moses experience? Simply stated: One of the greatest ways of preparing for a job interview is a job interview. It sounds strange but it is not. Use past interviews as a preparation. This is why it is critical to post-evaluate each interview: what was good and what you should improve for the future. Don’t be discouraged by past failures but instead build up on them.
- You may say: that is all well, but how do I implement above advice?
One of the way is to visualize success during the job interview. You should see yourself displaying the right attitude, giving positive first impression, answering questions with calm and confidence, showing to the interviewer why you are the best fit candidate for the job.
You should see yourself getting the desired result at the end, be it the next interview or been offered the job. David visualized his success in the job and this assurance showed when his answered the objections of Saul the interviewer.
- David, in his interview with King Saul, was obviously prepared to answer the most difficult questions he would face: what makes you think you can do the job? Why should we choose you? Be prepared and review the most difficult questions and the answers you will provide.
- If possible, preparing for a job interview can involve a rehearsal. Do it with somebody you trust that can give you honest feedback.
- Know your weaknesses and be prepared to show the company why they don’t disqualify you for the job. Again, David knew he was only a boy, apparently less strongly than giant Goliath, but he showed from his resume, how he overcame in the past this apparent weakness.
In contrary, Moses magnified his weaknesses and failed to recognize his strengths in relation to the job.
- Know very well your resume and how to comment on it and highlight quickly the parts that best qualify you for the job. This is even more critical if, like David, you didn’t have the opportunity to submit your resume before the job interview.
- Prepare the appropriate clothes you will wear. Whenever in doubt, be conservative, suit and ties for men. For women, it is critical not to dress in a provocative way.
- Make some research on the company before you come to the interview: what are their most common problems and how can you contribute to solve it? What is the corporate culture?
Be ready to show you share the company values. We have a great illustration with David. He showed to Saul his greatest motive for wanting the job is to fight for the honor of the God of Israel. He was saying in effect to the interviewer: not only I know your corporate values and mission, but I totally share them. I can recognize the problem you are facing is a great threat to them (and the very existence of your company) and this will be my motivation to succeed. In a nutshell, he was prepared to answer the HOW (skills) question and the WHY (motivation). He could not be denied!
Preparing for a job interview -- Preliminary research
- Preparing for a job interview also involves taking care of the small details that make all the difference. Be prepared to arrive in time. Make sure you know exactly how to reach the location and if possible, go there the day before and take note of the time it takes.
- Make all the necessary arrangements to arrive early, no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
- Try to know in advance who will be conducting the interview: Will it be your future boss? Will it be HR? Will it be a peer? Will it be an internal client?
- Try to know if it will be a group interview (several interviewers and/or candidates at the same time) or an individual one. Although not always possible, this part of knowing which type of interviewed you will have can be key in terms of preparation. Will you have to go through some tests (behavioral, personality, technical)?
- If relevant, bring with you some tools. David brought his slings and stones to the interview. What are your slings and stones? If you are a paint, you could have to show your work. If you are a web designer, you should be ready to provide the URL of some of your websites. Use to your advantage the following maxim: better be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not being prepared.