What two words describe what is necessary for a successful job interview? I would have to say, “Preparation” and “Practice.” I really can’t say enough about either of those two words when it comes to being ready for a job interview.
Let’s start with “Preparation.” When I interviewed for the Career Services Advisor position that I currently hold at Western, I had a portfolio ready to show that included extra copies of my resume, copies of college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and recent certificates of seminar completion that I thought would be of interest to those on the team that interviewed me. I also had notes to help me remember my strong points, written out on a 3X5 card and tucked into the portfolio’s inside pocket.
As soon as I found out I had landed an interview, I spent over an hour thinking through my strong points and comparing them to what Western Technical College was looking for in an employee. Then I had several days to think over what I had come up with and was able to add to my notes. I really feel going through that process with myself helped immensely.
On to “Practice.” You can practice talking about yourself, out loud. Either talk to your mirror at home, or talk to your dog or cat, but talk out loud about yourself and your strengths. Tell some of the stories that the author in the below article suggests you come up with. Tell the stories out loud. Practice, Practice, Practice. I had key words jotted down on that 3X5 card to help me remember my stories. The below link will guide you to an excellent article that Barb, our Career Services Manager found on line. Just like us in Career Services here at Western, he/she does a lot of mock interviews with students. Not only will the author help you look at the big picture, he/she will tell you how to practice and he/she will give you tips on Skype or phone interviews. More employers are using Skype and phone interviews in round one today than ever before. Enjoy!
PS: The author talks about how the interview starts in the parking lot….he/she is not kidding! They really do! I have heard this from more than one professional.
PPS: I also noticed he/she suggests using a video program to video tape yourself answering questions! Go to our website at: http://www.westerntc.edu/careerservices/ and try out “Perfect Interview,” our online interview practicing tool!