Career Transition: Preparing for Your Interview

May 3, 2011

Job Search

Aly AnlikerAly Anliker, Ed.M
Aly is a creative organizational and career consultant with over fifteen years of experience in Training Management, Executive Coaching and Instructional Design. She has a background in Human Resources and Marketing and has worked in a variety of industries including telecommunications, high technology, manufacturing and non-profit.

Preparing for Your Interview by Aly Anliker

You have worked and worked to land an interview. Finally you get a call to come in and meet with the hiring manager, an interview team or other members of the organization. You have heard that the key to interviewing well is preparation. But what exactly does that mean? There are two main components to preparation. These are preparing to talk about yourself and researching as much as you can about the person or persons you are interviewing with, the company and industry.

When preparing to talk about yourself, review the accomplishment statements on your resume. Make sure you have accomplishments that match the skills required in the job posting. Plan what you will say and which accomplishments you want to talk about based on possible answers to questions about your skills. Usually employers ask questions about your skills, what motivates you and questions to make sure you are a fit with the position, the team and the company. Some common interview questions that you want to prepare for include:

· Why are you interested in this position?
· What is your greatest strength\weakness?
· Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?

· Tell me about yourself.

For the last question, tell me about yourself, typically you will want to provide a brief overview of your background and experience for last ten to fifteen years. You will also want to talk about your focus. Given your background and skills, what kinds of opportunities are you seeking? Talk about how what you are seeking matches what you know about the employer’s opportunity. Try to keep your response to no more than 60 seconds.

Finally, in preparing to talk about yourself, it’s not a bad idea to find a trusted friend or someone in your network to practice with. You can obtain feedback on what to improve and get used to talking about yourself and your strengths.

Regarding the research part of interview preparation, there are a number of free websites where you can conduct work-search related research. Here are a few:
· The Riley Guide
In addition, you will want to research the company’s web site and use Google for general and specific research. To find out more about both interviewers and the company, you can do research on social media sites like Linkedin and Plaxo. Lastly, your local library may also have free research sites you can use.

Spend as much time as you can on preparation. The payoff is the call offering you the position!


3 Comments on “Career Transition: Preparing for Your Interview”

  1. Anne Bryant Says:

    Wow, Aly. This is concise and really helpful. Thanks!


  2. Minda Redburn Says:

    Aly, thanks so much. This is very helpful.


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