Monday, March 19, 2007

Nailing That Job Interview

My career track will changing soon. Because I nailed the interview. I mean, flat out hit every pitch out of the park. Not many things are better than knowing you handled a job interview with style and substance, and walking out feeling the love in that board room.

Presentation skills are not limited to the platform. In fact, the close-quarter combat that typifies most job interviews requires a similar amount of research, preparation, and practice. So before you head into your next interview, here are some things to have ready:
  • Research. Doesn't matter if it's Microsoft or McDonalds, it really impresses the interviewer if you know all about the company's history, its products and services, and its customers. If you have Internet access, there's no excuse for not doing your homework.

  • Preparation. You know that you're the right person for the gig--but why? The moment you know you're getting an interview, start preparing your answers to questions like, "What are your strengths...and why are they important to this organization?", "Which career decision do you wish you could take back?", and most important, "Why do you want this job?" Develop a compelling answer to that question and the job is as good as yours.

  • Be Positive. Don't talk negatively about any previous job experience, especially about your old boss and what a loser he was. If you're openly complaining about your last job, chances are you'll be complaining about your new gig soon enough.

  • Dress For Success. Yes, I know, it sounds trite. And I know you really, really feel like your freedom of expression is being censored because you can't wear a kilt to the interview. But trust me, the business world is not a democracy. Think of it as a benevolent dictatorship. So unless you find in your research that the company wants rugged individuals with wild fashion taste (and there are those companies out there,) please wear something appropriate.

Job interviews don't have to feel like the corporate version of the Bataan Death March--in fact, they can be thrilling IF you've prepped and presented correctly. (Good luck!)

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