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A job interview can be a turning point in your future. Our career can impact our future life and is important as employment history on our resume. Yet, many people don’t take the interview seriously. They don’t research the company, they don’t look up interview questions and answers, and they don’t prepare responses to common questions.
In an interview, seemingly simple questions can stall you. If you are not prepared, you will not give your best answer. You go home thinking you did well, but how do you compare to other candidates?
For example, in answer to the question, "Why do you want to work here?" some people will say things such as: "I've worked in this field for 10 years and have great experience. I feel I can make a difference to your company. I have a proven track record. I've read on your website that your company is expanding and I can contribute."
That answer may sound sufficient, it is barely adequate! Why? The answer sounds like one that could be given to any company. Some people don’t give enough detail to their answer, while others, who may be over qualified, give too much fluff.
WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK HERE? Here's where you get to show what you've learned about the company, and why it's attractive to you. Comment on awards they have won, their excellent product line or customer service, or the way that they are exploring new markets. Use specifics. Even if the business is not huge, you can still find information about it in local papers, through the Chamber of Commerce, their Facebook page, and on their website. Relate your own work history to what you've learned about the company, their mission, and their market. Look to your skills and what excites you and how that relates to any information you learned from the job posting, your job agent, or your friend who referred you. Explain how you can benefit the company. For instance, perhaps their post stated that they were looking to establish a new sales department from ground up. If you thrive on communication, challenges, and making things happen then tell the interviewer stories about when you have worked in a similar situation.
TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. This is your rehearsed elevator speech. It is not your personal life history, but it should be about your education and career history. Knowing who you are, what you can do, what you want, what you have to offer and being able to articulate clearly and quickly can mean the difference between the interviewers turning off, or putting you at the top of the list. Sell yourself. When you are done selling, reiterate what you like about the job and company, and close the deal.
In summary, practice and research will help you land the job. You can be the best candidate, but if your interviewing skills are terrible, then you will never be seen as such.