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Interview Preparation Checklist

If you’ve read my last couple of dozen posts, you now know the importance of preparation whenever you have a job interview.

But more importantly, you know exactly how to prepare.  You know the best ways to research any company, how to recap your experience the way that Hiring Managers want, how to prepare for and answer the tough questions, and what questions you should be prepared to ask yourself in the interview.

In order to best use all the knowledge you now have, make a promise to yourself to perform the following steps every time you get an interview:

1.  Thoroughly research the company.
2.  Prepare your 30 – 60 second marketing message, tailored to what that specific position is looking for.
3.  Prepare anecdotes, tailored to that specific position, for the frequently asked “behavioral” questions.
4.  Write out on paper your answers to the commonly asked questions, again being sure to customize those answers to that specific job.
5.  Practice how you’ll answer the difficult questions.
6.  Write down four or five questions that you plan to ask at the interview.

Does doing all of this for every interview seem like a lot of work?  You’re absolutely right – it is.  But this is what the best prepared candidates – your competition – will do.  And in today’s tough economy, it’s the best prepared candidates that get the job offers.

Now that you’re done everything that you can in the way of preparing for your interview, the big day will inevitably arrive – the day of your actual interview.  Most candidates will be nervous with a serious case of the jitters…but not you!  Sure, you’re a bit apprehensive, but you’re now thoroughly prepared and that will make all the difference.

Oh, you may be taken by surprise with some unexpected questions you hadn’t anticipated, but no problem.  You’ll be able to confidently field any question by using all the background information you now have about the company.

My next several posts will guide you through everything else you need to get you through that all-important interview day and to hear those four golden words: “When can you start?”

We’ll specifically discuss the following topics and how to ace them in your interview:
•     How to Dress
•     What to Bring
•     When to Arrive
•     How to Behave
•     How to Handle a Phone Interview
•     The Best Way of All to End Your Interview
•    What to do after your interview

We’ll start next time by reviewing how to dress for your interview and I’ll tell you my favorite story about a candidate who dressed wrong.

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