Preparing for a job interview can be one of the most daunting, stressful things you can put yourself through.
It certainly was for me.
Three years ago, I really wish someone had put together a practical how to prepare for a job interview guide, where they walked me through all the important steps because I really needed it.
There are some good guides out there but they all fit the same cookie cutter mold, meaning they say the same thing.
Many guides neglect the overall psychology behind job interviews, which is a huge component.
You need to have answers to these questions:
What are employers really looking for?
What is my job interviewer thinking?
How am I being judged?
How can I position myself as a young, ambitious, go-getter?
It’s not uncommon for recent graduates to spend 6-8 months submitting resumes, spending emails, and going through dozen of job interview processes with nothing to show for it.
This is unacceptable.
This is why Tony and I have decided to address this.
I know that feeling of helplessness and to this day I am disgusted at myself.
It’s easy to mentally psyche yourself out by having a bunch of different scenarios race through your head.
“What questions are they going to ask me?”
“How am I going to respond?”
“Do I know everything about my resume?”
“What if it goes bad and I mess up?”
The negative thoughts and constant second guessing I put myself through was disgusting.
Many guys feel anger and frustration because of their repeated failures building social circles or getting chicks. That’s exactly how I feel toward the job market.
Nothing makes me angrier than all of the bullshit and shitheads in upper management that you must deal with in Corporate America.
Preparation is your first step in the job interview process.
In our discussions, Tony and I start at the point where you are offered an in person interview where you actually go to the office, meet the staff, and have the opportunity to sell yourself to a decision maker.
There are other steps in the job interview process, such as:
– submitting the resume/filling out the online application
– reaching out to HR (remember the importance of bringing as much human element in to the job hunt as possible)
– 1-2 phone interviews
We may revisit the topics later. They are pretty standard procedure. You either have what they want (and they move you along) or you don’t.
This is screening in the corporate world. They are candidate screening to find out the best fit for the job. And you’re the candidate.
What is your initial objective when you are preparing for your job interview?
Your objective is to show up to your interview and prove that you are the best candidate for the position. That is what you must prepare for.
That is the only thing that matters. That is the only thing your mind and actions should be geared towards.
Anything else, whether it be negative attitudes or self-doubt, is a waste of time and will rob you of precious energy that can be focused on the task at hand.
Preparation often determines the winners before the game begins and the same rules apply to the job search, culminating in a successful job interview.
Preparing for a Job Interview is a 4 Part Attack
If you want the Cliff’s Notes on how to prepare for a job interview it is this.
Preparation for a job interview can be broken up in to 4 parts and they are as follows.
1. Research the person who is interviewing you.
Toward the tail-end of a successful phone interview, that interviewer (on the phone) will usually make a decision on the spot.
They will say that they feel like you would be a great candidate for the position and they are happy to move you on to the next step: an in-person interview.
Or they will say, “We’ll be in touch.” In that case, you’ll either never hear from them again or you’ll get one of those generic “thanks but no thanks” emails.
When (if) you get the good news, they will usually tell you who you will be interviewing with. If they do not do this, make sure you ask. You must do this!
Once you get their name and title, research them. Google them. Look them up on LinkedIn. Don’t be signed in when you do this.
You want to have as much information on you interviewer as possible. Again, know who you are dealing with.
2. Research the company and its core values.
If you really want to make a good impression with your employer, know the company.
Make sure you study the company’s website.
More likely than not, the company has some core values that the entire organization is expected to abide by. They also conduct their business according to these ideals.
Make sure you know these because it’s very common for interviewers to ask questions concerning these core values.
3. Know your resume.
When I say know your resume, I mean memorize it.
You should be able to talk about your education, past work experiences, and job related skills without looking at your resume.
Most importantly, know what your resume’s strengths are and know how to position them.
In order to adequately sell yourself to your interviewer, you are going to want to constantly refer back to key experiences as proof for your qualifications.
4. Know the job description.
This is the most important job interview tip I can give you. Knowing your resume and knowing the job description ties it all together.
This is how you ultimately shut the door on your interview. In other words, this is how you close your interview.
You sell them by referring back to the job description and relating your work experiences to it.
When it’s all said and done, there should be no question as to why you’re the best candidate.
In this episode of The Dorms to Daybeds Podcast, Tony and I discuss how to prepare for a job interview.
We discuss everything in this article (intertwined with our own experiences) and a whole lot more so be sure to listen to this episode.
Click play or go to iTunes to download.
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