3 Interviewing Secrets for Obtaining Your New Job
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single most important thing you can do to get a job is to
interview. That's right. You've promoted yourself with a
stand-out resume, you've opened the right doors, attracted
the attention of the person with the power to hire you,
solicited an invitation for a meeting, and now it is the
moment of truth.
If you've brought your job search to this point, congratulations
are in order! Success—the job of your dreams—is in sight.
And yet, many people are fearful of interviews, anxious
that they might stumble or freeze on a difficult question,
scared of appearing unqualified, or afraid of rejection.
While it is natural to feel this way, interviews are also
the time when you can shine and where you can position yourself
strategically to win the job.
This article will teach you an easy way to prepare, so that
you can feel confident and really shine in interviews. With
an understanding of these three interviewing secrets and
the preparation that goes along with them, you will have
the ability in your next interview to engage in a conversation
and paint a picture in the interviewer's mind of exactly
how you are the best qualified candidate to meet their needs
and help them solve their problems - ultimately winning
the job offer.
Secret #1 - Know your prospective new employer
Take your time to do your research before the interview.
Preparation is an absolute must. Before your interview,
you should take the time to learn all you can about the
industry and trends in the industry, the company you are
interviewing with, their strengths and weaknesses, their
competitors, and the challenges that they are facing.
But, don't stop there. Try to uncover some information about
the position you are filling. Will you be replacing someone?
Can you find out why? How does the position "fit" in the
overall plans and goals of the company? What will be the
expectations of you in the position, the challenges you
will face, and the problems you will be expected to solve?
These are, of course, all good topics for conversation and
questions AT the interview. But, if you go armed with some
knowledge already, you will have a basis for understanding
the motivation behind questions the interviewer may ask,
and will have a stronger foundation for framing your answers.
Finally, you should also take the time to learn about the
interviewer, the person who will be your boss, and your
boss' boss. What keeps these people up at night? What are
their top issues? What goals and objectives are they tasked
with achieving for the company? All of this knowledge allows
you to be prepared with success stories from your past that
will illustrate your strengths and value proposition
are a perfect fit for the needs of the company.
Take the time to do your research and you will shine in
the interview, easily differentiating yourself from the
competition through your knowledge, sincere interest in
your future employer, and your initiative.
Secret #2 - Know your value proposition and how
you will deliver ROI to your new employer
It is essential that you understand the bottom-line motivation
of every company: that each of their employees deliver value—a
return on their investment in hiring that employee.
Value and returns can be defined in a variety of ways, so
it is helpful to remember that at the core every job is
designed for one or more of three purposes:
1) To make money for the company
2) To save money for the company
3) To solve a problem for the company
Prior to your interview, it is essential that you give some
deep reflection to the questions of how YOU will make contributions
to your prospective new employer. How will you make the
company better? More profitable? Stronger? More productive?
More efficient? What problems are you especially well qualified
to solve for them?
In the answers to these questions, you find your value.
Communicating your value during the interview, particularly
as it relates to the drivers and issues you uncovered during
your research, is a crucial key to the success of your interview.
Secret #3 - Be prepared with success stories to illustrate
your proven ability to add value
At this point, you are probably thinking about preparing
to answer questions during the interview. The best way to
do this is NOT to just prepare memorized speeches to the
hundreds of potential questions you might be asked!
Sure, you should be familiar with typical interview questions
and be ready with a general strategy for answering them.
But if you put too much time into memorizing them, your
answers will come across as stilted and rehearsed, and when
you are asked an unexpected question you are likely to freeze.
Remember this essential truth: At its very core, a job search
is a marketing campaign very similar to any other marketing
campaign in which you are selling a product or service.
But in a job search you are selling the ultimate product
At the essence of all marketing campaigns is an understanding
of the priorities and problems of the target audience, and
then of course the communication of the benefits and value
that the product or service that you are selling will deliver
in relation to those. We've covered each of these in the
first two secrets of interview preparation.
I would like to encourage you to begin thinking about your
job search in this very same way. You are the product that
you are selling and as such, you have value and benefits
to offer your target audience - the employers and hiring
authorities. These values and benefits need to be conveyed
in all of your job search interactions and communications.
Your job search really is a personal sales and marketing
Knowing all this, how do you prepare for answering interview
questions? As much as possible, you'll want to phrase your
answers in terms of the benefits and value they will add
to the employer. Don't just tell the interviewer you have
a strength—give them an example that illustrates how you
have used the strength to produce positive results in the
past and provide context that will help the interviewer
understand the strategic importance of the delivere results.
Your interview answers will be derived from what is commonly
known as CAR Success Stories (Challenge-Action-Result Success
Stories). Before your interview, take the time to think
about and document between six and twelve CAR Success Stories.
What are some of your greatest accomplishments that illustrate
the strengths you want to highlight in your interview? What
were the challenges you faced related to these accomplishments?
What actions did you take to meet the challenge? What were
the results—quantified results when possible—of the actions
that you took?
Take your time to write out these stories and then learn
them backwards and forwards. You will call on them to answer
nearly every question you are asked in an interview, successfully
turning your interview from a simple Q&A session into a
memorable, positive, job-winning dialogue.
Nationally certified resume
writer and career marketing expert, Michelle Dumas
is the director of Distinctive Career Services LLC. Through
Distinctive Documents http://www.distinctiveweb.com and her
Executive VIP Services http://www.100kcareermarketing.com
Michelle has empowered thousands of professionals all across
the U.S. and worldwide. Michelle is also the author of Secrets
of a Successful Job Search http://www.job-search-secrets.com
Published - April 2009
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