Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Are you ready for the interview? If not, it's time to prepare

So you've prepared the perfect portfolio and are darn proud of your resume. Now it's time to review what questions you might be asked, thoughtfully prepare your responses and carefully craft your own questions. Here are some suggestions to get you ready for the big day.

- Research, research, research.
- Review the company Web site in detail.
- Google executives who might interview you.
- Read news stories about the organization.
- Prepare questions for the employer.
- Understand the job responsibilities, nature of workload, organizational overview and reporting structure.

Make sure you have the right interview mindset
- Remember: You’re interviewing the employer, too.
- Observe the 50/50 rule of speaking/listening.
- Take 20 seconds to two minutes to answer questions.
- Be a part of the solution, not the problem.
- Bring evidence of your work (portfolio).
- Do not bad-mouth previous employer(s).

Some questions the employer might ask
- Why are you here?
- What can you do for us?
- What kind of person are you?
--- Strengths
--- Weaknesses
- What distinguishes you from 19 other people who can do the same task?

Questions to ask yourself

- What skills are essential to this position and do I have them?
- Will I fit in with the culture?
- Can I balance my course load, part-time job and this opportunity?

Taking the extra time to ask yourself the tough questions upfront will only prepare you for the curve balls. It's better to have already thought them through, in advance, rather than appearing like you haven't a clue.