Monday, April 13, 2009

Nothing to Fear...... except your own Fear!

FEAR! Job Interview Jitters...... it's real and for many, your most real fear today!

Most of us have heard it said that right behind dying, the greatest fear that many of us have is public speaking. However, it has been my experience that for a lot of people, under the pressure of really needing a job, the greatest fear is that of blowing a job interview.

You will increase your chances of getting offers when you prepare for the Interview ahead of time. You will also reduce the Job Interview Jitters considerably and come across as the more confident candidate who really should get the nod!

If you think in terms of who gets hired........ not perfect people but those who represent the best fit with the company, it should help you relax.

Here are SEVEN things you can do to prepare yourself for the interview:

1. Have a friend or colleague review your resume to make sure it flows well, is free from typos and shows you off in your best light. Resumes and Cover letters with typos indicate a person who doesn't do their homework and misses the basics. Would you hire someone like that?

2. Research the Target Employer before sending your resume and write a customized cover letter to accompany your first approach. Learn as much as you can about the company or department where the opening exists. What is the mission of the organization? The Vision of the founder or the leader? What is the culture and how do they dress? Knowling the lay of the land so to speak gives you an advantage and you can customize your approach to compliment their approach. Fitting In is an important first test of the interview process and with some preparation you can avoid some of the early pitfalls of the screening process.

3. Ask questions of the person contacting you to schedule the Interview: May I get a copy of the Job descriptions? How long should I plan to spend at the interview? Who will I be interviewing with? (How many, is it a team or a single person?) Are there any special parking or driving instructions? Is there any advice you can give me to help me prepare? That last question empowers the person who reached out to you and it can help you build a bond. They may not have any new information to share with you at this time, but it indicates that you are thoughtful and interested prior to the meeting and can impress your future colleagues that you cared enough to ask.

4. Contact Your References in Advance to let them know you are looking for work. I once rehired a former sales executive because she reached out to me and was happy to hear from her. Don't let strangers take your former employers by surprise, be sure to let them know that you are using them as a reference and make sure it is not only OK, but that you will be getting a good endorsement of your work. If your references are weak, please add some more character, personal or school references to give the hiring company something to use in verifying your past performance.

5. Dress appropriately for the Job and the Company, Have I already told you that a chief financial officer once showed up for an important meeting in his sweatshirt? This sent the message to me that he didn't feel that the meeting was important enough to dress for business and I lost confidence in his judgement. Try to find out what your boss is likely to wear and dress to fit in with the next level up in the organization.

6. Show up On Time...... About 25% of all candidates come late or don't show. It seems impossible but just showing up on time puts you in the top 50% of all first time interviewers/job candidates! No sense`getting yourself all stressed out by running late....or worse yet, into an accident on the way. Please consider doing a dry run of the meeting location so you are worried about those details on the day of your important next interview.

7. Listen.....Listen, Listen! Be alert in the interview and prepared to answer questions fully. Listen carefully to what is being asked of you and answer questions directly and succinctly. If you don't understand what is being asked, ask for clarification and then answer. Try to give a few good examples which demonstrate that you are a person of commitment, tenacity and confidence.

By doing these 7 Things you will be a stronger candidate. Your butterflies can fly in formation and you can hone in on getting the job offers you deserve. Good Luck!

1 comment:

Funniest Job Interview Contest said...

If you have one of your own funny interview stories you can join ICT's "Funniest Interview Video Contest" and you may win a Grand Prize of $1,000