Many job seekers are under the false impression that a slick resume is the key to securing that job they so badly want. It’s true your resume should be as attractive, truthful, and concise as possible without boring readers with a lot of unnecessary details.
However, make no mistake, your resume is just a tool designed to ignite enough interest to get your foot in the door for that all important job interview.
The interview process is where you must be ready to effectively sell yourself and put yourself in a position at the head of all the rest of your job-seeking competitors. The only way to do that is preparation, preparation, preparation!
I must confess I didn’t fully understand how important preparation for a job interview was, and what it meant to properly prepare for an interview, until I was preparing to interview for my last job at the age of 64! I firmly believe my preparation for that interview made all the difference in helping me rise above the rest of the pack.
In fact, and in retrospect, I realize now that I probably knocked myself out of several great job opportunities because I was not properly prepared for the interview process.
So what changed in my ability to properly prepare for a job interview? I ran across Dan Miller’s website, 48Days.com, and ordered his book 48 Days To The Work You Love.
Everything Miller wrote about in that book made so much sense to me that I committed to put it into practice when I decided to candidate for that last job I spoke of earlier, at the age of 64!
It made me realize that you’re never too old to compete for a job opportunity if you possess the skills and experience for that position and, more importantly, if you are properly prepared for the interview process.
I’m going to share some nuggets of wisdom from Dan Miller’s book, 48 Days To The Work You Love, hoping you too will find his wisdom as valuable as I did and want to learn more before seeking your next job opportunity.
Proper Preparation For A Job Interview
Dan Miller says, “The keys to successful interviewing are preparation, knowing what to expect, and practice.
Preparation is the single most important factor in successful interviews. Your preparation should involve 2 primary components: knowing yourself and knowing the company.”
Millers states, “Critical to presenting yourself well and securing a position that will be meaningful and fulfilling is the process of self-assessment. You should be intimately familiar with your (1) skills and abilities, (2) personality tendencies, and (3) values, dreams, and passions.
Be prepared in this regard to answer the following questions in the interview (. . .these few are critical in thoroughly knowing yourself):
Tell me a little about yourself. This is a standard question in almost every interview. In some ways, it is probably the most important question in your interview, and you must prepare your answer well in advance.”
I must confess, I didn’t understand how important this question was and I know I lost out on at least one job opportunity I was really interested in! I actually would get angry when asked that question. I thought it was so stupid since they had my resume and could find out as much as they wanted about me! I totally didn’t get it!
Miller goes on to say, “The interviewer will expect you to have developed an answer for this question, and if you have not, you will appear ill-prepared, and the interview will be off to a very poor start.
Remember, your answer to any question should be no more than 2 minutes in length. On this particular one, you might spend 15 seconds on your personal background, 1 minute on your career highlights, a few seconds on your strongest professional achievements, and then conclude by explaining why you are looking for a new opportunity.
Ask yourself, ‘What can I contribute to this company?’ and let that guide your response. Regardless of the content of your answer, you should outline the answer to this question on paper then practice it many times until you can repeat it concisely.
What are 3 of your strengths? If you cannot clearly identify and describe your strengths, how do you expect an interviewer to pull them out in the brief encounter of an interview?
Tell me about a weakness and what you have done to work on it. Don’t play ignorant or modestly claim perfection. Be prepared to talk about something you struggle with. At the same time, stay positive in regard to what you have done to improve.
What skills do you possess that have prepared you for this job? Obviously, you need to have researched the company and the job, or you will be unprepared for this question.
What are your short and long-term goals? Talk about personal goals as well as business goals. Companies today are looking for balanced individuals who are interested in things other than work.”
Knowing The Company
Miller states, “Knowledge of the company or organization, its products and services, its standing in the community, and the key individuals involved is essential.
In addition, you should obtain information about the company’s annual growth rate, annual sales, number of employees, location of the company headquarters, and it’s major changes such as buyouts or mergers and industry trends.
The information you have, which will lead to questions you can ask, can easily tip the scales in your favor during the interview.
Make sure you are ready with 4 to 5 questions. Even if the interviewer has answered everything you need to know, it will make you appear more interested and more knowledgeable if you ask a few questions.”
In his book, Dan Miller offers 21 questions you may be asked by an interviewer, questions you need to have a 1 to 2 minute answer prepared in advance.
It’s a process well worth committing to if you want to shine above the competition. It may seem like a daunting task at first but it will help you really take a serious assessment of yourself in a number of very beneficial ways.
Miller also offers 21 questions you can choose from to ask the interviewer.
I can honestly attest to the fact that 48 Days To The Work You Love totally prepared me with the information and confidence I needed to shine above my competition at the age of 64 and win the job doing the work I knew I would love!
See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!