Interviewing (Just ASK!)
Interviewing well is a critical element to master if you are going to be successful in your job search. Interviewing represents the heart of “Knocking” in the Just ASK! methodology. Sometimes it can be so frustrating just trying to get an interview that people focus all their time and energy on sending out resumes for jobs they see online. Often they overlook the preparation it takes to do well in an interview.
A lot of people believe they are “naturals” when it comes to interviewing and don’t spend the time they should preparing and rehearsing, and then end up with less than satisfactory results. Even if you are experienced at interviewing, one misstep can cost you a job.
Don’t overlook this part of the process! By the time you are selected for an interview you have overcome a lot of hurdles. Now is your opportunity to shine! Here’s how:
Know What You Want
Understand what makes you tick. Know why the position you will be interviewing for is a good fit for your personality, interests, skills, and values. Also understand your strengths and weaknesses. Realize how your education and professional experience support your career objectives and will provide value to a new employer. Think of examples (stories) to support all of the above.
If you aren’t sure just yet what your career options are or what direction you want to pursue, check out our Assessment Section for assistance.
Understand What Employers Want
Wouldn’t it make preparing for interviews easier if you knew ahead of time what employers are looking for in the people they are going to hire? The good news is that you can, with a little bit of research and analysis, identify nearly all the questions you will be asked before your interview.
In the 2008 Job Outlook from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) employers rated the following 12 characteristics as somewhere between very important and extremely important:
- Communication skills
- Strong work ethic
- Teamwork skills (works well with others)
- Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
- Problem-solving skills
- Analytical skills
- Computer skills
- Technical skills
- Organizational skills
In addition, review the job posting and any information on the employer’s career or job web pages that identify kinds of skills and qualities they are touting as indicative of the typical employee. For each characteristic from an employer’s website coupled with those from the list above, think about a short story you could tell that would show the employer how you have demonstrated those traits in your life.
This does NOT mean that you will need to memorize a ridiculous number of stories for each interview. You will probably find that about a half dozen stories or so, told with a slightly different emphasis, is all you will need to have in your arsenal of stories. For example, a story that showcases your analytical skills can also probably be used to showcase your problem-solving skills, detail orientation, and so on.
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