The success of your job interview is contingent upon several factors: the impact of your first impression, your ability to handle yourself well and speak to your strengths, how well your skills and experience match with the general requirements of the position, your personality and your overall professionalism. This all-important conversation is your moment to shine, so get yourself psyched to win!
The overriding factor for how well you do lies in how well you prepare. Take a look at the following 12 keys to interview success and make certain to address each of them as you get ready your next interview.
- Review the posting in great detail so that you're well prepared to demonstrate how your experience fits with each of the requirements of the job.
- Research the company and find out (if possible) the hiring manager's needs so that you can speak to the specifics of the problems he or she is facing.
- Practice your answers to frequently asked interview questions in light of the position requirements. You'll need to present yourself as a "knowledgeable insider," so display your industry knowledge whenever you can. (You can turn to the Internet for a list of general interview questions and suggested answers. Enter "sample interview questions" into your search engine and you'll find several pages of listings.)
- Anticipate any objections regarding your qualifications and be able to speak to these as well as to your strengths.
- Be able to highlight your skills in each of the three skill areas:
- Knowledge-based, technical skills: how will your educational background, training, and specific technical skills benefit the organization?
- Personal traits and skill sets: how does your personal style, work ethic, ability to get along with others, etc. create added value?
- Transferable skills: how will the skills you've learned in previous positions help you succeed and contribute to the goals of the new job?
Mary Eileen Williams is a Nationally Board Certified Career Counselor with a Master's Degree in Career Development and twenty years' experience assisting midlife jobseekers to achieve satisfying careers. Her book, Land the Job You Love: 10 Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers Over 50, is a step-by-step guide that shows you how you can turn your age into an advantage and brand yourself for success. Updated in February 2013, it's packed with even more critical information aimed at providing mature applicants with the tools they need to gain the edge over the competition and successfully navigate the modern job market. Visit her website at Feisty Side of Fifty.com and celebrate your sassy side!