Posts Tagged: ‘competitive market’

Preparing For Interview

May 15, 2011 Posted by

Preparing For Interview

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Congratulations on getting an interview. In this competitive market there are more candidates chasing fewer jobs. To get on top of that hirers are doing more screening before the time-intensive face-to-face meeting. You’ve obviously got something that they want. Your interview needs to build on this by demonstrating just how good you are.

You may know little about the interviewer, or their approach. They could pitch up with their list of job-relevant questions, or with a copy of your Resume that they hope to get to grips with while you are introducing yourself.

No matter who you are going to meet, some questions are more likely (how about ‘tell me about yourself’?). Preparation is going to help you – to fluently answer at least some of the questions. Those people who put in the effort to plan and prepare are ahead. Five areas where your preparation can give you an advantage:

Examples of how you’ve handled important parts of the job (the job ‘moments of truth’ – whether that’s examples of selling, or analysis, or running a project)

Likely sporting, weather or other general topics that might come up in preliminary chatting.

In some job interviews it is important to have opinions on the economy, on industry figures or industry manoeuvring. In other job contexts, government developments are fair game for conversation.

Your self-introduction

The final summary, where you thank your interviewers and emphasise your enthusiasm for the job – leaving with a positive impression

Conscientiously inclined folks are better at the planning ahead, and preparation required for these areas. Of course people are more or less conscientious (you can check your conscientiousness level, and other personality traits, on the free PersonaPlus test (see below for details). Those more inclined to spontaneity can still find ways to do such preparation.

Extroverts are more likely to enjoy the stimulation of catching up with friends and having a chat. This can be just the right opportunity to talk through any and all of the interview aspects described above.

Open-minded individuals are more likely to explore the new and different. They may find it easy to research the sorts of topical issues that are likely to come up in an interview – as they check out their news feeds and blogs.

Agreeable folk feel for others and tend to be group, rather than individual focused. Interviews where they need to emphasise ‘I’ over ‘we’ can be a challenge. However, reframing the interview from ‘this is about me getting ahead’, to ‘this is about me being able to make a contribution for others’ can help build enthusiasm for preparation.

Nervous types are sensitive to threats, and more likely to experience unpleasant emotions. Dealing with the risk of not doing well in an interview – the nervous person might be tempted to avoid the interview altogether. Or use preparation as a way to build their self-confidence. Such people might benefit from ‘self-talk’ such as ‘I’m going to make an effort to prepare so that I can believe in myself when it comes to talking about my capabilities.’

Preparation is not a guarantee of a job offer. It is a way of helping you be on top of the situation and to be close to your best.

Alan Goodwin and Stewart Forsyth at provide self-development opportunities that work. We customize approaches to fit your unique personality. You tell us a bit about you - how you see yourself in your world. We provide unique suggestions that flex around your style.