Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. (Seneca)
Daryl comes out of another tense project meeting at work. He’s late leaving for his job interview. He guiltily leaves his jacket hanging in his cubicle so no one will suspect he is gone and sneaks out to his car. He turns on talk radio where politicians are being called the biggest thieves and liars on earth. That gets him thinking about his hate for his current job. He’s two minutes late. No one will notice, but Daryl is still stressed. The interview seems to go well, but it only lasts half an hour. The next day a secretary calls and informs him that “He is not a fit.” He doesn’t understand why.
This is how Daryl blew it
You have to prepare for your interview emotionally and mentally. Daryl did neither. He really did everything he could to assure he interviewed poorly.
Here are 10 things to do on your way to an interview:
- Get mentally out of your office an hour early. Shut your office door or leave the building. At the very least, prepare the evening before.
- Reread the descriptions you have of the job you are applying for.
- Jot down a quick list of how you have triumphed in the kinds of projects that you would see on that job. Writing the list cements it in your mind.
- Describe those triumphs out loud while you watch a clock. Keep each description under 2 minutes.
- Answer aloud a few test questions like, “Tell me about yourself,” or “Why do you want this job?” Time your answers. Keep them under 2 minutes.
- Leave early enough to arrive 10 or 15 minutes before the interview starts.
- Listen to soothing music or a motivational tape as you drive.
- Use your drive time to think about what you have accomplished in previous jobs. Talk out loud about each accomplishment while you watch the clock. Keep each description under 2 minutes.
- After you stop in the parking lot, read the job descriptions one more time. You need to keep in mind what the company says it is looking for.
- Time to shine. Remember to smile as you walk in the door and greet each person. Have fun. Remember, they invited you in. They want to see you.
If you have a bad interview, you won’t get the job. If you have a great interview, you not only get the job, you may get more money.
Interview preparation is not difficult. It requires time and concentration. Give it the time and the effort it deserves. You’ll see the difference.
One thing I mentioned that people forget
Collect job descriptions of every job you are going to interview for. That’s often the key missing link in preparation. If you rely only on your memory, you may forget a few essential points that you should emphasize in your interview.