Great job interviews are the result of thorough preparation. First, the more you know about an employer, the more you will be able to demonstrate your interest and knowledge to a hiring manager. How can you find out about a specific company? Check out its products, visit its website, and call and ask for brochures and annual reports. Find as much information as you can.
Second, the more you know why you want a specific job, the better able you will be to communicate your suitability for the position. One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to have answers to four crucial questions.
1. Why do I want this job?
Think carefully about a company you’ve targeted and why you would like to work there. When you know the answer, you’ll be able to answer some important interview questions such as:
- How did you become interested in this field?
- Why did you submit your application to our company/organization?
- What are your general career interests?
- What do you see yourself doing in five years?
2. What do I have to offer?
Employers want to know why they should hire you. To find out, they often ask general questions that will help them find out who you are:
- What skills/strengths do you bring to this position?
- What are your weaknesses?
- How will you contribute to our organization?
- What was your most important job accomplishment?
3. What else do I need to know?
One of the final queries you’ll be asked in an interview is: “Is there anything you would like to know about our company or the job?” It’s a good idea to prepare some questions to ask at the end of your interview. Here are some topics to explore:
- The company’s goals and challenges.
- What supervisors look for in employees.
- On-the-job training or other educational programs.
- Who you would be reporting to.
- Number of people you would be working with.
4. …and don’t forget the thank-you note
A thank-you note is a great opportunity to show appreciation and make a good impression. It should include:
- A statement of thanks for the opportunity to meet the interviewer;
- A sentence that re-states your interest in the job;
- A sentence that re-affirms your belief that you’re the right applicant; and
- An offer to provide further information to the hiring manager if necessary.
Prepare carefully for all interview questions. Write out answers and practice them on your own and with family and friends.