Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seven Job Interview Preparation Secrets

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When attending a job interview it is often your make or break opportunity to sell yourself, deliver proof of your outstanding abilities and to win that job.
So if:
  • you're prone to suffer from extreme nervousness before a job interview
  • your mind goes blank when asked a question
  • you feel uncomfortable about selling yourself
These seven job interview preparation secrets will help you arrive at the interview in peak condition so that you perform strongly and give yourself the best possible chance of being chosen for that job.

Secret number one - put the law of primacy in your favor
Where ever possible try to organize to be the first person seen on the day of your interview. Your interviewers should be at their most alert and interested. A first appointment of the day will also put the Law of Primacy into play, in your favor - this means that we tend to remember the first person we meet, the first item on a list etc more easily than those in the middle.

Secret number two - the value of a good night's rest
Make sure you receive a good night's sleep the night before the interview. Also plan to prepare a meal that is full of foods that make you feel at your best, the evening before your interview. Before you go to sleep set an intention to sleep soundly and to awaken easily at an appropriate time feeling refreshed and ready to present yourself at your best.

secret number three - know exactly where you are going
Plan your route carefully, know exactly how to reach the interview destination and alternatives in case of unforeseen circumstances. If time and finances permit, do a practice trip to the place of the interview, at a similar time a day or so ahead of schedule.  Plan to arrive 20 - 30 minutes to 30 minutes early on the day and either remain in your car or have a suitable place close to your interview destination where you can sit, take stock, relax and prepare yourself with some breathing exercises or a final run through of key questions and how you intend to answer them so that there will be no doubt in the interviewers mind/s that you are the right person for the job.

secret number four - check and recharge your energy levels
Because energy and the demonstration of energy is such an important factor in how we are perceived being aware of your energy levels and output, and whether it is a match for the level of energy required on the job you are applying for. Do you need to be very bright, active fast and demonstrate a high level of energy or does the job you are applying for require a quiet, focused alertness or anything in between? To raise your energy levels you might jump up and down, punch the air and say "yes, yes, yes" so that you feel pumped and ready to perform. Or if you need to calm yourself down to perform at your best and some simple meditation and relaxation techniques may be appropriate. Know yourself and practice beforehand.

Secret number five - use all your senses
To help you get into the best frame of mind and peak performance state you can use ALL of your senses. Do you have a favorite piece of music? Maybe a favorite quote or a special routine physical routine that helps you get on top and feel sharp, alert, focused and ready for anything. Make sure you schedule time to go through these rituals and habits on the day of the interview.  Images that inspire, even smells that elicit memories of you performing at your best. Taste is a little harder - because you don't want to eat or drink anything for about an hour before the interview unless it is a sip of room temperature water. What is your taste of success?

Secret number six - check everything - twice
Check all your clothes and any bags the night before the interview to make sure you have absolutely everything you need and that your clothes are clean, wrinkle free and have no buttons missing. Do you have a map with the address clearly highlighted? Is your phone fully charged? (just in case you are unavoidably delayed.) You will of course turn off your phone before you enter the building. Do you know the name of the person you will be seeing? Do you have extra copies of your resume and reference list available?
Secret number seven - how to prepare strong answers for anticipated questions
Have you prepared, to the best of your ability, examples and proof of results that you have achieved to date, and what you can do for your potential employer?

For example:  If it is a customer service position you are going for you could anticipate questions such as: Tell us about a time when you delivered exceptional customer service.
Tell us about the most challenging customer problem you have ever resolved.
How do you cope with confrontational people?
What follow-up systems to use to ensure customer issues are resolved and not just abandoned as "too hard"?

For each of these types of questions and any others that you believe you may be questioned about in the interview you need to prepare with examples that included facts and figures, where ever possible. Your job is to "paint the picture" or "tell the story" so that it is crystal clear to your interviewers that you have what they are seeking.  To create your examples follow this very simple procedure.

C - Circumstance - where were you? what we are doing? what was the problem?
A -  the Action you took to resolve the issue and
R - the Result you achieved.

So there you have my seven secrets to being well-prepared for any job interview. Use them as a guide to help you develop your own patterns and habits for job interview preparation, that will set you up for success.
Shelley Cox is the Career Angel: Speaker, Trainer, Coach, Author, Thought Field Therapy Practitioner; a passionate and dedicated career services professional who works with you:
- Creating stunning, highly focused personal marketing documents for you career
- Inspiring self belief, greatness and action
- Uncovering your uniqueness and value in the workplace
- Coaching for job interview success

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