Be Prepared - Job Interviews Are Predictable

For the most part, 80% of what goes on in an interview is routine and predictable. There are hundreds of books out there on what to ask and what you'll be asked. In addition to the standard questions, you need to decide what questions you are most afraid the interviewer will ask you so you can prepare and practice answers to those questions now.

A common interview agenda that looks something like this:

1. Introduction

2. Walking to the interview room

3. Small talk

4. The interviewer may give you a brief description of the position/overview of the company (depends on the interviewer)

5. The interview then asks:

* Tell me about yourself
* Job highlights/work experience
* Achievements
* Strengths and weaknesses
* Maybe education
* Maybe outside interests - community service

6. The interviewer may ask you if you have any questions

7. The interviewer should let you know a little more about where they are in the interviewing process and advise you of what their next steps are.

Are you the best candidate? Companies and hiring managers want to make sure you are the best candidate. Because of that there are certain things that they want from any candidate they hire. These are the things you need to be sensitive too and be prepared to emphasize. I have listed below just a few of the things they look for.

Companies want:

* Someone who will stay for a while
* Someone who can and wants to do the job
* A person who will compliment or lead the team
* Fast learner
* Appropriate skills for the job
* Can advance if required
* A good "soldier"
* Someone who will make the hiring manager and hence the company look good
* Someone who can and will help advance the company goals and objectives.

Hiring Managers want:

* Skills, abilities
* Personality, integrity, character
* What is NOT written on your resume?
* Communication and interpersonal skills
* Fit and finish
* Intelligence
* Self-confidence
* Initiative
* Leadership
* How you handle conflict and pressure
* Technical skills
* Industry contacts

Don't look at the interview as just reciting your resume, or to just answer questions that the interviewer will ask. Make no mistake, you must at least in the beginning, be on the selling side. The best way to sell yourself is to help the interviewer learn all the good things about you. Knowing ahead of time what companies and hiring managers are looking for will help you prepare.

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