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Job Interview Preparation covers job selection, employer investigation, interview practice, notes and other techniques to set yourself apart as valuable job candidate.

Job Interview Preparation

The Job Interview is usually the most stressful and difficult part of any job.  On the job stress falls a distant second to the interview required to get the job in the first place.  So, what can we do to reduce the stress and impress our future boss at the interview?  That's where preparation comes in.  This article is about job selection, employer investigation, pre-interviews and practice to show you're prepared for the job and not just the interview questions.

Career And Job Selection is the most important step in preparing for the interview.  We must do a thorough job search to find careers and jobs that are an actual match for the skills, education and experience we have.  You may be able to craft a deceptive resume that makes it look like you're qualified where you aren't, but how do you get past the interview, or worse, do the work once hired?  There are skill sets you develop in certain fields that work in other jobs, as well.  If you're in doubt, get a professional career counselor to help you find your good matches.  It will make all the difference when you're interviewing if you already have a good match.  As a side note...if you're changing careers, take some classes to fill in gaps in your experience toward the new field.  Of course, to make sure it's a good match and to prepare for the interview, it's a good idea to investigate the potential employers.

Employer Investigation is essential to prepare for an interview.  What you're looking for, here, is information about your employer that you can use to show your interest in their operation and to find ways you can contribute to that operation.  Recently, a new head coach was chosen for the Sacramento Kings Basketball Team.  The owners were impressed with the one candidate who came prepared, knowing players, strengths, weaknesses, recommended game strategies...he had a huge binder he had compiled on the Kings...he got the job.  This is the kind of thing, though not to that extent, you should be looking for when investigating your employer.  Where are they in the market with respect to their competitors?  What are the similarities and differences between them and their competition?  How can the experience and ideas you offer give them an edge over the competition?  Even if all your investigation gets you is a way to show the employer you're interested in the company and not just the paycheck, it will be well worth the effort.

Some of the places you can get information about companies are very easy and helpful.  Your local better business bureau and chamber of commerce are always good places to start.  Check with your local and state governments for information involving their business license and incorporation information.  If they're licensed services (contractors, hospitals, nursing homes, vets, etc.) your State should have a file including claims against the company and settlements.  If the headquarters is in your county, there may be interesting records at the local courthouse.  Then there's the Internet, where you can search on the company name and the general categories of business to find out a lot about the employer and their industry.  Don't forget to look at the financial information if you can get it.  Publicly held corporations file public financial information which is analyzed on websites like  Armed with as much information as you can get, begin to think about where you fit in the company and how your skill set and attitude will help them.  Sometimes, you can get more information by interviewing others before the boss interviews you.

Pre-Interview Interviews can be conducted with company employees (if it doesn't interfere), competitors...even the suppliers and customers of the company (be careful about this one).  The competitors can give you an idea of the wages and benefits that are standard for your work and the reputation of your potential employer.  Who knows...if their competitors see someone ambitious enough to investigate the competition, they may offer you a position before you get to the interview.  Employees of a company can give you great insight and may help you get hired.  Once, when I asked an employee about the job, working conditions and company philosophy, he told his department supervisor to make sure I got hired because he hadn't seen someone that ambitious in years.  Suppliers and customers of the company can give you great insight if you're tactful.  Make sure to find out if there's anything they feel would make it easier for them to do more business with your employer.  If you get anything useful, make sure to share it at the interview because good companies are always looking for ways to improve...and hiring you just might be that way.  The whole area of investigation and pre-interviews is to give you an edge the other applicants won't have when it comes to the job interview questions.

Concluded at Job Interview Preparation 2

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