Careers after 50 couple





Job Interview Preparation-The Winning Approach! 

Pass the interview test with job interview preparation


job interview preparation ideasWhy do you think most job applicants flunk the biggest test of their life?

In a recent study asking hiring managers this question, 55% stated job applicants who came across as unprepared and lacking in basic job interview skills was the biggest reason for rejection.

So it appears many job hunters fail their biggest test not because of lack of qualifications or experience but a lack of job interview preparation; something totally within their control. And if it’s something you can control, you can prepare and practice and study so you get ahead of the line.

Remember, job interviews come in many forms. It could be for an external job opening, a possible internal promotion or transfer or a critical networking opportunity.

The first step in your job interview preparation

Whatever the job opening, the first step is to carefully study the job announcement. Learn all you can about the critical competencies that make the job work. What technical skills and experience are required? This approach is particularily important for the after 50 job hunter as it will seperate you from the younger applicants.

Different employers use different terms to mean the same thing. Project management and team leadership may be identical skills.

Try and find out the linchpin competency; it may be the number one requirement in the job description, you may learn about it by asking questions in you pre-interview telephone interview or you find someone working at the employer that can help find you the answer.
If you are still at a loss, search the internet and Google the job title. This should help fill in the gaps on your inquiry.

Match your accomplishments to the employer's needs

The next step is to review your work history and come up with two or three stories of relevant accomplishments in the core competency, that you can relate each in about two minutes or less; briefly state the situation or problem, now tell what you were asked to do or if you came up with the task on your own, then relate what action you took and difficulties you overcame and the results. The results should be quantifiable.

For example, don’t tell the interviewer that you improved morale but your reduced unwanted turnover by 27% and saved over $90,000 in the first year. You get the idea.

In your research of the company, you will uncover additional challenges facing the job, the department and the company.

Build your responses to each job requirement as you did with the main factor. If any accomplishment or combination of achievements resulted in you getting a bonus or promotion be sure to highlight it.

Basic job interview skills-answering questions properly

Develop a list of 50 or more relevant interview questions and write out your answers. A useful technique is to write the question on one side of a 5x7 card and the best answer on the other side.

Now have a friend or member of your family run you through a mock interview. Tape it if possible. Does you body language show you are engaged, do you pause before answering each question, are you sitting in the front half of the chair or lounging like you are at the beach? Do you smile? Is there plenty of eye contact?

Have your interviewer add a few unexpected questions. How did you handle them? You may have to do the practice interview a number of times until you get it right. Ever hear about the movie director who has the actor go through 30-40 or more takes until they get it right. Hopefully, you won’t have to go through that many “takes” but keep it up until your confidence is at the highest level possible.

This level of job interview preparation will put you ahead of 95% or more of all applicants. As an after 50 job hunter this is the advantage you can exploit to move ahead of the other candidates.

Have a strong close to the job interview

To fill in the rest of the 5%, develop 3-5 questions to ask at the end of the interview when you are asked if you have any questions. Please don’t ask how much vacation you’ll get in the first year. Questions like performance reviews, 2-3 main challenges facing the job or department are more in keeping with proper questions.

Finally, ask for the job either at the end of the interview or in your thank you letter. You would be surprised how many applicants never ask for the order and neglect this key job interview skill.

How you dress, finding the interview location, getting to the interview five minutes early, and how you introduce yourself are subjects you should research.

Finally, the key is job interview preparation in every aspect of the interview. You will come through as confident, show superior communication skills and tell of achievements closely matching those required by the employer. 

You will have demonstrated a wide range of job interview skills and passed the job interview test. This is the edge you need and particularly what after 50 job hunter needs to get the job offer.

For frequent updates on the latest job hunting tips go to our careers after 50 blog. 

Job interviewing skills and effective communication are also discussed in a recent article you can find at job interviewing skills.


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