Job Interview Preparation-The Winning Approach!
Pass the interview test with job interview preparation
Why do you think most job applicants flunk the biggest test of
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
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
If you are still at a loss, search the internet and Google the job title. This should help fill in the gaps on your
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
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
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
Job interviewing skills and effective communication are also
discussed in a recent article you can find at job interviewing skills.