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Thursday, 06 November 2014

5 Ways to Prepare for a Job Interview

Written by Simon North

When you walk into a job interview, you want to know you’re ready for it. Knowing you’ve prepared as well as you can gives you a confidence that can only help you in the interview. Once you’ve covered the areas below in your interview preparation, you can be sure you’re ready for the big day.

1.Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

You know you’ve got your elevator pitch down to a fine art when you’re able to deliver a 5 second version of it, a 2 minute version, a 15 minute version, a 2 hour version – the point is you should be able to pitch yourself clearly whatever the context and however much time you’ve got. When you’re able to talk comfortably about who you are, what you’ve done and what you want to do next, you can fill any amount of time with your elevator pitch and can also adapt that pitch to tell interviewers about yourself.

2.Do Your Research

It’s important to know what you’re walking into when you walk into that interview room. Make sure you have as much knowledge as possible about the role, organisation, industry and the people interviewing you. An interviewer expects you to at least know something about the employer and may even ask you outright what you know about the company. Even if they don’t ask you this directly, you’ll feel much more comfortable and will give more informed answers to questions if you have a bed of knowledge behind you.

3.Know Your Value

What problems does the organisation have that you could help solve and how would you solve them? Thinking this through gives you a clear idea of what your value to this potential employer is. You need to get to the point where you understand your value proposition and why this business is interested in you. Knowing what aspects of yourself you’re selling to the company and why makes you a more effective salesperson.

4.Get The Bigger Picture

Seek to understand what’s going on in the employer’s sector and what’s happening globally within the industry. Where are the macro pressures geographically, technologically and economically? No company operates in a vacuum; it operates within the context of its industry and against the backdrop of global events. If you demonstrate your understanding of this in the interview you put yourself in a great position to be considered for the role.

5.Think About The Future

Have a point of view on the shifts that are going on within the industry and how the organisation that’s interviewing you is responding to them. If the interviewers ask you where you think the company should be going next, what will you say? A clichéd question is “where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?” but what if you’re asked “where do you see the business in 5 years’ time?”

About the Author

Simon North is the Founder of Position Ignition and the Career Ignition Club. Position Ignition is one of the UK’s leading career development and career planning companies. The Career Ignition Club offers a range of career support tools, advice and e-learning materials for its members. Follow Simon North and his team on twitter @PosIgnition and get more advice from him on their Career Advice Blog.

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