Remember Preparation For Your Job Interview Is Everything

By: William Z. Piker

Preparation is everything in life and as well in preparation for job interviews. You may think that it is fine to "run by the seat of your pants." In your mind it may even be admirable.

However employers and your prospective employer who is sitting across the desk or hotel room at you may not. A major component of fire departments is to prevent rather than fight fires. Preparation and planning shows an employee with traits and skills that they admire and hire. You may think that it is just great to do things at the last moment.

However have you ever considered the extra effort and meager results that usually results? By waiting to the last moment you are severely limiting both your options as well as your success rate.

A major way to demonstrate your planning skills as well as your ability to implement your plans is to do an in-depth investigation of the company that you are planning to work for. In the end you should know more about the company - its strengths, shortcomings, goals, customers and products than even the person interviewing you.

What questions should you focus on in your research?

First of course what is the ownership of the company, Is it privately owned, a public company on the stock exchange or a government institution. Public companies have a wealth of information available from your stock broker, online or at your public library.

Private companies are somewhat more guarded. You can shine in your research skills here. Again online searches and the public library may be useful. Newspaper searches or clippings again at the library may also yield results. Seeks out customers and even competitors for your targeted company. After all who knows better about the sales and problems of the aspirin company than the salesman of the competitive product Tylenol?

Government organizations present a challenge in that some information is available and even more is supposed to available but may be well be shielded from public view by a possessive protective beauracy. Again your research and interpersonal skills and contacts come into play.

Find out what the main stated goals of the organization are. Is this consistent with their appararent actions and direction. Consistency down the line is important. The captain may be sailing in one direction yet the staff is paddling like mad in another direction to stay out of harms way.

Prepare for questions as to what skills, education, experience and knowledge you will bring to the organization. It is important that this meshes with the job position.

The employer may well ask you what salary you are asking. Again research industry standards in that particular field. Total salary including benefits, bonuses and perks are what count.

Be prepared to discuss ongoing concerns in the specific field and industry involved as well as current trends. Ongoing educational needs in the field, particular field and the firm are important.

Finally at the end of the interview it is always best to ask for feedback. Are there any questions not covered? Are there areas for improvement in your presentation, education or skills? Assuming you are successfully hired what areas of emphasis should you have - training, skill development and personal development?

It is said that those that do not plan plan to fail. Don't fall in that trap. Be proactive. Plan and follow through. Woody Allen's comment that "95 % of life is just showing up" is more than appropriate. However it must be stressed - show up fully prepared.

Job Interview
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