Super Preparation Guarantees A Super Interview

By: Johnny Cyreous

Roger Staubach is one of the most recognized quarterbacks in the history of the National Football League (NFL). He played with one of the most recognized teams in the league, the Dallas Cowboys (America's Team), and led them to four super Bowl appearances, winning two of those championships; Super Bowl VI and XII.

I would listen to anything he had to say on the subjects of leadership, personal achievement, self-development, and personal empowerment. He made a straight forward, simple observation that all of us could benefit from when he said, "Spectacular achievements are always preceded by unspectacular preparation."

Before you begin going out to important interviews and blowing precious leads, you should accomplish step one of your career search - do a thorough self assessment before you do anything else. This may sound like unspectacular work, but it is preparation that will make you a winner! There are several things you will want to assess:

Assess Yourself:

This involves making a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Don't only prepare strong value-added statements about your strengths and how they will help the company, but be prepared to answer the sticky questions about your weaknesses as well. Knowing what they are is a first great step towards self improvement which is empowering. In life, we all have skeletons in our closet or messy situations we will need to explain away at some point, and being prepared for those obvious weak spots will get us through what could be tough parts of an interview. When you are handling these tough questions smoothly at the interview, your self esteem gets a boost and that gives you more confidence to handle the rest of the interview.

There are some great self-assessment tools on the web you can use. Try Career and . Any department of Labor office has tools you can use as well. Doing a good self-assessment is also empowering because you get to look at yourself with all the accomplishments you made over the years which will bolster your confidence. Make a list of those accomplishments. You will use that information in several places; your resume, cover letter, and interviewing.

Assess the Company:

I have seen applicants research the company they would be working for ahead of time. That really goes a long way in impressing the interviewer. In the movie "Two Weeks Notice" Sandra Bullock's character has decided to leave her job but one requirement her boss makes of her is that she find a good replacement. One young lady played by Alecia Witt appears at the interview very prepared. She makes reference to a number of things the Sandra Bullock character has done in her life to get to where she is now. Everyone is quite impressed with this preparation and the young lady gets the job. What is impressive about this detail is not so much that the Alecia Witt character researched the company, but she also researched the person whose place she would be taking. Do you prepare to that extent for an interview? You should. With the internet at your finger tips it is getting easier and easier to research people on the internet. Just enter their name in a search engine like Google and watch what comes out. By the way, don't forget to Goggle yourself while you are at it. You never know what negative information about you may be lurking around a corner on the web. Anything that was ever in print about you can easily be found by internet search spiders.

Other Things to Research:

Here is a list of the bare essentials that you should investigate:

1. # Years the company has been in business
2. # Employees the company has
3. # Offices within the organization
4. # States/Countries the company is in
5. $ Sales last year, or last quarter, or whatever you can get your hands on
6. 3 Major competitors of the company
7. Mission Statement of the company

Doing this level of preparation will assure you that you will have a great interview. Preparation gives you the edge over the competition. That is what every good coach and player knows. Be prepared and be empowered for your next interview!

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