Most job seekers wait to polish up their interview skills until they are looking for a new position. Important interview opportunities, however, can present themselves at any time in your own Company.
Those who continually grow in their careers are always prepared for these situations. Their interview skills are sharp at all times. To know if your skills are sharp enough to handle a surprise interview, see if you can answer the following four questions:
1. Can you concisely state your value to the Company in 60 seconds or less?
A value proposition is meant to intrigue your listener with a quick overview of your skills, expertise, and industry know-how. If you can offer a precise summary of why you are the perfect candidate for that job, you are more likely to get to the second or third interview. A concise value proposition can make a critical difference in winning you a new position.
2. Do you know your top five accomplishments, and can you communicate their impact to your employer’s bottom-line initiatives?
A list of your top accomplishments will allow a potential employer to imagine what you can do for him or her. Accomplishments give employers a way to associate your skills with their needs-and a reason to remember you. Be prepared to list your top skills and show how they can help meet corporate needs.
3. Are you prepared to answer your own toughest interview questions, or do you hope they just won’t come up?
Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to questions like "If you’re doing so well in your job, why do you want to leave?" If you stutter and squirm; you’ll lose their confidence and destroy a chance to get the promotion. Think about the questions that will be your biggest pitfalls-and be prepared to answer them.
4. Do you know how to find out your interviewer’s motivations to understand how best to answer their questions?
This is a very important question. Without knowing your interviewer’s motivations, how will you know if your answers hit the mark of what he or she is looking for in a perfect candidate?
To determine what skills/expertise the employer is seeking for the position, you should be able to assess the areas in which that particular job can be improved, (efficiency, customer service, accuracy, etc.). Once you have those answers in hand, you can target your interview answers accordingly.
Deborah Walker, CCMC is a Resume Writer & Career Coach.
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