Strategizing Your Next Job Interview

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Going into a job interview doesn’t have to be intimidating. Don’t get worked up, walking in with your knees shaking and voice cracking, desperately wanting to please your potential employer. Here are 3 simple ways to stay calm, be realistic and really rock their world!

Know Who You’re Talking To

It’s better to have too much information than not enough. Just because you’re going to be the one in the spotlight during the conversation, it never hurts to do your own homework. Learn as much as you can about the company that you’re interviewing with and the person with whom you’ll be speaking, if you’ve been given that information.

Be Prepared For Any Question

Run through some traditional interview questions to prepare.

  • Tell me a little about yourself.
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What are your greatest professional strengths?
  • What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
  • Tell us about a challenge you faced and how you overcame that challenge.

Now, think of some of the more uncomfortable topics – the questions that aren’t as simple and predictable to answer.

  • Tell us about a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work.
  • How would your previous/current boss and other co-workers describe you?
  • Why was there a gap in your employment?
  • How many ping pong balls fit into a limousine?
  • What are your salary requirements?

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the last 2 questions.

The example given above, involving ping pong balls, is called a case question/scenario. Within these types of interviews, the applicant will be given a question presenting a situation or challenge, and then be asked to resolve it.  The purpose isn’t to work out a math equation and present the correct answer. The interviewers want to hear your approach. Frame your strategy. Where will you start? How will you gather more information, make recommendations and provide a solution for the problem? Many consulting, management and strategy positions will require this type of interview.

And then there’s everyone’s favorite – the question of pay. This is the question that puts fear into the hearts of interviewees everywhere. Don’t worry. Again, do your homework!  Check out Glassdoor and Salary.com to research similar jobs, requiring similar skillsets you hold, in and around the area in which you’re applying. Know the industry and geographical standards. Then, provide a range within your interview. You should never feel pressure to provide an exact dollar amount. They won’t laugh at you for providing a range – don’t worry.

Be Confident

Identify your skills, sell your Military Spouse experience as highlights, not as a hindrance. Remember, you are selling a useful resource, yourself! Be confident. Own your skills and lessons you’ve learned. Answer each question thoughtfully, honestly and be confident! The employer has set aside time from their day to talk to you, they’re obviously interested. Now, you just have to convince them that you are the best candidate and can go above and beyond in this role.

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