Most job candidates realize the need to prepare for an interview, and many leave that preparation to the last minute. However, what you do before you are even invited to an interview can determine whether or not you will continue in the hiring process.
In many cases, employers may conduct a pre-interview screening to determine if you are suitable for the short list. This type of screening is often by phone, and you may receive a call when you are least expecting it. How you react and the responses that you give can make or break your job search. Once you submit a job application, be prepared for the unexpected.
- First, if the call comes at an inconvenient time, state that you would prefer to call back when you can give the caller your full attention. Most employers will understand and be happy to schedule a better time. This strategy also buys you time to research the company, the job, and your responses.
- Prepare as you would for any other interview. Practice your responses to interview questions. Study the job description to determine what the employer will be looking for, and prepare four or five questions to ask the interviewer. Research the company on LinkedIn and the company website, and ensure an appropriate level of current industry knowledge.
- Prepare notes that you can have to hand during your interview. Include your strengths, your weaknesses, and have a copy of your resume with key dates of employment so that you can give consistent information. Ensure that you will not be interrupted or distracted.
If you succeed in obtaining an in-person interview, prepare in the same way. Alison Green of US News provides other tips, such as try on your interview outfit a few days before in case you need to have it cleaned. Drive to the interview location at a similar time as your interview so that you can accurately judge the time it will take you to get to your interview to avoid arriving late.
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