There a 10 simple steps than can help you to prepare a job interview, no matter what the position is:
1.- Read carefully the job description.
If you don’t have it, please ask for it. It is important to understand what the company is looking for. Normally job descriptions give at the beginning a brief explanation about the company and then about the position. Think about what kind of company is it, think about who you are reporting, is it clear? who report to you, How technical is the position, which are the required skills… etc… The job description is the bible for you and you can always come back to it for info.
2.- Investigate the company profile.
You need to understand where are you going to work. In my opinion the company mission and values are important. After reading that, make sure you know the financial situation and results of the future employer. You will take a position because of its content, of course, but It is not the same to go to a company in expansion to a one in reduction. Following steps are the organisation, factories locations, main customers, policies, etc…
3.- Complement the company profile with further information.
Now you know the required information for the position, but a better understanding of the company organisation is always interesting. It is not only about reading carefully the company web, look in wikipedia (for big companies), read news and articles in the web and on the internet. Finally if you happen to know someone (contact of contact) in the company try to get an overview from the inside. Only understanding the company you can find if you match in it.
4.- Stop: Do you really want this position?
Many times we say quickly YES because we are unemployed or convinced by family, friends, etc. Now you have at this stage all the information required to say YES or NO. Do not make the company and yourself waste any time. If the company or the position does not match with your expectations stop the process and come back to your recruiter. Be polite but be honest. Everything has an explanation and can be explained. In the end recruiters appreciate honesty and you can concentrate in your target positions and companies, if this one is not the case.
5.- Your experience analysis.
Now comes the preparation of your profile, start with your technical features. analyse your experience. A tip here is that you can prepare an Elevator Pitch. A simple two minute presentation is always appreciated by the recruiters to the question, would you introduce yourself?
At this stage you need to prepare practical examples and cases from your experience that match or support the job description.. Be honest and realistic, and brief.
6.- Your competences analysis.
Every Position has competences and skills required, they can be more managerial or more technical, more social more individual, … You need to make a deep personal analysis. This step is really difficult, probably the most one. Not everyone is a superman: good leader, perfect listener, social, dynamic, etc… You need to understand that there is not an standard. You are who you are. Combine this with the technical examples done before and be ready to explain it.
7.- Specific personal difficult questions.
Now that you have prepared the technical part, competences and combined both. Many companies want to see the person, they might ask you personal questions about you and specific difficult questions about successes and fails in your career. Remember that only failing we improve ourselves. Prepare these questions since the worst thing in an interview are time stops os pauses. Be yourself, but just tell what is necessary. In all interviews the shorter the better (no film stories needed).
8.- Dress code: look like the position.
Every position has a look. We cannot avoid the fact that we are and we sell image. First impression is the first. So dress you up like the position. It is not the same a General Director in suit that an advertisement copy. Also some companies are more freestyle than others. Try to think about this for a minute. Remember that even that you need to look like the position, you want something relax and comfortable, not too flashy that people concentrate in you and not in your outfit. Shoes clean. No more to this point.
9.- During the interview.
Look always to the eyes on your partners and to all, do not concentrate in one person. Remember that these days proactivity is a must. Try to show it in the interview in your movements reaction to questions, etc.. but not too much, this is not Hamlet. Do not overact, just show interest and SMILE.
10.- After the interview.
Being polite and charming is part of it. Always thank people for the interview and the time given to explain your skills in person. It is interesting also to show interest for the position from time to time but don’t be too insistent.
And finally remember, just be yourself and if the interview goes wrong then it was not the position or the company for you. This is like the olympics, the prize is to participate !!