If you’re currently employed, January may be a hectic time, with new projects starting up at your current job at the same time that your job search heats up.
Here’s what you need to prepare if you want to really shine in your interviews:
Identify your “key selling points,” your unique selling proposition.
There may be 100 reasons why employers should hire you, but what are the top 3 or 5? Know what you want to emphasize.
Build an arsenal of SOAR stories.
You can talk about your skills in an abstract way, but an example is far more effective. A good story makes the interviewer see pictures in their mind, and a picture is worth a thousand abstract words. You especially need stories that illustrate your key selling points.
Many job seekers only have four or five stories prepared. You need far more than that. For one thing, you may have an interviewer who believes strongly in behavioral interview questions – the kind that start with words like “Tell me about a time when you….” You could easily go through five stories within 15 minutes – then what?
Prepare great answers to key questions.
Some of the most common (and tricky) questions are:
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
- What are your salary expectations?
- Why did you leave each job on your resume?
Practice, and enlist assistance.
Practice on your own, with a friend, or better yet with a trained job interview coach who can give you expert feedback and suggestions. It’s wise to get that help before you need it, or you may be scrambling to get an appointment at the last minute.
Preparing in advance can make a huge difference in your ability to articulate your value in a clear, organized and confident manner – and get the job!