Preparing For Your Interview Job Listings

          1.  THE CHEMISTRY

The success of any job interview will depend on your ability to discern the employer's needs and empathize with the interviewer.  Ask questions that verify your understanding of what the interviewer says to you, without expressing an opinion.

Besides empathy, there are four other requirements for a successful interview:

Since interviewing involves the exchange of information, present your background in a thorough and accurate manner. Practice your delivery. If you can, early in the interview, try to maneuver yourself into learning what the company and the interviewer are looking for: What kind of person are they seeking? What are the most important personal qualities and characteristics? What are the major responsibilities? What are the major problems and challenges of the job? Which challenges are immediate? Your conversation with the interviewer should naturally spawn a number of these questions. Make sure however, that you touch on the following areas, gathering data, then linking your abilities with what you believe are the company's needs:

Your goal should be to build a strong case for why the company should hire you, based on the discoveries you make from building a rapport with the interviewer and asking the right questions.


Gather as much information about the company as you can. Make sure you know something about each of the following company categories:


Review these before your interview.


Interviewers will invariably probe into areas they perceive to be your weaknesses. They formulate questions and opinions based on your resume and the first impression. They will ask questions, for example, surrounding the number of jobs you have had, the absence of an advanced degree or certification, the reason it is taking you so long to find employment, the reason your pay is so low (or high) and so forth. Interviewers will also ask questions they believe will provide insight into your personality such as your ability to cope with pressure, get along with others, accept criticism and learn from mistakes. They will seek to uncover character flaws which could affect your performance. Each interviewer has a different style and level of investigative enthusiasm.

Your answers to questions that make you vulnerable need to be honest, brief and upbeat. Answer the question truthfully in one or two sentences. Imagine the conclusion an interviewer would draw if you took several minutes to discuss your weaknesses. Mold your responses to these questions to produce an optimistic image and outlook.

You will successfully survive a series of tough questions once you realize that all they really want to know is if you can do the job and whether you can take the pressure or not. The interviewer is trying to sort out the corporate warrior from the walking wounded. Stay calm. Remember that no one can intimidate you without your permission.


Interviewers ask a lot of questions and can phrase them in many ways. But they all boil down to these basic five:

1."Why are you here?" They are wondering why you picked their company to seek employment.
2."What can you do for us?" They are asking if you can do the job. Do you have the skill and knowledge? Can you handle the pressure?
3."What kind of person are you?" They are wondering if you will complement or disrupt the department. Are you manageable?
4.Assuming you can do the job, "what distinguishes you from the other twenty-five people who can also do the job?"
5."Can we afford you?"


Salary discussions can be tricky. Simplify the process by letting the interviewer do most of the talking. DO NOT bring up the topic of salary or benefits. When asked, tell the interviewer your current or last salary. Simply state it and be quiet. Add nothing. When asked, tell the interviewer "If you feel like I'm a good fit for your company, I'm sure you will extend me a fair offer." Should the interviewer continue to ask for your desired compensation level, ask them to defer to your recruiter. NEVER name a number - your answer, be it too high or too low - could kill your candidacy.



Thank the interviewer for his time and the opportunity to learn more about the company and the position. Tell the interviewer you are very interested in the career opportunity and are ready for the next step. Ask for the next interview. Send a follow-up letter.



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