How to Prepare for the Blind Date from Hell

In Your World on March 6, 2010 at 2:44 PM


The mere thought of going on a job interview can strike fear in the strongest of hearts. Nearly every person who has ventured into the job pool has had or can tell a horror story. But, if you prepare yourself for what might happen and follow these 10 strategies, you could find yourself landing your dream job.

Acing the Interview

  1. Dress the Part – Be tidy, smart and reasonably conservative.  A good rule of thumb is to dress one step above company culture.
  2. Imagine Everyone You Meet is Interviewing You – The people you meet, including the secretary, are part of the informal interview process – make a great impression on everyone.
  3. Tell me about yourself –Your response to this question sets the tone for the remainder of the interview. Don’t ramble, and keep your response under 2 minutes!  List strengths (skills, experience, qualities) that are relevant to the job. The key is to come prepared. 
  4. What kind of salary do your require? – Know the market value of the job. Research the company’s profile and compare it to similar firms and your current salary.  Ask your interviewer the range for this position and have a specific range in mind when you respond.
  5. What do you know about our company? – You wouldn’t go on a blind date without first knowing something about the person; apply this same principle to your interview. Visit the company website to learn about any recent developments.  Know the company’s  history, philosophy, image, goals, reputation, problems, management style, products, and size. Don’t show surprise if the interviewer shares something that was recently announced by the company.
  6. What major challenges have you encountered and how did you respond? – Come prepared with a minimum of three challenges that relate to the job you are applying for.  Your challenges should reflect characteristics you think the company respects.
  7. What can you do for our company that someone else can’t? – Expand your response to question 3. Focus on 4 to 6 skills that show you are the right candidate for this position. Highlight your proven record of providing solutions, your ability to bring fresh perspectives to the company and recent experiences that show success in working for past employers. This is also your opportunity to clarify any mistakes made during your interview. Your goal is to focus on your strengths and how they will benefit this company.
  8. Concluding the interview – If asked if you have anything else to add, the best response is to thank the interviewer for their time, briefly summarize your qualifications and restate your interest in the position.
  9. After the interview – Do a personal assessment. Jot down the names of everyone you met, information you learned about the company, and the questions you were asked, highlight any you found difficult,.  Even if you’re not hired for this job, a “personal debriefing “will help on future interviews.
  10. Follow up – Write a thank you letter to everyone involved with your interview.  This shows you understand business etiquette.

 Good luck at your next interview!


100 Best Companies to Work For in 2010

Career Builder – Online employment website 

Monster – Online employment website

 USA Jobs – The Federal Government’s official job list


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