The top three things you must do before an interview are: Anticipate, prepare, and practice. As a recruiter and career coach, I cannot emphasize this enough. You got the interview, which means the hiring manager has obviously agreed that you appear to be a fit for the role on paper, and now the interview requires that you back it up in person. If you don't prepare, you might just negate all the hard work you've done on this job search by blowing this opportunity. I always tell candidates to go into an interview as if the job is the only role you want. Then, it's ultimately your decision whether to take the job or not. If you seem ambiguous or lack enthusiasm, it will be their decision and their answer will most likely be no. One of the best ways to show your interest and enthusiasm for the position is to prepare: Know the role, the company, and be ready to explain how hiring you is a smart "return on investment" for your prospective employer. We all know that no one can possibly anticipate every possible interview question. Case in point: I have a client who likes to ask prospective salespeople to "name 10 things you can do with a pencil that doesn't involve writing or erasing" in under a minute. Obviously, this is not the norm - but there are more standard interview questions that are frequently asked. You should practice concise answers to those common questions, and wherever possible, quantify your achievements. Some examples might include: "Tell me about yourself," "Walk me though your resume," "Why did you leave your last position?" and "Why should we hire you?" Also, "What are your greatest strengths?" "Weaknesses?" "Work accomplishments?" And so on. You can be sure they will ask you for specific examples of where and when you had the experience they require for the role in question. Since you have the job description, the "role-specific" questions can be anticipated and your answers practiced. As a recruiter, I look for "strong-fit" resumes and conduct a thorough screening process to confirm the match before presenting them to my client companies. If the company is interested and schedules an interview, I supply my candidates with a "prep packet" and conduct a mock interview with them before their interview with my client. It is always disappointing when it is obvious that the candidate has not done the necessary practice and preparation and it is something you simply can't fake. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so make it count. Prepare and practice. Give yourself the best chance for getting that job offer! Author: Elisa ShefticPhoto Credit: Shutterstock
Everyone has heard of New Year's resolutions. You know, those promises we make to ourselves about things we'll do better in the year ahead. Sometimes these resolutions work, while other times we end up with gym memberships we never use! But have you ever heard of a career resolution? It's actually the same thing as a New Year's resolution, only career-focused.
However, with something as important as a career, you don't want to break these resolutions. That's why it's important to keep these goals manageable.
Here are four simple career resolutions that are easy to stick to and achieve.
Be Self-Aware Of Where You Stand In Your CareerBigstock
Being honest and self-aware of where you are in your career is the most important step in making strong career resolutions. If your career is going nowhere and you're unhappy, then it may be time to consider a career change, which will take you down a different path entirely.
But if you're happy and in good standing with your career, it's a lot easier to set goals for the year and build out a long-term career plan.
Find A Way To Grow Your CareerBigstock
Career growth is a very broad spectrum that means something different to everyone. It could be something as simple as improving on a weakness or building on a strength. It could also be learning a new skill or taking on additional responsibilities at work.
On a larger level, it could be seeking a promotion or moving into a leadership role.
Whatever the goal is, make sure it includes growing professionally. The worst thing you can do is stay the same! If you're not growing your career, you're dying—and becoming a lot less valuable to your employer. There are always ways to upskill!
Better Serve Your Professional Network
With current colleagues, former colleagues, and other professional acquaintances, you've probably built a solid professional network through the years. A strong professional network can come in handy if you lose your job or are looking to make a career change. However, you shouldn't just rely on your network when you're in need!
It's important to find ways to offer value to your network. This could include checking in with members of your network from time to time. Exchange messages on LinkedIn to see how they're doing or share relevant content of interest. If you can help someone in your network going through a career challenge, you should!
Maintaining a strong professional network is like an investment. If you want it to pay off, you have to put some time into it and be consistent.
Take Care Of Yourself
Working on your career is hard work! It's okay to be selfish sometimes. Whether you're working to grow your career or looking for a new job, it's important to find balance.
Your family and health always come first, so make sure your career goals don't interfere with that. If you want to set aside time during the week to work on your career that's fine, but don't miss important family events or milestones.
Don't let your career goals get in the way of your health goals. Go to the gym, take a walk, or go for a jog. Balance is key to maintaining healthy career and life goals. Sometimes you just need to adjust that balance as you go.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.