How to Prepare for an successful Interview - Tips

Hi, welcome to Here is the key to a successful interview is preparation.

Based on your resume, the interviewer has determined that you meet the qualifications required for the job. The interview will allow you to provide additional details about yourself and give you an opportunity to articulate how you will be a good fit for this position and how you will contribute to the organization.  Although you can never predict the exact questions that an interviewer will ask, you can be prepared when it comes to answering questions that relate to your direct experience, your accomplishments and your resume. Follow these tips:

Research the group through all possible sources (i.e. web, professional magazines, libraries or direct contact with a professional working in that area). Specifically you should be familiar with major developments and trends in the field as well as the mission and direction of the organization. 

Familiarize yourself with the job description; determine your deficits and how you intend to compensate for those.

Know who you will be interviewing with and discuss the position with anyone you know who might have insights into the organization. This will target your questions and demonstrate your interest. Be ready for a variety of interviewer styles, some interviewers may be well versed in the process and will guide you smoothly from one question to the next, while others have little experience in the art of interviewing and this could be more challenging. 

Learn to discuss your values; what sort of environment are you most comfortable working in? Thoughtful responses to these questions show that you have thought about the culture and values of the organization.

Familiarize yourself with your resume so that you can talk confidently about your previous work experiences, education and training. You should also be able to discuss skills and accomplishments gained at each employment.

Be ready to discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Provide examples from previous employment or volunteer experiences to showcase your skills. The answer should focus on something that is business related but not a critical job task. Talking about what is being done to overcome the weakness is key to answering this question.

The interview is a two way street; it is just as important for you to learn whether this might be a good fit for your needs as it is for the organization to learn whether you might be a good fit for their needs.

When preparing for an interview, it may be helpful to review the following attributes that are valued by employers. 
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Working Well in a Team
  • Problem Solving 
  • Using Initiative
  • Being Well Organized
  • Being Adaptable
There are different types of interviews and this will depend on the organization. 

Screening Interviews: These are often done over the phone and are used as a way to reduce the applicant pile. First impressions are very important. 

On site interviews: These take place at the organization. You usually will meet with several people at this interview. In some instances you may have to present on a topic relevant to your experience and the work you may be doing. You could meet with a  panel of interviewers or meet with a series of people in separate meetings.

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