Best techniques for job interview preparation

Kenneth

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I just noticed the dress for an interview thread so I thought I'd float this question. I have an interview coming up in two weeks with a company I am only slightly familiar with. I have done some google searches and one of my friends with my previous employer gave me a contact name with the company I am interviewing with (in another department) so I am planning to talk to him next week to understand company culture. I am also doing some online training to familiarize myself with some of the program preferences (Access and Oracle). The company I left is a semiconductor manufacturer and the company I am interviewing with is a semiconductor manufacturer.

Any other suggestions to prepare? I have been looking for awhile (more than a year) and this is only my second interview. I am usually pretty confident about the actual interview since I did lots of behavioral interviewing at my previous employer but I like to prepare when I am given the opportunity. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I don't fly out for the interview until week after next so I have some quality time to get ready for this. Thanks.

Kenneth
 

John Gates

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Kenneth,

I'm a Corporate Recruiting Manager by day and an article writer by night. I'm putting up a website for job seekers that has free advice articles. I'm still working on it, but maybe you can get some answers here:

http://www.free-resume-help.com. Click through to the Interview Answers area. I hope this will offer something helpful to job seekers.

If you have a specific question or just want some advice, feel free to e-mail me at DearJohn(at)free-resume-help.com.

Good luck!
 

Seth--L

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Studies have shown that the interviewer will pass judgment on you within the first two-seconds of meeting you, and rarely will anything that happens after those first two-seconds change that initial judgment. So it’s probably not worth going overboard in ‘preparing’ for the interview
 

John Gates

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Seth,

You are partially right. The studies I'm familiar with indicate those judgments are formed within the first four minutes. While they are powerful, they are certainly not the whole picture. My recommendation is to put significant effort into the first four minutes, because if you don't get that right, you're screwed. However, it's foolish to ignore the rest of the interview. Most trained interviewers (like me) are able to look well beyond your handshake. Excellent answers to interview questions can turn a slightly negative first impression or bolster a positive first impression.

My site offers some insider advice on how to both prepare for the tough questions and polish up the first impression if anyone's interested.

Happy interviewing!

John
 

Ted Lee

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i say go in, be yourself, and be honest!

when i used to interview people, i always took a "will i get along with them?" stance.

for me, it was important that i thought they would be friendly, enthusiastic, intelligent team players. as long as they had a modicum of the skillset i was looking for, i knew i could train them on what they needed. pretty much every job you get is really otj training anyway.

since you already understand the technology, if they hit you up with those questions, you shouldn't have too much concern. most interviewers just want to meet you and get a "vibe".
 

Don Black

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I disagree completely with such snap judgements. Most interviews are with multiple people over many hours and in many settings. You have to be prepared for everything and that means attitude, manners, dress, and most importantly knowledge.

Read everything there is to know about the company. Press releases, media articles, etc. Find out who their customers are (recent) and competitors. If the job is technical, research their product offerings as much as possible to a high degree of specificity. ASK RELEVANT QUESTIONS DURING THE INTERVIEW!

Know your weaknesses (grades, experience, whatever) and be prepared to answer questions about these weaknesses. Try to incorporate, in advance, your past experiences into their business. Then work such information into your interviews.

Remember who you interview with and reference them in other interviews as the day progresses (write them down if need be).

Send follow-up e-mails to thank everyone.

Be confident and even have some fun. Good luck!
 

John Gates

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Don is quite right and gives you some excellent general advice.

I've written an artlce here: http://www.free-resume-help.com/inte...d-answers.html that discusses specific techniques for preparing and practicing for your interview. Don't rely on a smart suit and white teeth to get you the job.

To recognize that first impressions are still very important, especially with untrained interviewers, I've written another article (from a Corporate Recruiter's perspective) on how to control first-impression judgments. Check it out here: http://www.free-resume-help.com/first-impression.html

If you invest in preparing, you'll already be ahead of 90% of the competition.
Most candidates don't bother, and it's apparent.


For kicks, here's an article with suggestions on how to research your target company: http://www.free-resume-help.com/company-research.html Vault has some excellent resources that are extremely helpful and worth a look.

Good luck,

John
 

Kenneth

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Thanks everyone for the help. I finished the interview yesterday and it seemed to go well. I should know by next week whether I will make the cut. Thanks again for the helpful feedback.

Kenneth
 

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