Job Interview Preparation: Be the Interviewer
You applied for a job, and now you’ve been called in for an interview! The tendency is to begin panicking. “What questions will they ask me? Do I have enough experience? What should I wear?”
First, take a deep breath, and look at this interview from a different perspective. Imagine that you are the interviewer. Look at your resume or application. Does anything raise questions in your mind? Are there missing dates in your work history? Does that description of your last job make sense? Take each section of your resume or application, and write 3-5 questions that you would ask of this person if you were interviewing him or her for the job. Each question should begin with one of these words – who, what, why, when, where, and how.
For example, if you were looking at the description of your last job, you might ask:
1. Who was your mentor at this job, and what was the most important thing they taught you?
2. Why did you leave this job? (or why do you think you were fired from this job? Or why do you think you were laid off from this job?)
3. What did you like best about this job? What did you like least?
4. When did you feel the most pressure on this job, and how did you deal with the pressure?
This exercise will connect you more intimately with the details of your resume and work history. You will be analyzing the information from a different point of view, and this will prepare you for the types of questions that may be asked of you during the interview.
Secondly, make a list of at least twenty questions that you want to ask the interviewer. You may or may not be given the opportunity to actually ask these questions during the interview, but that is not the point of this exercise. By writing down these questions, you are bringing to the surface any concerns or fears that you may have about the company, or about the job. Once you have written these questions down, see how many of them you can answer on your own before the interview. Do research about the company on the Internet, or at your local library. If you know anyone who has worked for this company, talk to them about their experiences.
Once you have completed these exercises, you will find that you are much less stressed about the upcoming interview. You have thoroughly analyzed your resume. You have researched the company and you are prepared to ask the questions that will help you make your decision about whether or not to accept this job offer.