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A Simple List That Can Help You Prepare for Any Job Interview

Stand out by providing the answers employers want most 

If you’ve been selected for a job interview, chances are you possess a lot of the same credentials that several other candidates do. The goal of a face-to-face meeting, then, is to determine whether you – or one of the other candidates – would be an ideal fit for any role.

With that in mind, your objective should be to align yourself with whatever attributes the organization is looking for. There is an easy way to do this, and it starts by approaching the situation from any supervisor’s point of view.

The match game

In her book Thinking on Your Feet, business analyst Marian K. Woodall suggests creating a “match-up list.” The idea is to make two columns. In the left-hand column, write out a list of all the attributes any potential employer is looking for (these can generally be found in the “job description” area of any classified ad). In the right-hand column, write out a list of all the ways you can meet or exceed each of those qualities.

You may also want to take a look at the company’s website, as this is a great resource for uncovering what type of values an organization endorses. You can generally find some worthwhile insight in the “About” section, along with any “Mission Statement” or “Newsfeed” items. (In many cases, you can find these tabs along the top or bottom of each page).

When it comes to matching your skill set with desirable attributes, you’ll want to be as specific as possible. Try to come up with real-world examples, whether they’re from completing a recent externship or enrolling in a career training program at Branford Hall. The more your responses resonate, the more likely you might be to stand out from the crowd.

Making all the pieces fit

Once you’ve made your list, you’ll want to prioritize it based on which attributes seem the most relevant (and which ones demonstrate you in the best light). The key is to find an organic way to weave a few of these examples into an interview. In the best-case scenario, an interviewer will prompt you, asking for past instances of how you’ve dealt with this or that.

One way to prepare is by writing each “attribute” on the front side of an index card, and writing your personal example on the back. This way you can practice, while emphasizing several qualities that’ll keep you on-point.

Looking for more ways to prepare for a job interview? Schedule an appointment to meet with Branford Hall’s Career Services Department.

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