Whether you’re planning for a particular interview or simply want to improve your skills as a whole, here’s a seven-day plan for fine-tuning your skills and standing out from the crowd:
Day 1: Recall your accomplishments.
Give your confidence and your interview strategy an early boost by starting with a list of your proudest recent work accomplishments. What have you achieved that took the most effort or that stood out as truly “above and beyond”? Write it down.
Day 2: Review the job posting.
Sit down with the job description and circle the words that describe your strengths. Underline the words that describe skills or abilities you used when reaching the accomplishments you listed on Day 1. Read the job posting several times, until you’re familiar with the way this company describes your field and the job’s daily tasks.
Day 3: Do your homework.
You know your work history and the job’s demands; now, it’s time to learn about the company. Check out the company’s website, use search engines to look them up, and read all you can about their mission, community outreach, and recent projects or accomplishments.
Day 4: Build your answers.
With all the work you’ve done in the first three days in hand, it’s time to start preparing your answers to commonly asked interview questions. Base these answers on your accomplishments by telling stories about your work, using the terms that appear in the job description and in the company’s materials. Connect your ability to succeed to the company’s goals in order to answer a hiring manager’s number-one question: “What can this person do for us?”
Day 5: Mind your body language.
Nonverbal communication can enhance your message or undermine it. Practice by standing in front of a mirror and recalling a time you felt confident. Pay attention to how your body moves when you feel confident, and practice this posture, movement, and expression until you can mimic it consciously.
Day 6: Practice.
Sit down with a trusted friend, colleague, or recruiter to practice your interview answers and your nonverbal body language. Have your partner provide feedback, and use it to improve your approach.
Day 7: Prepare.
Get ready for your interview by choosing what you’re going to wear and making sure it is clean and pressed. Gather any materials you’ll need, like spare copies of your resume or portfolio, and put them in a place you’ll remember. Also, make sure you have a map or directions, and plan extra time into your schedule so you’re ready for any unexpected delays.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters help connect job seekers to great employers and positions throughout the Wisconsin and Minnesota. Contact us today to learn more.