Experience in Job Interviews

Published on 23 August 2010 by in blog, Leadership


By Hector Silva

You are an experienced, trained and effective employee, and then you lose your job through no fault of your own. Your performance has always been excellent and you have always been successful in your assignments. However, we are in a world where, based on the current economy, all decisions are money driven. Your former employer had to make very difficult budget decisions and you were caught in the numbers.

Since you were in your previous company for years, you find yourself in a position you may not have been in for a very long time. You need to spent time in interviews. This makes you nervous because it is a situation you have not experienced recently. In your old job you knew everyone and you moved from position to position through promotions, reorganizations or networking. It can be uncomfortable speaking to strangers about a job and basically selling yourself. You question if you can get through an interview without nerves tripping you up and even question if you are even prepared for an interview. I assure you that you are better prepared than any other time in your life.

You are going to your interview with a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills that you would not have had earlier in your life. There is not a question that they can ask you that you cannot answer. You just need to reach into your knowledge base and the answer is there. Of course you need study and prepare for the interview.

You need to anticipate what questions can be asked. Based on your knowledge of the industry ask yourself what would you ask someone else to determine their level of expertise. Get with your peers and ask them from their experience what questions they think would be asked. Prepare your answers.

You have to know the requirements for the position and write down how you meet these requirements.

a) Write down tasks, assignments, projects that you have worked on that demonstrate how you meet the requirements.
B) Write down what your were tasked to do
C) How you went about doing it?
D) What resources did you use?
E) How you successfully completed the task?
F) What did you personally do to make it succeed?
G) What issues did you encounter and how did you resolve them?

Make sure you quantify everything.

a) How big was the task in units and budget?
b) How successful were you in meeting the budget?
c) What benefits and/or revenue did completing the task bring to the company and the customers?

Do homework on the company and bring to the table examples of how you can help their company succeed.

You have the experience and have been around long enough that you know the key words to use in the interview. Let them see that you know how to “speak the language” of the industry.

Study everything you have written. This is all ammunition you will take into the interview with you.

When I said you are selling yourself that is true. You are selling your experience and also the training you have already taken. It is a benefit to the new company that they do not have to pay for training since you have already been trained. You are selling your history of success. You are selling everything that would make you the perfect candidate for them. You are selling the fact that with your experience and knowledge you can step in and start being productive immediately.

You do not have to be nervous because you can do anything they need, you have already done it and you can prove it to them.

All of this is at your disposal. Use it to your advantage. Remember it is more than the lesser experienced candidate can present.

Prepare, go in with confidence, be yourself, use your experience and score the job.

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