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Five steps to prepare for a job interview

For some people, preparing for a job interview involves reading over their resumé and getting a good night’s sleep. But is that really enough?

Some people believe that their role at job interviews is simply to show up and put their best foot forward. Then they leave it up to the recruiter to decide if they’ve got what the company is looking for.

But if you really want to impress employers, you need to drive home the message that your past work experience is relevant to the position you are applying for today.

Follow these five steps to prepare for the meeting:

  1. Identify the main duties associated with the job.
    For example, an administrative assistant takes calls from clients, files documents and arranges meetings and conferences.
  2. Determine what qualities a person needs to do these tasks well.
    You might find it helpful to picture someone who would not be very good at this type of work. For example, a rude, unmotivated person with poor communication skills would probably not make a great administrative assistant. This kind of analysis helps give you a better idea of what characteristics the job requires.
  3. Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes.
    What do you think they are looking for? By reading up on the organization, their mission and corporate values, you’ll get a better idea of what kind of worker the company needs. Do they value performance, personal achievement and competition? Or are they more centred on team work, ethics and dedication?
  4. Make a list of your top accomplishments.
    Now that you know what skills the position calls for, you’ve got to prove that you’re the right person for the job. Go over all the qualities you identified in the steps one through three and relate each of them to your past work experience or accomplishments.

    If you want a job as an administrative assistant, you’ve got to show them that you have great communication skills and a real desire to provide excellent customer service. Tell them about the presentation you did two years ago in front of 200 people that you’re still being congratulated on. Or the day you managed to calm down a furious client.

    Don’t hesitate to mention anecdotes from a few years back or from when you were a student. If the experiences are relevant and show what you can do, they’re worth mentioning.

  5. Relax.
    Once you’ve dutifully gone through the first four steps, the only things left to do are choosing what to wear and getting some rest. You’ve earned it!