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AIM-IRS 39 TH ABMTS (August 14 & 15, 2008) Preparing Yourself for an Interview: Marketing Yourself Mel Mitchell Deputy Associate Chief Information Officer.

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Presentation on theme: "AIM-IRS 39 TH ABMTS (August 14 & 15, 2008) Preparing Yourself for an Interview: Marketing Yourself Mel Mitchell Deputy Associate Chief Information Officer."— Presentation transcript:

1 AIM-IRS 39 TH ABMTS (August 14 & 15, 2008) Preparing Yourself for an Interview: Marketing Yourself Mel Mitchell Deputy Associate Chief Information Officer (AD) Don Bowser Director, EEO & Diversity (MITS)

2 2 Preparing for an Interview The purpose of an interview is to assess your capacity to perform in a particular job and to find out if you will fit into the organization. The Three Secrets to a Successful Interview:  Preparation

3 3 Preparing for an Interview (cont.) Preparation involves doing research on the organization and the job, and anticipation questions that the recruiter might ask you. Before attending an interview, find out all you can about the organization and the job. You will then be able to prepare reasons why you and the job are a good match. The interview is the most important event in you job search campaign. It is not the final step; you will still need to negotiate an offer, but you win or lose a job in the interview.

4 4 Main Preparation for the Interview As part of your preparation for an interview, there are three main things you should do:  Know your work history and your achievements very well. In times of stress, the first thing that fails is your memory.  Know why you are the right person for the job. If you are very clear in your mind about that, it will help convince the interviewer.  Know as much about the company as possible. This will help you anticipate what questions the interviewer might ask you.

5 5 Further Preparation Know the exact place and time of the interview, the interviewer’s full name and correct pronunciation of it, and his/her title Research the organization via the Internet, the Business’ “Who’s Who,” and other sources Know enough about the job to make sense at the interview Think about the organization’s products or services Network with your contacts for further information

6 6 Further Preparation (cont.) Consider issues the organization might face and how they might relate to the job Visualize what it would be like to work in the organization Revise the facts and figures of your present and previous employments Consider your personal image. (How should you appear to the interviewer?)

7 7 Further Preparation (cont.) Visualize and rehearse the interview Be ready to “run the interview” if necessary Devise a list of questions to ask the interviewer (what do you need to ask?)

8 8 At the Interview Go to the interview prepared to listen, not just to talk. It is important to focus on what the other person is saying, not on what you are going to say next – you have to listen actively. That involves eye contact, facial expressions, and careful attention to pick up underlying messages.

9 9 Get on the Same Wavelength…or Not “Pacing” and “Mirroring” are ways of helping the interview go well. Be prepared to let the interviewer set the pace and respond in kind. If the interviewer is bright, crisp, and friendly, you should try to be the same. But if the interviewer’s manner is serious, formal, and unremittingly businesslike, what then?  Try to behave as much like that as your own personality will allow – if you want to!

10 10 Answering Questions When providing information, make sure that it is understandable, clear, and concise. Where possible, use examples to clarify what you mean. Interviewers will often ask questions about challenges you might face in the job, or have faced in previous jobs. You need to prepare in advance for these by reflecting on situations in your past work experience. You can then use examples to show how you handled situations and what the outcomes were.

11 11 Answering Questions (cont.) A useful structure for your answers is this one:  Situation – a brief description of the context in which things took place  Tactics – the possible responses or options you considered  Action – the action that you decided on and took  Results – what you achieved This approach will make you a STAR!

12 12 Answering Questions (cont.) With practice, you will find that this structure enables you to demonstrate your achievements very effectively. Finally, go to the interview prepared to accept the job if it is offered to you and you really want it. Only ask for time to think about it if you really need it. Here’s wishing you get the job you want!

13 13 Master Your Subject Most problems with interviews arise because interview subjects don’t really know their material. When they’re questioned, they can’t give the right answers so the try to bluff, which rarely works. Don’t be afraid of interviews. It’s natural to feel apprehensive and uneasy, especially when you’re not use to being interviewed. However when you know your stuff, the butterflies will vanish the moment you speak. As soon as you utter your first words, your brain, and the storehouse of knowledge it holds, will kick in. It will take over completely and run the show.

14 14 Master Your Subject (cont.) The power of knowledge is awesome - let it work for you. It will moisten your throat, engage your mind, unloosen your tongue, and pull the words from within you. Soon, you’ll be speaking as fluidly as if you were on autopilot. The other secrets are practice and concentration.  Write out the key questions and the answers to them.  Ask your friends and family to grill you until you can recite them flawlessly.  Have them ask you their own, unscripted questions and then critique your responses.

15 15 Master Your Subject (cont.) Concentrate on each question as it’s asked and your answers will flow. In no time, you’ll forget your fear and be totally involved in the interview. As you speak, your spirit will lift; you’ll feed off the interest and reactions of the interviewer and the audience, as well as you own clarity and expressiveness. You’ll find that you’re having fun!

16 16 Master Your Subject (cont.) It’s important to rehearse your content and prepare for the unexpected. Getting your message down to a few succinct points that you can give the producer beforehand also can help keep the segment on target. When visuals or props are used, they also can help get your message across, so evaluate your options and, whenever possible, incorporate examples.

17 17 Master Your Subject (cont.) Never hold an interview without having first answered each of the following questions:  What am I an expert on?  What specific problems can I solve?  What precise solution can I recommend? The most important element in giving interviews is having complete mastery of your subject matter; and the first thing you should be an expert on is – yourself! Most interviewers don’t want to trick interviewees, they want to get to know them a little in a very limited period of time.

18 18 Recommended Reading “You, Inc: The Art of Selling Yourself” – by Harry Beckwith & Christine Clifford Beckwith “Job Interviews for Dummies” – by Joyce Lain Kennedy “Landing the Job You Want” – by William C. Byham & Debra Pickett “Perfect Interview” – by Max A. Eggert

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