Interview preparation is not what it used to be!
Interviewing Tip #3: Review Your Profiles and Resume
You’ll want to review your profiles in detail. Like a resume or CV you need to be 100% correct with spelling and grammar. (If you are a non-native speaker, ask someone to help you). In a down economy it is critical that your words very clearly convey all the skills you currently have and how they can benefit the organization.
Also, keep in mind, that a profile is NOT a resume (although I’ve heard people say that). A profile is less formal and should reflect your personality -- your voice. (You might want to check out a post from Guy Kawasaki called “LinkedIn Profile Extreme Makeover.” Although the post is specific to LinkedIn, the principles can be applied to most profiles.)
A clear, concise, and compelling profile that is written in your own voice will go a long way towards making you stand out among the competition. Use the flexibility of the format to provide a more complete picture of yourself. By taking the time to do this, it will also help you to develop (or refine) some of your basic job search sound bites. These are your prepared and practiced responses to standard interviewing questions.
Interviewing Tip #4: Work on Your Soundbites
Most people get hung up in the company research and don’t spend enough time on this step. You’ll need to refine and rehearse as much as you can. For example, you’ll need long and short versions of your job history. You’ll need to know how to articulate the skills you bring and your work evidence that support your claims. It’s important to practice with someone so they can give you feedback. It also helps tremendously to record and critique (Viddler and Utterz are my favorite tools for this).
Just like your profile, refine your sound bites so that they’re clear, concise, and compelling. Practice them several times a day in short bursts, so that when you deliver them, they sound spontaneous and not rehearsed. During interviews your words need to be second nature. The idea is that you are so comfortable with your words, that instead, you can focus on the subtle reactions of your interviewer and adjust your responses.
Interviewing Tip #5: Create a Professional FAQ
One way to help you develop your sound bites is to create your professional FAQ. This is a document that asks and answers the commonly asked interview questions in the form of an FAQ. By creating this tool, it helps you to refine responses and can be used as notes during phone interviews. Leave a copy by the phone and carry one with you, in case you get an unexpected call. Also, consider sending it along with your resume. It makes a great impression and helps you stand out by anticipating what the interviewers want to know.
The next article, on Interviewing Tips, will cover the five other tips you need to ace your interview. And for many more tips and expert advice that will guarantee you ace that interview, check out my audiobook.