It's a drum I beat often - when it comes to the job search, most people stand or fall on the basics. One such basic job search technique that I often counsel job seekers to use is to think of every possible question you may be asked in an interview, and then write out your answers (preferably in long hand) in advance. You don't need to take these answers with you - in fact I don't recommend it. But the simple act of writing out your answers in advance will force you to clarify your own thinking on a variety of important issues related to the job at hand, and will help you be more articulate and succinct in the interview.
Julia Penny at The best-job-interview.com has some great resources to help you do this - she provides a list of typical interview questions and another list of tough questions. She also gives you helpful background on why recruiters and hiring managers ask certain questions and what they are listening for in your answers.
If I had a chance to place a bet on it, I would say that fewer than 25% of candidates will go through the time and effort to research potential interview questions and think through their answers. By going through this exercise you will do two important things:
- First, you will clarify for yourself how interested you really are in this job. If the questions you research and the answers you write bore you, you may want to reconsider this option.
- Second, if you find you really are interested in this job, you will reduce your nervousness about the interview and be more calm and focused during your meeting.
Ultimately, you will stand out from the pool of candidates and have a better chance of winning the job!