Job Interview Like a Boy Scout or a High-Paid Lawyer

Posted on 20. Apr, 2015 by in Interview

If you have a job interview coming up, you need to think like a Boy Scout or a high-paid lawyer. Say what? I mean, what could a Boy Scout and high-paid lawyer possibly have in common, and furthermore, what that would relate to my job interview?

Well, let’s start with the Boy Scout. How many of you were Boy Scouts or know Boy Scouts? Do you know the Boy Scout motto? It is simply two words. Two words that have stood the test of time and have become synonymous with Boy Scouts. The words are, “Be Prepared.” Every good scout knows this and strives to live this motto.

As for the lawyer, well, any great lawyer lives by the same motto as the Boy Scout. They must be prepared for any line of questioning or situation that could potentially arise. This means talking through all possible scenarios and preparing potential responses before they happen. In other words, having a well-defined plan of action.

Develop a Job Interview Plan of Action

Your plan of action for every job interview should include the following steps:

  • Research the company before your job interview
  • Prepare for common interview questions
  • Know Your Key Selling Points
  • Practice

Research the Company Before Your Job Interview

Do not go into an interview without having researched the company and being able to ask reasonable questions. LinkedIn is a great tool for finding information about companies and the people who work for them. You may be able to find profiles on the people who might interview you. Read about what they have done at the company.

After you gather all of this information, compare it with your background and experience. How can you draw comparisons? How can you make your experience relevant to their needs.

Prepare for Common Job Interview Questions

Have answers ready to the most common interview questions. Behavioral interviewing is very popular right now, so have lots of examples that you can talk about how you handled specific types of situations or accomplished certain tasks relevant to the job you to which you are applying.

You need to learn how to answer these questions the right way. And there is a right way. You need to practice so you are confident and clear in your answers. Be prepared, it will help your confidence in the actual interview.

Know Your Key Selling Points for the Job Interview

Part of your preparation for the interview is to figure out what are the key points you want to leave your interviewers. What is it that will set you apart from the other candidates they are interviewing. Remember that the best qualified candidate is not always the one that is hired.

I recommend you make a list of about 3 key selling points about yourself that you believe will make you stand above the others. Consider these a “theme.” They are the message you want your interviewers to remember about you. Try to work these in throughout your interview as the opportunities present themselves. Just like a political candidate presents their “talking points,” you—the job interview candidate—need to have your own key points. Consider these carefully and know them well before you head to your interview.

Practice Your Job Interview

You need to practice interviewing if you want to appear confident at your interview. Practice, practice, practice. And then, practice some more.

How you practice is up to you, but you must do it. Whether you video record yourself, sit in front of a mirror, or practice with a friend or family member, you must practice. Only in this way can you identify and correct some common interview actions and responses that could seal your fate. Learn what they are and deal with them now. Some common things to look for include:

  • Not making good eye contact with the interviewer(s). I have always been told to pretend there was a dot on everyone’s forehead or the wall behind them, and to look at that as you speak to them.
  • Nervous twitches or actions, such as shaking leg, tapping foot or pen/pencil, licking lips, scratching head, sighs or deep breaths, etc. If you have these, keep them under control and be aware of them.
  • Over use of hand gestures or facial expressions. These are good tools to show energy and excitement, but do not overuse them to a point where they become a distraction.
  • Slouching or relaxing too much.
  • Not being able to quickly and confidently form a great response to a question. Look for long pauses before answering, saying “Um” or other delaying tactics. These are confidence killers. Create opportunities to work in your key selling points.
  • Speaking too softly or, more commonly, too quickly. Find a nice volume and pace to speak so you are clearly understood.
  • No enthusiasm or excitement. Avoid monotone speaking. You are talking about what you know best—you! Sell yourself to them and make them excited about what you have accomplished and what you can bring to their company. Tell interesting and exciting stories in response to their questions. Give lots of examples of similar things you have done to answer their questions.

Be Prepared and Find Success

You can interview like a pro, but you need to be prepared. Very prepared. It will ensure you show the confidence you need to make the right impression. One final tip is to ensure your LinkedIn profile is updated. The potential employer will do their homework and check you out ahead of time also. Here are some tips on improving your LinkedIn profile.
Good luck!

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