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Battle of Wits — Asking the right questions during an interview

Posted by Kathleen Smith

You’ve done your resume, connected through networking, submitted the application, made it through the phone screening, through the security scan and are finally in the interview!

In “Princess Bride” terms, you have crossed the ocean,  climbed the really, really long rope up the cliff, bested the giant, overcome Inigo Montoya’s swordsmanship (and conversation!), and are now finally going to have that one-on-one battle of wits with Cedric to get the Princess!

But just like the dreaded pirate Roberts, you have to be well-prepared for your interview to win the prize from your encounter of the interview. While not necessarily swashbuckling, this is a culmination of lots of preparation, research and preparing your answers.

Some things to consider in your interview preparation: What do you know about the company, the position, and what impact the position has on the company’s overall success?

What do you want to know about the position, company and its impact? Do your homework about the position and the company so you can ask the right probing questions — you’re interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. 

What are your success stories? Rather than a canned speech as to why they should hire you, can you have a real conversation about you as a person and how you will be an asset to their team?

There are many more things to consider when preparing for an interview. It is just like a long journey – you have to assess many of your skills and talents to determine if you are the right fit for the company. This will not only help you in the interview but also when you get into the position.

And be sure that you pause throughout the interview to take a breath and to choose your words carefully, rather than using the same word over and over again. That might be what you will be remembered for rather than how great you are for the company. It is inconceivable!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2010 11:00 am

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