Getting Organized For Your Job Interview
Organization is foundational for a successful job interview. Even if you don't land the position, if you're organized you can still have a successful interview by making a good impression on your interviewer. You'd be surprised how making good impressions and connections can ultimately benefit your job search, even if you don't get that particular job.
Of course, being organized increases your chances at landing the position, especially if your interviewer is looking for organizational skills. Actions speak louder than words! Having documents, paperwork, and so forth in order will help your interview go a lot more smoothly. Here are some tips for getting organized for your job search.
Customize Your Resume And Cover Letter
Form letters and resume formats are fine to start, but tweak your information to make sure it fits that particular job. You have various experiences in your life, some of which might be relevant to this job and some which may not be. You'll want to emphasize those skills that have something to do with the position you are applying for.
For instance, you may have a lot of administrative experience but you're applying for a leadership position. Look back on your experiences and think of times you've been a leader - Scouts, leading a school group, etc. - and emphasize that experience over the administrative experience.
Sources point out that thinking of your employer's needs and how you can meet them is a key mindset in preparing effective resumes and cover letters.
Have Your Own Copy
As you get ready for your interview, have copies of everything you've sent to your prospective employer. He or she will probably have your resume and cover letter, but bring your own copy, too. This helps keep you focused on the interview at hand, especially if you are applying for more than one job. Bring along a copy of any correspondence you've had with the prospective employer, too, such as emails and letters both to and from the employer.
If you use a paper calendar, make sure you have it ready and updated. The same is true for an electronic calendar - make sure it's up and running and current.
Prepare For Tough Questions
Make yourself some notes and place them in the binder or folder you're bringing to the interview (of course you will have all of your paperwork in a binder or folder!). Only you will be seeing this, of course, but make some notes for yourself about some tough interview questions you might encounter. Before the interview, practice these questions and bring along brief notes to prompt you as to your answer.
Many times, the interview is the time to talk about references. If your resume has "references available upon request" at the bottom, then make sure you have all your references' contact information ready. Check with your references beforehand and let them all know you are going in for an interview, and give them a heads-up that they may be contacted. Then bring the information along in printed format, so you can just hand your interviewer the information on a sheet of paper.