Good jobs come and go quickly. Great jobs come and go at warp speed. Therefore, one of the most important strategies you can use for dealing with today’s job market is to be “interview ready” at all times. What does that mean? It means making sure you are always prepared for that first contact with an employer. It means your resume is up to date. It means knowing what is going on in your industry. It means being ready to take that leap if the right opportunity comes along.
Look at it this way: Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes on a daily basis. From their perspective, they have the pick of the crop, and they believe they can be more selective than ever. For your part, this situation guarantees the competition for any job will be intense, and the competition for the best jobs will be off the charts.
How will recruiters sort winners from losers? They’ll look for candidates who have state-of-the-art skills and are up-to-date in their industry and the business world. In addition, recruiters will expect candidates to demonstrate professional knowledge and business awareness from the very first nanosecond of the contact. That’s the definition of being prepared in today’s job market.
I know that’s a big challenge; sure, you have other things to do. But, continuous preparation is the single most important step you can take to set yourself apart from others in your given industry.
Here are some simple tips that can help you stay prepared and ready for an interview at any time:
- As you accomplish career goals, receive promotions, or change your career focus, update your resume. This will ensure nothing is forgotten and that you have the ability to quickly respond to a request to share your information.
- Update your references’ information occasionally. Do you have their most current titles and phone numbers?
- Be prepared to answer some very common, yet difficult interview questions. You may want to jot down your answers and review them from time to time. Examples include:
- Tell me about yourself
- Why should we hire you?
- What do you look for in a job?
- What is your management style?
- Give me examples of your weaknesses and strengths
- Why are you leaving your present job?
- What are your long-range goals?
Dream jobs don’t stay open for long, so it’s important that you are always “interview ready.”