By Tim Klepaczyk
I find when I am in a job search that my interviews get better as I do more of them. Part of this is the challenge of technical interviews, which are common among engineers. I simply respond better to questions about an electronic design I worked on over ten years ago when I’ve been queried to review its details already recently by somebody else.
Certainly though one can be proactive preparing for interviews. One friend sent me a list of 100 common interview questions that I keep as reference. As a member of an outplacement service I can repeatedly take an interview practice workshop. Recently when waiting at a library for a WIA grant orientation a friend drilled me with some practice interview questions.
Here are some other ways to prepare. Perhaps most important – research the company! Larger companies will have websites. How is the company organized? Which division and department will be interviewing you? What are their products? Hopefully you read trade literature in your industry. Have any of their products been featured recently? I noticed this in advance of a phone interview last week. It can make a good impression to relay that experience and ask questions about the new product.
Have your SSAR stories ready (Situation/Strength/Action/Result). The most important thing to communicate to a prospective employer is what’s in it for them. Review the job description and identify your most relevant SSAR stories. Emphasize details in your stories that reinforce how you are going to deliver successes to the hiring manager and his team.
Finally, review your LinkedIn connections for someone at the company. You should do this whenever you apply for a job, but do it again – you may have a new second-degree connection. Reach out to them for information that can help you in the interview.
Tim Klepaczyk is an RF & microwave engineer with over 20 years of experience in applications & sales and product design & validation. He also loves writing.
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