Scenario: You spend weeks, even months looking for a Healthcare IT job. You have networked to the point of knowing just about everyone on the planet (or at least their relatives), attended more association lunches than you care to admit, prepared the perfect resume on perfect resume paper, attended numerous job fairs, and finally interested someone to offer you an interview. Whew!
For as long as you have been looking, it’s not uncommon for the phone call requesting an interview to come with very little prep time. You may be asked to interview that day, or even worse, in a few hours. So what you can do you to prepare?
In this rugged job market, it will pay for you to make sure you are ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Competition for Healthcare IT jobs is fierce, and the more you can prepare in advance, the better equipped you will be to impress potential employers at the drop of a hat.
So how do you set yourself apart from the crowd? Talent just won’t do it anymore. You need to have the entire package of credentials, skills and personality to impress those doing the hiring.
First, make sure you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice. Dress in business attire every day of a job hunt. Always start your day with all the prep you would take if you had your dream job. Keep a briefcase or portfolio at hand with pens, spare copies of your resume, business cards, a CD of your portfolio to leave with the employer, and any other items that will be useful in an interview. Keep these stocked up and ready to grab and run out the door with.
Bone up on the company you are applying for. But don’t think that all your information should come from the Internet. Often times, the local libraries have many resources you can’t find online. The annual report of the company you’re wishing to be hired by may not be accessible in any other form than actually going into the library and searching the card catalog.
To learn about the financial stability and history of your future employer, find a Standard and Poor’s report to really educate yourself on the inside of the company. Dun and Bradstreet is also a great resource for this information.
Use what you learn in your conversation during the interview. You won’t have to be prepared to give a lengthy report, but dropping these hints lets your future employer know you do your homework, which in turns says you will go the extra mile for them.
With the advent of social networking, you can find out a lot about the interviewer. Learn about their professional experience and background, and groups he or she may belong to. With this information you can have an even more in depth conversation that will establish a connection with the interviewer that others might not create.
Articulation is always the key for in person interviews. Prepare what you want to say. Don’t be afraid to practice your talk in the car on the way to the interview. Break your presentation in the parts you want to focus on. Begin with being personable and having an interesting opening line. Don’t hesitate to begin with small talk, knowing where you are going to take the interview.
This preparation will put you on the offensive and give you more control when you actually get into the interview. As you practice be aware of your body language, facial expressions and what you are going to wear. Create some answers in advance to questions you are sure to be asked. Identify you strong suits, be honest about your weak areas. Don’t be too glowing, but don’t paint yourself in a disparaging light either. Try to create a balanced perspective of yourself, always leaning on the positive.
And lastly, never speak poorly of your former employer. ‘Nuf said.