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Copyright 2000 by Rita Fisher, CPRW/Career Change Resumes

Congratulations, you are halfway there! Your foot is in the door. You have accomplished 50% of the “self-selling” process by sending your resume and successfully generating an interview. The company is interested in you, they want you – you have made the sale. Now, you just have to make a great impression and close it.

One crucial step of making a great impression is the demonstration of your knowledge about the company. How much do you know about them? Don’t make the mistake many interviewers are guilty of – not knowing a thing about the interviewing company.

Never arrive at an interview unprepared!

Find out and read everything you can about the company. It couldn’t be easier today with the availability and power of the Internet. Visit the company’s website, conduct a search. Go to the library and ask for help at the reference desk. Talk to people who work there.

While you were in school, you studies and prepared for tests, didn’t you? That was school and “only” a test. This could be the job of your life. Shouldn’t you be as ready as possible? Now, go and prepare for it.

You are probably asking – “OK, I do all this legwork and find out everything I can about the company but how on earth will I be able to demonstrate it all during the interview? What are the real benefits of all this preparation?” Here are the benefits and a few ways on how to dazzle them by showing your knowledge:

a, When you are armed with knowledge, you instantly project more confidence and you are less nervous and edgy. Also, when you are relaxed, your whole body seems to cooperate better: your body language is more positive, your expressions and your tone  are clearer. Your memory is enhanced and will allow you to remember more of what you planned to say.

b, When there is a lull in the conversation between you and the interviewer, say: “So, I understand that you are planning to manufacture XYZ gadget. When will you start making these and who are your customers for this kind of product?” 

c, By knowing details about the company, it will be much easier to answer the question: "Now, tell me how will your skills and experiences benefit our company?” or “What will you be able to bring to our company that will help us solve our customer retention problems?” Dazzle them with a masterful combination of company knowledge and self-promotion.

d, You will probably be asked this: “Do you have any questions?” Of course, you do! In light of the knowledge you have acquired about the organization, you can ask a number of questions, including: “Although I have a basic understanding of your company operations, I would like to know more about what you do and where you stand in your industry. Could you tell me what distinguishes your company from its competitors? What are the plans for the next 5 years as far as company operations and expansion goes?”

As you see, in light of the knowledge you gained about the organization, you will be able to ask the right questions and effectively answer the interviewer’s inquiries. Also, you will be less nervous and will be able to sell your relevant skills and qualifications, the ones that are the most significant in that particular position.

  Good luck to you and go get them!

Rita Fisher is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, a Career Expert and owner of Career Change Resumes, a professional resume writing and career marketing firm that guarantees interviews or will rewrite for free. Rita provides expert help on presenting your background for the desired career change. FREE e-zine and FREE power words.

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