Job interviews are intimidating by nature. You're in the hot seat and your every word is judged. A "matchup list" can help you have a little more confidence and control during a job interview.
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You obviously want to be as prepared as possible for a job interview, and that means knowing what your potential employer is looking for, and knowing how to show them you fit their mould. You want to match up their job requirements with your own experience and skills.
To do this, The Art of Manliness suggests a "matchup list." It's a tactic mentioned in the book Thinking on Your Feet.
Start by creating two columns on a sheet of paper. On the left side, list all of the qualifications, skills, and experiences you know the employer is looking for. You should be able to find this information in the job description, but it also helps to research the company itself and the role you're applying for.
On the right side of the column, write down all of your skills, experiences, and qualifications that match up with each item on the left side. Filling in some of these blanks will be easy; others will require a little brainstorming. If the employer is looking for someone with experience, for example, and you're a recent grad, you might list any clubs and or community service projects where you learned relevant skills.
After you've got your columns, here's what you do with them:
Review your matchups several times before your interview, and then during, weave the information from the right side column into as many questions as you can. Oftentimes the questions the interviewers ask make this easy — your experience/skills are relevant, and all you have to do is emphasise and highlight the information that best parallels what they're looking for. You don't have to always make explicit parallels between the job's requirements and your own traits, though you can when they ask something like, "What makes you the right person for this job?" "The job description says you're looking for someone with experience with social media. In my last job, I grew the company's Facebook page by 10,000 fans."
If the interviewer asks difficult questions that require a little transitioning, there are a few ways to turn the question around. One suggestion is to take a single word from the question and using it to build a strong response.
The Art of Manliness offers an example:
"This job requires a strong knowledge of the subject area you'll be creating exhibits around. Initiative is important as well. In what ways do you exhibit those traits?"
A good answer could be something like: "My initiative is one of my greatest strengths. I have a passion for diving deep into a subject and I've always been able to teach myself new things very quickly. For example, the summer after college, I taught myself both Spanish and French."
They have got a number of other great suggestions for refocusing the question, so be sure to check out the full post below.
We already know it's important to think about what relevant skills you have for a potential job. But writing down the specifics and thinking of concrete examples can go a long way in making sure you're extra prepared for the interview. Knowing you can offer great, specific answers to their questions makes it a lot easier to be confident during an interview and establish a little more control.
How to Control a Job Interview [The Art of Manliness]