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Employers interview candidates to find a good fit for their needs.

An interview is your opportunity to learn more about an employer and the available job. Preparation is key to your success. Before the interview, learn about the organization and position from multiple sources:

  • Job description
  • Organization website
  • Employer brochures
  • Annual business reports
  • Trade periodicals
  • Manufacturers’ guides
  • Union representatives
  • School placement office
  • Local and state employment service office
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Professional organizations
  • Current employees

Gathering facts about a company helps you answer potential interview questions. It also gives you important information on how to match your skills to the company or position. To complete a successful match, try this exercise:

  1. Divide a piece of paper in half by drawing a line down the middle.
  2. On one side, list specific skills, experience and abilities needed by the employer.
  3. On the other side, write down your qualifications that meet each requirement. If you have a hard time identifying your skills, use the Skills Profiler and Tools & Technology tools for good phrases to use.
  4. Draw lines from each employer need to your matching qualification.
  5. Identify weaknesses by highlighting any areas where you did not have a matching qualification.
  6. At the bottom of the page, write down how you can and will learn the skills you lack. Or, list the other skills you have that make up for this weakness.

This exercise will help you successfully communicate your qualifications to an employer. Targeting your skills to employer needs will show how serious you are about the position or company.

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Source: Creative Job Search, a publication of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.