Interview Preparation

Preparation and impression are essential for presenting yourself in the best possible manner during an interview. Here are 10 basic tips to convince a prospective employer that you’re the one for the job.

  1. Thoroughly research the job and company. Gather as much information as you can about the company. Know the history, products, mission, and goal of the company at the corporate level and get any information you can about it on a local level. N.B. Corporate information is easily obtained – most companies have good internet sites that provide all the information you will need.
  2. Bring an extra copy of your C.V. – just in case.
  3. Make eye contact – apart from anything else it shows that you are focused and confident.
  4. Demonstrate interest and enthusiasm about the company.
  5. Dress professionally – although many companies now maintain a casual dress policy, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed, so regardless of the type of position that you are applying for, look your best. N.B. Sometimes candidates will have to come directly from work and are unable to change clothes. If this is the case, let the interviewer know beforehand – you do not want the interviewer to perceive your appearance as a negative.
  6. Try to respond to questions within 60 seconds. You don’t want to be monosyllabic but lengthy responses will make the employer lose interest – and you might even lose your own focus!
  7. Listen and respond to answers directly. If you are unclear about a question, ask for clarification.
  8. Be prepared to discuss how what you’ve done in the past will affect how you’ll perform in the future position. N.B. Give examples that show value.
  9. Ask questions – sharp questions show that you are proactive and want to make sure that this company is the right place for you. N.B. Remember that interviewing is a two-way street. You need to determine if this is a good fit for you, as well as being a good fit for the company. Here are some sample questions:
    • Why is this position available?
    • What are the job requirements?
    • Advancement potential?
    • What are the company’s future plans?
    • What is the next step in the interviewing process?
  10. Send a thank you note within two days of the interview expressing your interest in the position and thanking the interviewer for his or her time – even if you’re not interested in the job! N.B. You never know who might be a good contact for you in the future.

So don’t forget the basics and prepare and rehearse common questions and answers. For example – Tell us something about yourself? What was the nature of your job? What can you do for this company? Three reasons, why should we be hiring you? What special skills did you acquire? What where your Targets? What did you achieve? What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Why are you considering leaving your present job? Why are you interested in this company and how can you contribute?

AND last but not the least – References. Have the names & contact numbers handy. Talk about your achievements and if you have done better than others, worked hard, make it count. Highlight your achievements. If interested, show it. If you are keen for the job, let the interviewer know that you are keen for the job. That way he will surely give you a priority over others who he is not sure of.  Be courteous, it will help you. If you’re unsure then you can always thank them and tell them that you will need to sleep over it and will revert soon – who knows you may actually change you mind the next day?  Say thank you while concluding the interview and thank the interviewer for the time and consideration given you. Ask when you should meet again to discuss the position further. It often takes several interviews to obtain the job offer. Ask for a business card and give yours in return. Don’t show desperation – NEVER show your desperation for the job. Even if you get it, you will definitely lose your future negotiating power. Besides the company is looking for achievers – not beggars.