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How to prepare for a job interview

Basic Interview Preparation

Find out as much as you can about the company before the interview.

Here is a list of the information that you must have

  • 1 Name of the interviewer
  • 2 Organisational structure
  • 3 Divisions/departments that interest you
  • 4 Products/Services
  • 5 Training Programs
  • 6 Size of company
  • 7 Career paths
  • 8 How long have they been in business
  • 9 Types of clients
  • 10 Growth in the past and future potential
  • 11 Job description & job title
  • 12 New products and services they are developing
  • 13 Employee benefits
  • 14 Geographic location of home office, branches, stores

Company expectations

Every company has a set of expectations from the prospective employee. In order to know that you fulfill those expectations, you must ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you have the skills to do the job?
  • Do you fit in the organization structure?
  • Do you understand the company and its purpose?
  • How do you stack up against the competition?
  • Do you have the right mindset for the job and company?
  • Do you want the Job?

Pick Your Outfit, and Go to Bed Early

Lay out your interview outfit the night before, get a good night’s rest, and always get an early start. The last thing you want is to arrive at the interview flustered and panicked because you couldn’t find a parking spot.

On the interview.

  • 1. Non-verbal Messages : Non-verbal language speaks larger than words. As you walk in the interview room, here are a few things that you must keep in mind:
    Start it off like a winner.

    • * Non-verbal Messages : Non-verbal language speaks larger than words. As you walk in the interview room, here are a few things that you must keep in mind
    • * The handshake: Offer your hand, and give a firm handshake, a pleasant smile and a positive and confident attitude. Introduce yourself.
    • * Posture: Stand and sit erect
    • * Don’t Fidget: There is nothing worse than people playing with their hair, clicking pen tops, tapping feet or unconsciously touching parts of the body.
    • * Eye Contact: Look the interviewer in the eye
    • * Move your hands: Gesturing or talking with your hands is very natural, but keep it in moderation.

  • 2. Be comfortable. Take a seat facing the interviewer, however, slightly off center. Be sure that you are in a comfortable position
  • 3. Listen attentively. Look at the interviewer directly, but don’t get into a stare down! Sit up straight. Try to relax. It’s okay to take a few notes if the questions are lengthy, or you need to remind yourself of something you want to stress
  • 4. Avoid nervous mannerisms. Pay attention to nervous mannerisms. Everyone is nervous to some extent, the key is to appear calm and composed
  • 5. Speak clearly. Use good grammar and a friendly tone. Never answer just “yes” or “no” to a question. Always clarify, expand on your answers. Be sure not to go on rambling
  • 6. Be positive and enthusiastic. Pump up your enthusiasm prior to the interview. Never whine, gripe or complain about past employers, jobs, classes etc
  • 7. Ask pertinent questions. Be prepared to ask a few questions. Do not monopolize the interviewer’s time, particularly if you know they have appointments scheduled following your interview. Do ask thoughtful questions. Don’t ask about salary and benefits, this can be discussed when the company is definitely interested in you
  • 8. While giving answers to questions.

    • * Be Concise: Listen to the questions carefully and answer to the point. An interviewee rambling on is likely to turn off the interviewer.
    • * Provide Examples: Support your contentions with examples. Think of recent strong strategic examples of work you’ve done, then when the question is asked, answer with specifics, not in generalities.
    • * Be Honest: It is always better to state the truth than beating about the bush. If you don’t know something then state the fact.
    • * Keep Your Guard Up: Always maintain your professionalism. Don’t get swayed by the friendly behaviour of the interviewer and disclose everything. For all you know it might be a trap laid out by him.

After the Interview.

  • * Say thanks. The next day write the interviewer a brief note reiterating your interest in the job. Spell his or her name correctly!
  • * Follow up. If you haven’t heard from the interviewer within the time frame indicated at the close of the interview, call them to relay a polite reminder that you’re still interested in the job. Ask when they plan to make a hiring decision.
  • * If you aren’t hired and you are still interested in the company, it pays to keep in touch with the interviewer. Often, through persistence, you may be offered a position at a later date.

If you don’t get the job, don’t be disheartened. Gear up for your next interview. After all the more interviews you tackle the more polished you become. You may want to contact the interviewer who rejected you and see if you can get any pointers on what to improve before your next interview.