Prepare For The Interview

Posted: 07/08/12 | Category: Interviewing

Research the Company and the position:

Make a good impression at your interview by doing a little homework beforehand. The more you know about the company and the job you are applying for, the better you will appear in the interview. An interviewer will be impressed by your interest and motivation, and you will be able to explain what you can do for the company. Find out as much key information as you can about the company, its products and its customers. If possible, talk to people who work at the company. There may be other sources of information on the Web, especially if the company is publicly traded.

Search for the following:

  • Office locations
  • Products and services
  • Customers
  • Competitors
  • Philosophy
  • History
  • Recent news stories
  • Be able to express, specifically, the marketable skills you have to offer the organization.

Prepare for the Actual Interview:

Practice your answers to common questions. Likewise, prepare a list of questions to ask the employer. Most interviews follow this pattern: First, you answer questions about your experience and qualifications, and then you ask questions about the job. Rehearse your interview with a friend. You should be able to convey all pertinent information about yourself in 15 minutes. Tape yourself to check your diction, speed, and body language. Prepare your interview materials before you leave. Bring several copies of your resume, a list of references, and, if appropriate,any work samples. Make sure they are all up-to-date.

Dress professionally and comfortably. You will be judged in some respects by what you wear. When in doubt, dress conservatively.

For women:

  • A straightforward business suit is best.
  • Wear sensible shoes.
  • Be moderate with make-up and perfume.
  • Wear simple jewelry.
  • Hair and fingernails should be well groomed.
  • Make sure your breath is fresh, carry mints but never chew gum during the interview.
  • Bring pen and notepad to jot down any information you may need to remember

For men:

  • A clean, ironed shirt and conservative tie are a must.
  • A simple jacket or business suit is a good idea as well. If Business casual attire ispreferred, dress up to improve your appearance.
  • Shoes should be polished.
  • Face should be clean-shaven; facial hair should be neatly trimmed.
  • Hair and fingernails should be well groomed.
  • Use cologne or after-shave sparingly.
  • Bring pen and notepad to jot down any information you may need to remember.
  • Make sure your breath is fresh, carry mints but never chew gum during the interview.

Making a Good Impression on Job Interviews

Here's what you should keep in mind the day of the interview and immediately afterward.

Before the Interview

Be on time. Being on time (or early) will give the interviewer evidence of your commitment, dependability and professionalism . Be positive and cooperative with all employees you come in contact with at the interview location. Be courteous to the receptionist, his/her opinion counts too. Show openness by leaning into a greeting with a firm handshake and smile, but dont forget about personal space. Don't make negative comments about current or former employers. Relax. Think of the interview as a conversation, not an interrogation. And remember, the interviewer is just as nervous about making a good impressionon you. Dont forget to turn off your cellular phone and pager. It is extremely annoying when your cell phone rings or pager beeps during an interview.

During the Interview

Show self-confidence. Make eye contact with the interviewer and answer his questions directly in a clear voice. Work to establish a rapport with the interviewer. Remember to listen. Communication is a two-way street. Do not talk too much, you will probably miss cues concerning what the interviewer feels is important. Reflect before answering a difficult question. If you are unsure how to answer a question, you might reply with another question. For example, if the interviewer asks you what salary you expect, try answering by saying "That is a good question. What are you planning to pay your best candidate?" When it is your turn, ask the questions you have prepared in advance. These should cover any information about the company and job position you could not find in your own research. Do not ask questions that raise red flags. Ask, "Is relocation a requirement?" and the interviewer may assume that you do not want to relocate at all. Too many questions about vacation may cause the interviewer to think you are more interested in taking time off than helping the company. Make sure the interviewer understands why you are asking thes e questions. Express your interest in the job opportunity. Display your initiative by talking about what functions you could perform that would benefit the organization, and by giving specific details of how your experience fits the position. You might also ask about specific details of the job position, such as functions, responsibilities, who you would work with, and who you would report to. Avoid negative body language. An interviewer wants to see how well you react under pressure.

Avoid these signs of nervousness and tension:

  • Frequently touching your mouth or biting your nails.
  • Faking a cough to think about the answer to a question
  • Tight or forced smiles
  • Swinging your foot or leg
  • Folding or crossing your arms frequently
  • Slouching or looking at the floor and ceiling
  • Avoiding eye contact

After the Interview

End the interview with a handshake and thank the interviewer for his or her time. Reiterate your interest in the position and your qualifications. Ask the interviewer if there are any concerns about your qualifications. This will give you another chance to sell the employer on you. If they offer to contact you, politely ask when you should expect the call.

Call your Recruiter at General Employment immediately after the Interview from your cellular phone or phone in the lobby of the employers facility or building. We will be doing follow-up with our employer after the interview and it will help to know your feedback.

Send a "Thanks for the Interview" note, after the interview via email. It will serve as a reminder to the interviewer concerning your appropriateness for the position, so feel free to mention any topics discussed during your interview, then mail a second letter by post timed to arrive the week before the hiring decision will be made.

Follow up with a phone call to your Recruiter at General Employment if you are not contacted within 24 hours to discuss the interview results

Common Job Interview Questions

By rehearsing interview questions, you'll become more familiar with your own qualifications and will be well prepared to demonstrate how you can benefit an employer. Some examples:

"Tell me about yourself." Make a short, organized statement of your education and professional achievements and professional goals. Then, briefly describe your qualifications for the job and the contributions you could make to the organization.

"Why do you want to work here?" or "What about our company interests you?" Few questions are more important than these, so it is important to answer them clearly and with enthusiasm. Show the interviewer your interest in the company. Share what you learned about the job, the company and the industry through your own research. Talk about how your professional skills will benefit the company. Unless you work in sales, your answer should never be simply: "money." The interviewer will wonder if you really care about the job.

"Why did you leave your last job?" The interviewer may want to know if you had any problems on your last job. If you did not have any problems, simply give a reason, such as: relocated away from job; company went out of business; laid off; temporary job; no possibility of advancement; wanted a job better suited to your skills. Don't make negative comments about current or former employers. Discuss any negatives about leaving your present position with your recruiter before the interview to cover the best approach with interviewer (i.e.; Terminated or dismissed for cause should be explained)

"What are your best skills?" If you have sufficiently researched the organization, you should be able to imagine what skills the company values. List them, and then give examples where you have demonstrated these skills.

"What is your major weakness?" Be positive; turn a weakness into strength. For example, you might say: "I often worry too much over my work. Sometimes I work late to make sure the job is done well."

"What are your career goals?" or "What are your future plans?" The interviewer wants to know if your plans and the company's goals are compatible. Let him know that you are ambitious enough to plan ahead. Talk about your desire to learn more and improve your performance, and be specific as possible about how you will meet the goals you have set for yourself.

"What salary are you expecting?" You probably don't want to answer this one directly. Instead, deflect the question back to the interviewer by saying something like: What are you planning on paying the best candidate?" Let the employer make the first offer. Your recruiter at General Employment will advise you on the best approach to the salary issue. We have a good idea what the employer is willing to compensate for the position, however the economy, market conditions, urgency and your abilities will affect the final salary.