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PREPARING FOR AN INTERVIEW

Preparation is vital for a successful interview. Following are some tips to assist you:

  • Research the company. Never walk into an interview without knowing about the products and services provided. Find out as much as you can ahead of time about the company’s corporate culture, mission, vision, and future growth plans.
  • Research the position that you are interviewing for. Read the job description thoroughly and find out as much as you can about the person you are meeting with. The better you understand the position and the hiring manager’s needs, the more effectively you can convince someone of how you will benefit their organization.
  • Study your resume and familiarize yourself with everything you have written in it. You should never read from your resume.
  • Before your interview, find out what type of interview will be conducted. ie: will you be interviewed by one person, a series of individuals, or a panel?
  • Prepare a list of potential questions you may be asked in an interview and write down concise, logical answers. Review these questions the day before your interview to ensure that your answers sound natural, not rehearsed. Click here for a list of sample interview questions.
  • Professional dress and appearance is critical. A first impression is a lasting impression and studies suggest that a first impression is made within the first sixty seconds of walking into a room, so make sure yours a good one.
  • Practice your introduction – coming into a room, smiling, good eye contact, offering a firm handshake, and introducing yourself confidently. Use your left hand for carrying any materials that you may have with you, leaving your right hand free for the handshake.
  • Plan to be punctual. Find out the exact location of your interview and arrive ahead of time. If you are delayed, call in advance to let the interviewer know.
  • Take the interviewer through your background and experience in chronological order. Be succinct and make it interesting.
  • Be confident. You are speaking about yourself, a subject you know well.
  • Present your background in a thorough and accurate manner.
  • Bring materials along with you that can illustrate the important aspects of your work. eg: a deal sheet, examples of your written work, etc.
  • Listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions and make sure that you answer these questions accurately and succinctly. If you do not understand a question, never be afraid to ask for clarification. If you do not know the answer, say so. Never pretend to know something you don’t.
  • Keep a mental list of examples that you can use to support answers. eg: previous projects or deals that you have worked on.
  • Ask intelligent questions relative to the specific responsibilities of the job, future prospects and organizational structure. Remember, the interview is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the position and the organization.
  • Show enthusiasm and always remain positive. Avoid making negative comments about previous employers or specific positions that you have held. When asked about your weaknesses, present one or two points sincerely and in such a way that they can be viewed positively.
  • Always maintain good eye contact. End your meeting by thanking the interviewer and restating your interest in the position before leaving. Remember to thank the receptionist on your way out.
  • Follow-up within 24-hours after the interview by writing an enthusiastic note to the interviewer(s), thanking him/her for his/her time and restating your interest in the position. Make sure that you have the correct names and addresses. Ensure that your spelling is accurate!

 

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