How to Prepare for a Job Interview: Be Ready
- Thursday October 17th, 2013
One of the most crucial aspects of your career objective is the job interview. It allows potential employers to interact with the candidate on a professional level, allowing the employer to find a candidate that best fits the position available. It can be a rather stressful time so being prepared beforehand will help you.
Preparing for the interview
You should have picked out what you are going to wear and keep your outfit clean and pressed. Most interviews have short notice, so you need to have an outfit available to wear. Go prepared with some knowledge about the industry. Research topics like:
- The company’s history
- What is their main product or service
- What is required of the person who does this type of job
- What skills do you offer and how can you best use them in this position
- Prepare good examples for common interview questions
Preparing for the questions you may be asked
There is nothing more frustrating than being asked a question by the employer and not having a good example ready. It not only makes you look like you did not prepare for the interview, it makes you lose your confidence for the remainder of the interview. You cannot be prepared for every question you may be asked but having some answers to common interview questions prepared will save you if you stumble on an unexpected question. Write out these common questions and prepare your answers in writing so you can review them.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why do you want this position?
- Why do you feel you are the best candidate for this position?
- Tell me about yourself.
- What do you know about this organization?
Prepare for these questions by thinking of real life examples you have encountered at school, volunteer positions and part-time work experiences, for example, a time when you showed sound judgement, initiative, did well under pressure, communicated well or took responsibility.
Prepare questions for the employer
At the end of an interview, the employer commonly asks if you have any questions. They are looking to see how interested you are in the company and the position you applied to. Having two or three well thought out questions can be of great benefit in an interview. Ask things like:
- How is the organization structured and where do I fit in if hired?
- What are the opportunities for promotion?
- Does the firm assist the employee with skills upgrading to assist in a promotion?
- When do you expect to make a decision about hiring for this position?
After the interview
Something that is not commonly done, but will only increase the likelihood of you being selected for the position is to write a thank you letter, and either email it to the main contact that conducted the interview, or print it and drop it off the same day at the reception desk. This is your opportunity to recap the skills and value you bring to this position. Take three or four points where your skills stood out during the interview and write a paragraph or two about them and how they will benefit the employer. This gives the employer a written recap of the interview, and since other candidates do not often do it, it may enhance the chances of you being chosen for the position.
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