Whether you are presently employed or not, you should have the same level of preparation when going for a job interview. In a tough economic environment, even a slight advantage can make all the difference, so you want your interview to go as smoothly as possible.
Knowing how to interview is an essential tool. Many go to interviews not knowing what to expect and just hope for the best. While certainly things may happen which are out of your control, preparation is everything. A very important part of that preparation is to research the organization itself. Know the mission statement of the company and the names of important figures (eg: the CEO). Also, have a general understanding of the company’s history. You do not need to be an encyclopedia, but events such as when it was founded would be good to know. The interviewer will likely fill you in on the background of the company, but the more you know beforehand, the better.
It is also important to know as much about your position as possible. This will help you when relating it to your own experience. The interviewer will generally have a copy of your resume in front of him or her during the interview, so be ready to expand on the points within your resume. Additionally, research specific interview techniques. General Internet research is always helpful as you will come across real life stories. Knowing someone who works in Human Resources is a plus as well. Also, if you know others who have or currently work with this organization, be sure to speak with them to learn more about how the interview might go.
Here are some important tips to bear in mind:
– Always bring a few copies of your resume to the interview just in case the interviewer does not have one.
– Pay attention to the interviewer: You certainly do not want to come off as rude.
– Switch off your cell phone: This should be an obvious one.
– Be mindful of first impressions: Make sure you are presenting yourself in a professional manner. While things may loosen down the line if offered the job, during an interview, you are selling yourself in a relatively short span of time.
– Be concise: Make your point in a quick but thorough manner when answering a question.
– Gauge the style of the interviewers: Some interviewers may be more relaxed than others. Do not be afraid to alter your approach based on the demeanor of the person conducting the interview.
– Be adaptive: Situations do not always go exactly as you planned. For example, an interview may start earlier or later than expected. Do not let such things throw you off.
– Observe body language: You will want to be aware of the kind of body language you are displaying and also be able to read that of the interviewer. This can help you get a feel for how the interview is going while it is happening.
Some general interview questions you may encounter:
– Why should I hire you?
– Tell me about yourself.
– What are your weaknesses and strengths? You may also be asked to highlight a specific time when you faced a challenge at work and how you dealt with it.
– Why did you choose our company?
– What interests you about this type of work?
– Why did you leave your previous employer?
– What would your previous employer say about you as a worker?
Ensure that you take the time to have specific answers to such questions or questions like them. Actually practice an interview with someone else, if possible. The most important thing is to be prepared and have confidence.