- Sep 30
Preparing for the Interview
Thorough preparation is critical. It is great for your confidence in the interview room and it leaves a very positive impression with the interviewers.
Get the logistics right: time, location, interviewer’s name and position title.
Find out as much as possible about the company: size, scope, location of branches and offices. The company website and annual report are two very good sources.
Make sure you have key data in your head about your existing and most recent employers.
Ask former co-workers to tell you about your professional traits. What did they most admire? Try to find some faults as well. This leaves you more prepared for questions such as “what are your greatest faults” or “if I were working with you …”
Prepare questions. You should take the opportunity to ensure that the company is right for you.
Practice. Take time to run through some of your answers. Don’t over-rehearse, but make sure that you are coming across confidently.
Present yourself well. Find out what the company culture is regarding business dress. If in doubt, go more formal.
Why You Should Practice
When practicing for an interview, you should focus particularly on the way you answer questions.
Be descriptive. Don’t just answer “yes” or “no” to questions, but also avoid “over-answering.”
Sell yourself to the interviewer, but without exaggeration or telling lies. You are there to market yourself and explain why you’d be right for the role, but don’t come across as arrogant.
Avoid making negative remarks about your current employer, past employers or any colleagues.
Be determined. Make it clear that you want to get the job, even if you are given information in the interview that sheds a new light on the role.
Be positive, and then evaluate the opportunity again when you are away from the interview. Don’t burn your bridges.
Have positive body language, and maintain a good posture.
Remember: expect unexpected questions. It’s fine to pause for thought. It’s also acceptable to admit you don’t know the answer.
Interview Quick Tips
» Leave for the interview with plenty of time to spare for the unexpected.
» Wear conservative business attire. If the venue is very casual, overdress slightly. (Men: wear a suit and tie. Women: wear tailored separates.)
» Never ask to use the hiring authority’s phone.
» Don’t look at your watch.
» Maintain eye contact, but don’t stare.
» Listen intently, so you don’t have to keep repeating, “I’m sorry, could you say that again?”
» Never be sarcastic.
» Don’t ask about perks.
» Don’t mention a salary range in your resume or during an interview.
» Don’t tailor your personality in an attempt to charm your interviewer.
» Remain silent about your personal problems.
» Don’t drop names.
» Turn off your cell phone.
» Schedule nothing around your interview that will create a time crunch.
» Get a haircut and shave if needed.
» Keep your eyes off the interviewer’s desk.
» Avoid strong fragrances.
» Never criticize anyone, especially an employer.
» Don’t linger. A long farewell can become irritating.