Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tips for Attending Interviews

You have been invited to a job interview.

How do you prepare yourself for that interview so that you have a better chance of being selected as an employee? Here are the vital tips:

Before the interview:

1. Find out more about the company: The more you know the better it is for you as it tells the interviewer that you are interested and enthusiastic about the company.

2. Identify the location : find out the place of interview so that you don't waste valuable time looking for it on the actual day.

Start at a time so that you can reach at your interview place before 15-20 minutes of your schedule.

3. Be prepared for the following frequently asked questions:

1. Why are you looking for a job?
2. What are your strengths?
3. What are your weaknesses?
4. Which is the best manager that you have ever worked with?
5. How about the worst manager?
6. What are the problems you face in your current job and how are you solving them.
7. What are your most significant accomplishments?
8. What can you do for us?
9. What is your expected salary?
10. What do you know about our company?

4. Prepare a list of questions to ask: You can enquire about training and development opportunities, workplace culture and major challenges of the job.

5. Practice: Rehearse with friend especially when the interview involves you for a presentation.

On the day of interview:

6. Documents: Check and make sure that all necessary certificates are in one file.

  • Collect your all certificates and put them in a file properly and take them along with you.

  • If you have invitation letter then keep it in your file safely and take it along with you.

  • Keep a small note book in your file. In case you need to note down something during interview.

7. Dress appropriately: When you dress smartly and correctly for the occasion you create a good visual impact.

  • Don't wear jeans, junky, franky or other casual cloths. Dress up well.

  • Better to wear a tie if you feel comfortable otherwise don't wear it.

  • Check your shoes they should be polished well. Black or brown

8. Arrive in sufficient time: Be there 15 to 30 minutes earlier so that you can relax and compose yourself.

During the Interview:

9. Behavior:

Starting from the time when you enter into the interview room:

  • Greet everybody in a friendly manner.

  • Don't sit down until you are invited to.

  • Take care of your poster, voice, jitters.

  • Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Show you want the job with your interest.

  • Don't play with your hair, clothing, pen or notebook etc.

  • Pay full attention to interviewer and present yourself like you are very much interested in giving this interview and you are enjoying in giving this interview.

  • Try to bring interviewer on a subject where you have good command.

  • Be Positive - In particular, avoid negative comments about past employers if you had one.

  • Listen carefully what interviewer is asking and if you don't understand question completely then take an excuse and ask to repeat the question again.

  • If you get a chance establish a relationship by doing some informal chit chat.

  • If you don't know answer then you can frankly say that you don't know the answer.

10. Answering questions: Listen carefully and answer fully and directly. Do it in a friendly and positive tone and provide examples. Always tell the truth.

Once you are fully prepared for technical questions then there are some common questions for which you would have to prepare in advance. I'm listing down very basic questions which can be asked from you during your interview.

  • Tell me about yourself?: Most of the interviews start with this question. So introduce yourself staring with your name, native place, qualifications, experiences, interests/hobbies. Don't spend more than 2 minutes on this.

  • What do you know about our company?: You remember what information you gathered about this company. So speak out the things you learned about the company during your preparation.

  • What can you do for us that someone else can't?: Speak out your strengths.

  • What do you look for in a job?: Honestly speak out your objective and what you are looking for.

  • What are your career goals?: You have to prepare for this question yourself.

  • What are your strong & weak points?: Prepare for this question by evaluating yourself.

  • What position do you expect to have in 2 to 5 years?: Again it is a self assessment question and you have plan for next 2 to 5 years based on your capabilities.

  • Do you have your reference list with you?: Keep some references along with you but don't give it out unless it is asked for.

  • How much salary you are expecting ?: This is very difficult question and in many case you would not get a job because you would have asked more salary than employer had fixed for this position. So if possible better to request for an offer then only comment on it or negotiate on this. Here "offer" means let employer tell you about how much can be offered.

  • What questions didn't I ask that you expected?: You would have so many questions in your mind which you were expecting to be asked. So you can speak out 1 or 2.

11. Ask the right question:

Do you have any question for me?

At the end of interview you will be asked this question. And you have to be prepared for this question. You can prepare so many questions like "What exactly is this position?", "What will be roles and responsibilities for this position?", "To whom would I report?", "Would I be assigned to a specific department?", "How much travel is expected?", "How much freedom and responsibility is given to new employees?", "Typical timings of job work?", "Describe the typical first year assignments for this position.", "Do you have a tuition or higher education reimbursement policy?", "How my performance will be evaluated?", "What are future plans and directions for the organization?".

After the interview:

12. Send a thank-you letter: In the letter you should repeat your interest in the position you have applied for.

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