Advice for Job Interviews

Dress appropriately for your interview. Consider your position, and then consider what the interviewers might be wearing. If your interview is for a traders job it might be odd if you wear a suit and tie. Make sure your makeup is not too strong and d
Dress appropriately for your interview. Consider your position, and then consider what the interviewers might be wearing. If your interview is for a traders job it might be odd if you wear a suit and tie. Make sure your makeup is not too strong and d

Before the Interview

1. Research the company, and be informed of current events.
Know a bit about the company you will potentially work for - what their major product or service is, their mission statement. Make sure to know the facts the average joe should know - whether they are the leader in their industry or just starting out. Know their current events - recent mergers or sell-outs, you don't want to talk about a division or product they no longer have because they've sold it or it went bankrupt.

2. Practice.
You must do role play prior to your interview. Check out the internet for some potential questions interviewers might ask and have someone take the role of interviewer so you can try to answer those questions. This also helps you because of the feedback and brainstorming you can get from your role play partner.

3. Dress well and appropriately.
Make sure to be appropriately dressed for the position you are applying for. If you are being interviewed for a secretary position you don't have to wear a suit, but you have to wear something nice. Don't wear a formal dress, or something overly casual (jeans), etc.

4. Bring copies of your CV and references to the interview, and a notebook and paper.
Obviously, bring a copy of your resume and references because your interviewer may not have them on hand and may ask you for one, or he may ask you to refer to something on your resume and if you haven't memorized your resume you may need it to refer to it quickly. Bring a notebook and pen in case you have names or anything pertinent to the job to write down. You don't want to be asking for a pen during your interview - you will look unprepared.

5. Depart for the interview with enough time.
Make sure to leave room for the possibility of traffic, getting lost, and elevator delays. This is an obvious one, but it is really important. It will show your potential employer that you are as punctual and dependable as you say you are.

Look at the interviewers. Looking down at the table or outside the window when answering a question might make you look uninterested or insecure about your answer.
Look at the interviewers. Looking down at the table or outside the window when answering a question might make you look uninterested or insecure about your answer.

At the Interview

6. Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and his last name.
Ask it again if you did not hear it correctly or if it is difficult to pronounce. Shake all the interviewers' hands and make eye contact when you do. You might want to write it down shortly because you should write them thank you cards or notes, as I mention later.

7. Be attentive and listen to the questions and comments the interviewer is asking and saying.

Obviously. Well, it can't be stressed enough. You need to listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying in order to understand and answer questions correctly. If you don't understand the question, ask them to clarify it. It's like a final exam, remember those miserable days? If you didn't understand the question, there was no way you could get it right.

8. Be aware of the interviewers' body language.
They may want to add something to what another interviewer has said, so give them the opportunity. Pay attention to whether you have given too many examples or if you have not given enough. They will likely ask you for more examples if what you've provided is not enough. But, pay attention to what they are doing - it tells you a lot about how well you are answering the question, then take the cues to add or stop. Just becareful when adding too much too what you practiced, you might start completely veering and losing your point.

9. Look at the interviewers' faces and make eye contact.
When answering questions make sure to look at all the interviewers not just the one that asked the questions. Look at each member of the panel but focus on the one that asked the question. You don't want to ignore the other interviewers even though one may be asking more questions than the others. The one asking the questions doesn't necessarily have the say on whether you get hired or not. Don't answer their questions while looking outside or looking at the table - you look uninterested and lacking in self-confidence. If you aren't confident in yourself, why should they be confident in you?

10. In your answers, try to give one strong example.
It is actually better to give one strong example that really showcases your abilities, performance or skill than a few weak examples. This is where practicing helps because you can really think about what that strong example should be for particular questions that might come up. Use your role play friend to help you pick - then if you get the job, treat 'em out for coffee. lol

11. When asked about your strengths relate it to the job you are being interviewed for.

Try to remember what qualifications and skills are asked of you when you applied for the job. These give you clues as to what strengths you should talk about. Make sure you give an example of how you used your strength or when or why it is valuable to the company.

12. When asked about your weaknesses, give an honest weakness or needs improvement aspect of yourself that is not a necessity in the job.

Don't say your weakness is organization if you are applying for a secretary's position, even if it is. Choose another weakness that is not pertinent to the job, but is a true weakness and share the steps you are taking to improve on that weakness. Don't give a strength disguised as a weakness like too hard-working, or overly cautious when it comes to safety standards. The interviewer will just ask you for another example.

13. Stand out.
You really need to. Very carefully consider what it is other candidates may not have that you do that is relevant to the job that even the interviewers might not think of. For example, let's say you are applying for a business analyst position and say you are not required a CGA or similar for this position and you don't have one, but that you are studying part-time to get it. Then this is something that may be to your advantage because they can then see more potential in you. 

13. Demonstrate your interest in the position by asking questions about the company.
This is actually very important. Some interviewers say this really shows how intelligent the candidate is. So, consider questions you will ask that are relevant to the job and even specifically for the company. Some examples are:
What are the major concerns that need to be immediately addressed in this job?
How will my performance be measured and by whom?
What computer equipment and software do you use? When was the last upgrade?
Can you describe the atmosphere in the office? (or if it is a trades job) in the field/warehouse/mine/etc?
What types of people seem to excel here?

14. Let the interviewer know that you are interested in the position.

At the end of your interview, tell the interviewer that you want the job. Actually say, "Sir/Miss, I really want the job." Simple as that. The interviewer will remember this, and see it as you being really interested. It doesn't sound desperate even if you think you do. You won't regret doing this. Plus, most don't and so it is another way to stand out.

15. Thank the interviewers for their time and consideration.
Be sure to thank them at the end of the interview and send them or leave a thank you card for each interviewer at the secretary's or receptionist's desk.

Now for Some Don'ts

1. Don't wear a strong perfume or cologne.
In fact, try not to wear any. You may get an interviewer that is allergic to perfumes or just does not like them. Simply where your antiperspirant or deodorant that doesn't have a strong smell.

2. Don't wear inappropriate clothing.
Don't show cleavage. You may get a female interviewer that finds your outfit inappropriate. If you are a male, don't wear clothes that are too baggy and comfortable looking. Wear comfortable clothes but not casual comfort.

3. Don't wear clothes that might distract you.
Don't wear wool if you know that it will make you itch. Or even stockings if you know you tend to scratch if your nylons feel itchy. Don't wear your belt to tightly if you know that it will cause your stomach discomfort. Be aware of these things and prepare your clothes ahead of time and make sure to wear those you know are comfortable yet professional in appearance.

4. Don't be late.
Make sure you arrive 10 minutes early, giving yourself enough time for traffic, getting lost and elevator delays.

5. With tell me about yourself questions, Don't get too personal.
This is really suppose to be job related. The interviewer just wants to know some of your professional and personal accomplishments as it relates to the job you are applying for.

6. Don't be critical of past employers or colleagues.
It is never a good thing to belittle or be critical of past employers or colleagues because you can look bitter about it and it is simply unprofessional. The interviewer could take your answer as something that would make you not click in their office environment. The negativity is not what they want at work as it lowers morale.

7. If you get the impression that the interview is not going well or that you've already been rejected, Don't let is show.
This is pretty obvious.

Final Comments

Relax. Be prepared. That's all you need if you truly fit the job and know your stuff.

I hope this hub has helped. But, if you have any additional advice for interviewees please place your comments. Thanks a lot.

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