Preparing for an interview
The aim of your cover letter and your CV is to get you to this final stage which is the interview. It is important to be well prepared. This will help you feel comfortable and relaxed during the interview, which will increase your confidence.
Research the CompanyRead the Company's website or newspaper articles about the company. During the interview you should be able discuss relevant facts about the company. Very often, candidates know very little about the company they have applied to. This may lead the employer to feel that you are not serious about the job and you have not taken the time to research the company.
Prepare your answers to commonly asked interview questions
- Tell me about yourself.Briefly describe your qualification or ability. What job/studies/other you have been doing recently. What you would like to do next. Your answer should not be longer than one minute...
- What are your strengths?Describe two or three skills you have that are relevant to the job
- What is your greatest weakness?Focus on a weakness that will not indicate that you are a weak candidate for this position. You could mention a weakness that you have overcome.
- How do you handle stress and pressure?Use an example to illustrate
- Why are you leaving or have left your job? Don't be negative about the previous job or employer
- Why do you want to work for us?What's good about the company
- What do you know about our organization?Refer to your research notes on the company
- Why should we hire you? Relate your skills to the job description.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?Employers want to hire someone who will stay with them for a reasonable length of time.
- What questions do you have for me?Have questions ready. You can base your questions on your research of the company. Don't ask anything that you could have found out with a simple internet search.
Other common questions
- Have you worked in this field before? Describe your duties in [this particular position].
- Of which of your past accomplishments are you most proud?
- Tell us about a difficult problem you encountered in one of your previous jobs and how you handled it.
- What lessons have you learned from your past experiences?
- How important is this job to you?
- Are you willing to relocate?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
- What is your dream job?
- What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the job?
- Discuss your CV.
- Discuss your educational background.
- Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
- Would you work holidays/weekends?
- How would you deal with an angry customer?
- Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
- Who are our competitors?
- What was your biggest failure?
- What motivates you?
- How do you handle pressure?
- What is the name of our CEO?
- What are your career goals?
- What gets you up in the morning?
- What are your salary requirements?
- What was the last book you've read for fun?
- What are your hobbies?
- What is your favourite website?
- What are some of your leadership experiences?
- What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
On the interview dayDress for the occupation
Arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the interview. It shows you are organized, interested in the position and prompt. If for some reason you cannot make the interview or become delayed, call as soon as possible and explain the situation. Apologize to the interviewer and see if he/she is willing to reschedule.
Be friendly and respectful towards everyone you meet. Interviewers may ask receptionists and other employees their opinion based on their interactions with you.
An interview usually begins with a few minutes of small talk. This is a good opportunity to establish a rapport with them and show that you are confident and at ease. Here are some tips:
- Greet the interviewers by their formal titles, until instructed otherwise
- Shake hands with all the interviewers - firmly, not limply
- Make direct eye contact
- Wait to be seated until asked to do so
Your overall attitude should be positive and attentive. Good posture and presentation is essential to conveying confidence. Be aware of the impression you are giving through your body language.
- Sit up straight
- Make good eye contact
- Speak clearly
- Avoid nervous mannerisms and tics