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Although careful interview preparation is crucial to your success, it's sad to say that perhaps as many as half of all interviewers you’re going to meet will be unprepared for the interview, through being lazy or incompetent.
It’s not all their fault, it's just lack of interview preparation time or responsibility; some of them will have been co-opted at the last minute to meet you and won’t have had time to prepare properly for your interview.
However there are also those who just think they’re great interviewers and fly by the seat of their pants. I'm going to show you how to turn that type to your advantage, by concentrating on the 4 key areas of any interview.
From your interview preparation point of view though, it’s not all bad news; you can turn this lack of preparation to your advantage. You can be better prepared for the job interview than they are by following a few simple rules.
Now that you have an interview, there are certain things you will want to do in advance to prepare for it. The practical information on this page will provide you with my top 7 interview tips on how to prepare for a job interview.
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so you'll want to do your best on interview preparation in advance.
It may sound simple but what they really want to know about you falls into 4 key areas, so your interview preparation needs to focus on these:
So you must prepare for this.
Let’s examine each one.
Why are you here?
The only reason you are here, at the interview is because you are interested in the job, the company, the challenge, the chance to learn and develop new skills, and you are ready to move for such a great opportunity.
What can you do for us?
What you can do is bring your experience, skills and achievements, as well as your desire to develop and contribute to a new team or department. (Think back to the work you did on achievements and skills)
What sort of person are you?
Part of your interview preparation should be to learn how to identify yourself as someone who has lots of initiative and gets on well with others.
Prepare a good self introduction to answer the 'tell me about yourself' question.
Someone who is flexible in attitude to different ways of working; maybe you are a great team player, or a strong leader or you describe yourself as loyal and conscientious.
Can we afford you?
The question about money and salary negotiation is another issue altogether, you know what you need to earn and you expect fair payment but the point is you should have a feeling for what the remuneration is likely to be and show them that you bring value-for-money.
That’s all fine as a general background to being better prepared than your interviewer, but now you must be more specific.
Then you can work out your answers.
1. Pick out what you are going to wear on your job interview.
What you wear on your interview is an absolutely crucial part of how to prepare for a job interview. After you choose your outfit, make sure it is cleaned and pressed and you have the appropriate accessories and shoes to go with it. It doesn't hurt to try the outfit on ahead of time, just to make sure everything fits and you look great. Then put your outfit aside for day of your interview and have it ready to go.
Now that you have this crucial step out of the way, you can concentrate on the rest.
2. Practice greeting your interviewer.
You should always greet your interview with friendly smile and firm handshake. If you do this right, you will set off the right impression and the chances of the interview going well will increase. This is a small and simple step that you should always to do to prepare for your interview.
This is one of the best interview tips because it helps you get the interview off to a great start.
3. Study your resume and know everything on it.
Any work experience or skills you have listed on your resume are fair game to talk about during the interview. Your resume is all the interviewer has to go by in order to get to know you. They may pick things out from it and ask you to elaborate.
Even though you may have a previous job listed that was many years ago, the interviewer may ask you to explain what you did at that job and your are responsible for providing an answer. This is one step you absolutely won't want to skip on - your interview preparation for the next job interview.
4. Practice your answers to the most common interview questions.
If you don't know what these are, do your research and find out or see one of my other articles. You'll want to have your answers ready and practice them.
You should always be able to answer "Tell me about yourself" and "Why do you think you would be great for this job?" The employer doesn't know, so it's up to you to sell it.
Don't completely memorize your answers so they come out rehearsed, but have a clear idea of what you are going to say. When you are asked, you want your answer to come out intelligently and natural. Be open to other questions as well and really know what you can offer to the company.
5. Research the company and the job position you are applying for.
Write down any questions you may have about either so you can ask during the interview. If there any requirement of the job that you are unsure of, you should definitely ask during the interview. It always looks nice when you go into an interview with intelligent questions. It shows you put effort in preparing for the interview.
However, never ask questions just to ask questions. The interviewer will see right through that. Your questions should be genuine and relevant.
6. Find out the type of interview you will be going on.
There are several common types of interviews such as one on one, group, and behavioural You shouldn't assume you will get a certain one. Don't be afraid to ask your recruiter what kind of interview will have if you don't know. The interview will be more beneficial to both parties if you are prepared.
7. Print out the directions to the interview and be on time.
Allow enough time to get there and anticipate traffic. It's OK to be up to 10 minutes early, but no more than that. Otherwise, the interviewer may not be ready for you. Bring the contact number of your interviewer just in case you get lost or are going to be late. If you are going to be late, call to let the interviewer know.
You may also be interested to know that I can help you with effective telephone interview coaching, which my clients really value to get them prepared before an important interview.
Some organizations use structured interviews which are actually a boon to incompetent interviewers as they ask the same pre-determined questions to each candidate. No worries! best preparation for structured interviews.
What else should you do? Well there all sorts of interviews so you can never do too much interview preparation it's the most certain way of feeling confident when you meet the interviewer, whether she's competent or not.
Return to the interview help section or go straight to the Interview Questions and get all your interview answers ready. You should also be thinking about how to Dress for success and manage the visual impression you make when they first meet you.
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Answers to FAQs
Writing a CV is a difficult task regardless of your level of experience with the process. While the content of your CV is critical to its effectiveness, the layout and the format you utilize are equally as important. To get started, you should research various CV and resume styles to find out which best suits your field.