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Tips for Preparing for a Job Interview by Priyanka ,  Jul 15, 2013

Recruitment and hiring are very rigorous process along with training of new joiners afterwards. Still companies undertake it time and again all enthusiastically with a motive to get the right person for their job-positions. Thereby their target is at getting the best candidate, promising them the best return on their investment. As such one simple question would be: what is it that these recruiters look-out for? What do they expect from candidates? Preparing for interview keeping in mind the recruiter’s point of view will help you ace the interview with good marks. Following is a list of qualities that employers seek in their future employees:

  1. Professional Appearance:  Your attire is the first thing that the interviewers notice about you. Wear formal attire matching the purpose and situation. Be well dressed, clean and tidy. Shoes must as well be formal and polished. Similarly your accessories like watch, rings, bags, etc. must as well be formal matching as per the situation.
  1. Communication Skills: Your communication skills are the second thing that is noticed by your interviewers. So work on it properly. It’s not mandatory to talk in English only, instead use the language you are comfortable with but make a clear and comprehensible communication. Don’t use alien phrases or jargons.
  1. Competencies and aptitude: The main focus of the recruiters is to check your competencies and aptitude. So present yourself well before the interviewers and show talk about your skills and achievements.  Work out sample interview aptitude questions as well.
  1. Experience: Your experience reflects what kind of exposures you have/had and thus what skills you have developed in yourself. So practice the summary of your experience to highlight all the best and major parts, in precise.
  1. Training & Internships: As important is your work experience, so well are considered your training and internships. Whereby you not only get corporate exposure, but your skills are polished and new skills developed. So prepare a nice summary for that too.
  1. Drive and goal-orientation: Your drive speaks a lot about your personality and so does your goal that you have set for yourself. So prepare a clear professional and planned goal and present positive drives.
  1. Motivating Factors: Your motivation is very important for your employers. A motivated employee gives 100 percent efforts and is more productive and so the employers always aim at providing you the motivators. So present your motivators and be professional and prepare positive motivators like good work environment, interesting job, etc.
  1. Body language: Your body language speaks your confidence and personality. Sit erect and do not move your hands too much while speaking. Keep eye contact with your interviewers and address all the interviewers while you speak and especially to the one who has asked the question.
  1. Energy and Enthusiasm: Be enthusiastic and keep your energy level high. Even if you don’t know the answers or the interview is stretching too long, don’t loose your heart and let the things go on nicely and be positive.
  1. Perseverance: Perseverance refers to the capability of staying calm in tight situations and not complaining. Employers’ highly preferred such candidates who instead of complaining for obstacles, staying calm look for solutions and comes up with way out. Thus the good list points include commitment to work, hard work, patience and endurance.
  1. Confidence: Be confident in your answers. Don’t stammer or get confused while answering. Avoid making blind guesses and instead be honest and accept if you make any mistake or don’t know the answer.
  1. Reliability: Don’t cheat or make false statements, interviewers are experts and can easily catch you lying. Recruiters look out for good reliable employees who would work with dedication for their organization and represent their company with goodness.
  1. Honesty and Integrity: So be honest and present the true and valid points, you will definitely be appreciated for your honesty.
  1. Pride: Take pride in yourself, your background and the profile you are applying with. As when you will take pride in your work, you will love it and thus bring out more and better results. If you take pride in what you say, your interviewers will definitely understand your positivity. But don’t be arrogant, or it can get you rejection.
  1. Dedication: Show your determination, interest and dedication in working with the organization you are applying with. Interviewers prefer dedicated candidates as the one who is self motivated will put more efforts and give better output.
  1. Interpersonal Skills: Your interpersonal skills determine how successful would you be at collaborating with your team and others at work. Respect others, listen to others, be fair and be approachable.
  1. Teamwork Skills: While at work you would be required to co-ordinate and thus collaborate with your coworkers. Thus recruiters will check if you can gel with the team or not.
  1. Leadership Skills: While hiring employers look out for the candidates with leadership skills, who with time can be developed as managers.
  1. Analytical Skills: Instead of getting panic at a question, analyze it calmly, may be the solution would be intrigued in the questions itself. Moreover analyzing skills enable you come with multiple solutions and long term plans as well.
  1. Listening Skills: One who listens patiently can understand the problem at hand and thus look beyond the question and come with a solution. Moreover good listening skills earn you good acceptance and preference as well at times.
  1. Problem-Solving Skills: There can not always be someone around you to solve your problems. So you are required to problem solving skills and thus take your own initiatives instead of waiting for a spoon feed all time.
  1. Knowledge and Interest in their organization: While companies hiring employees look out for the ones who are really enthusiastic and determined to associate with their organization. As the one who has real interest only will offer those good services and a long term relation.

The job interview is a crucial part of your job search because it’s an opportunity for the employer to figure out if you’re right for the job. This page will provide you with information to prepare for your job interview so that you can make a positive and lasting impression.

Before the interview

Be sure to do some background research to become familiar with the organization. This might include researching any current events that might relate to the organization or industry, the organization’s goals and objectives, and the history of the company. Here are some questions to help you with your research:

  • What does the organization do?
  • What's involved in the position you're applying for?
  • What qualifications do you need for the position?
  • What kind of skills is the employer looking for?
  • Who are the customers or clients?
  • What kind of reputation does the employer have?

You’ll be more comfortable in the interview if you know a bit about the company and the position you’re applying for.

Print off an extra copy of your résumé so the employer can refer to it during the interview. You should also bring a copy of your reference list.

Preparing for interview questions

One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to anticipate questions the interviewer may ask. This will allow you to give thoughtful and organized answers during your interview.

Here are some questions you should be comfortable answering:

  • Why do you want this job?
  • How did you become interested in this field of work?
  • What do you have to offer this organization?
  • What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do you see yourself doing in five years?

Here are some tips to help you strengthen your answers to potential interview questions:

  • Review your experiences at work, at school, and in volunteer activities.
  • Think of examples and situations that demonstrate your abilities or strengths (for example, a time you demonstrated good judgment, initiative, responsibility, or communication skills).
  • Make a list of your accomplishments or achievements to reference during the interview.
  • Think about challenges you’ve faced in the past, and be prepared to describe how you dealt with them and what you learned.

Preparing questions for the employer

At the end of an interview, you are typically asked if you have any questions about the organization or job you’re applying for.

Your job interview is not only an opportunity for the employer to interview you—it’s also an opportunity for you to interview your employer. By asking thoughtful and appropriate questions, you are showing the employer that you’re interested in being part of their organization.

Things you could ask the employer include:

  • How is the organization structured, and how would my role contribute to the work of the organization?
  • What is a typical day in the life of a person who works in this position?
  • How would this position allow me to learn and grow?
  • When do you anticipate making the decision about hiring for this position?

Top-10 tips for a successful job interview

  1. Dress for success. Professional business clothes are always appropriate, regardless of the type of job you are interviewing for. Proper hygiene and a tidy appearance are important. Iron your clothes if you can, and avoid strong perfumes or colognes.
  2. Be there on time. Try to arrive 5 or 10 minutes early to be safe. Find out ahead of time where you're going and how long it will take to get there. Drive or travel the route a day or two ahead, at the same time of day as you will on the day of the interview. Confirm how often the buses run. Have a back-up plan.
  3. Let your personality shine. If you’re excited about the job, don’t be afraid to show it. Employers want passionate employees, so be yourself. Just remember to always keep it professional.
  4. Be confident. Feeling nervous in an interview is perfectly normal; just don’t let your nerves overpower your interview. Eye contact and a calm, clear speaking voice are excellent ways to show your confidence.
  5. Watch your body language. During your interview, relax and sit naturally, but don't slouch in your chair or lean on the interviewer's desk. Avoid chewing gum, or fidgeting with jewelry or your hair.
  6. Be professional. This begins with a smile and a firm handshake. Remember, this is your first introduction to the organization, so be polite to everyone you meet and turn off your cell phone.
  7. Listen and ask for clarification, if you need it. Remember to listen carefully to the interview questions so that you actually answer the question, and never interrupt. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.
  8. Let them know what you have to offer. When answering the questions, let the employer see what you have to offer their organization. Talk about your past experiences and accomplishments without bragging, and tie those experiences to how they can help you contribute to their organization.
  9. Think before you speak. Although you want to be open and honest in your interview, avoid talking about your personal or financial problems.
  10. Don’t linger. Leave as soon as the interview is over, making sure you don’t linger. Shake the interviewer’s hand again, restate your interest in working for the organization, and thank them for the interview.

After the interview

Although the actual interview is over, theprocess isn’t totally over. It’s a wise idea to reflect on the experience and review your next steps.

Immediately after the interview, you may want to do a personal evaluation of how it went. Write down some of your answers to questions asked, and assess them to see if they were the best possible answers. This will help you learn from your mistakes and prepare for future interviews.

Usually, an organization will provide you with a date when they expect to make their decision about hiring. If you haven’t heard from them by this date, consider contacting the organization to follow up.

If you didn’t receive a job offer, consider asking for feedback about how your interview went and how it could have been better. This will provide you with information on how to have a more successful interview next time.

Even if you didn’t get the job, try not to get discouraged. Like any new skill, you need to practise to get better. Interviewing is the same. The more you do it, the easier it will become.

8 Tips For Preparing For A Job Interview

When looking for our dream accountancy job or public sector jobs we spend a lot of time researching, preparing our cv’s and rehearsing interview questions, but a lot of people overlook the importance of your appearance in a job interview. One of those things we get told growing up is, “don’t judge a book by its cover” but unfortunately it happens in life and a lot in the job interview process. The interviewer will have probably made an assessment of you before you have even spoken a word. So in this guide we will discuss some general rules and tips for how to dress for a job interview, obviously all situations are different, so you should use some personal judgement on how to apply this advice.

Research 

How do you know what to wear for your upcoming banking job interview? Well there are general rules that we will talk about as we go. But to get an extra advantage you could ring up the receptionist or HR team to ask what the dress code is. If you would like to use a less direct approach, then try visiting the offices/workplace a few days before your interview to get an idea of how the other employees dress.

Clothing 

This is one of the main parts of your appearance that you need to take into consideration when preparing for a job interview. Make sure your clothes fit right. Try and avoid very baggy or very tight clothes and when it comes to women you should try to avoid showing cleavage and too much of other body parts. Your CV and personality should be getting you the job and not what is on show. Men should avoid the faux pas of wearing a whacky tie, not everyone enjoys these and you will give the impression that you are not serious in the workplace. Ultimately when considering what to wear, you should bear these tips in mind but make sure you are comfortable. If you are confident and comfortable you will appeal to the interviewer.

Grooming 

People need to match their hair to their outfit. If you are dressing smart it is best to make sure your hair is tidy and smart as well. Traditional hair cuts will always be better suited over the latest trendy cuts, unless you are applying for a creative role. Men should shave and trim facial hair before the interview as this will add to the neatness of your look. Bring a comb or brush to the interview to you can have a quick tidy up for it starts, this is especially important when it is windy.

Jewellery and Piercings 

Jewellery should be kept to a minimum when dressing for an interview. A few pieces of gold or silver jewellery will help accent your interview outfit, but too much will be distracting and may make the interviewer dislike you. Piercings are generally considered an interview faux pas. Women can get away with a few piercings on the ears, but all facial piercings should be removed as they do not always create the best impression no matter how nice you actually are.

tattoos 

This is a similar subject to piercings, tattoos are also another traditional thing you should cover up when applying for a job. No matter how proud you are of your body art, the interview is not the best place for showing it off.

Make-up 

This one applies mostly to women, although it is an increasing trend for men to now wear make up. The best advice for make up is to make sure its subtle and professional. Try getting advice from friends and family of whether something looks right. You are applying for a job and not going on a date, so keep everything subtle and toned down. You don’t want the interviewer to be distracted by bright red lipstick.

Smell 

No this one isn’t aimed at body odour, although it is a good thing to make sure you are showered and fresh. This is more about the amount of aftershave or perfume you wear. It is nice to wear a subtle scent to an interview, but make sure it is not strong and overpowering.

Misc 

Things that you may not automatically think of are things like teeth and fingernails. Try and make sure your teeth are clean, nothing stuck in between them and your breath is fresh and minty, but don’t chew gum in the interview. Nails also come under grooming, you should make sure your nails are trimmed and clean, there is no need to have anything as extreme as a manicure but interviews may notice dirty nails.

By following our tips for preparing for a job interview you will improve your chances dramatically of landing your dream job.

You have spent weeks, and maybe even months, looking for and applying for jobs in your area. You have spent many, many hours preparing and delivering your CV’s. And now, finally, after all that effort you have had the phone call you have been waiting for! One of your job applications has been approved and they would now like to meet you for an interview! But of course, the hard work does not stop there. In fact, the hard work is only just beginning because preparing for a successful interview can mean the difference between getting the job and not. After all chances are you will not be the only person being interviewed for the position. So what can you do to improve your chances of standing out over the rest and landing your dream job?

iStock_000008688729XSmallArrive at Your Job Interview on Time!

One of the single most important tips for preparing for a job interview that you can follow is to arrive for your interview on time. And by ‘on time’ we mean well in advance, perhaps as much as 15 – 20 minutes before your interview is scheduled to begin. Do not leave this important part of your interview up to chance. Plan your journey beforehand and prepare yourself by making the journey a day or too before. This will prevent you from getting lost on the day of your interview and will help you gauge exactly how long the journey is going to take.

If you arrive to a job interview late you have basically blown your chance of a successful interview. By arriving late to such an important appointment you immediately make a prospective employer question your time keeping skills and you are unlikely to come across as taking the job seriously. Plan your journey in advance and make sure you arrive with enough time to compose yourself before the interview starts.

Dress to Impress

One of the biggest single factors for success at a job interview is making a good first impression. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression! The very first judgement a future employer makes of you are based on the way you look and the clothes that you are wearing. So dressing appropriately for your interview is crucial to your success.

iStock_000020239952XSmallIt does not matter what kind of job you are interviewing for, dressing professionally is absolutely vital. It is just as important to look smart and to be clean, so prepare well in advance to ensure that everything is clean and in order ready for your interview.

To dress appropriately for an interview men should:

  • Wear a clean, pressed suit with a white shirt
  • Wear a neat tie and do not tuck it behind the top button of your shirt
  • Wear clean, dark leather shoes
  • Avoid wearing jewellery
  • Trim your nails and ensure your hands are clean
  • Have a professional hairstyle, preferably short and neat. Avoid the ‘bedhead’ look
  • Bring a briefcase
  • Shower beforehand and wear a small amount of deodorant

iStock_000018039341XSmallTo dress appropriately for an interview women should:

  • Wear a clean suit with a matching blouse
  • Wear a skirt length that you can comfortably sit down in
  • Wear a limited amount of jewellery, i.e. earrings and a ring are plenty
  • Wear natural looking make-up and avoid wearing too much
  • Wear smart matching shoes, avoid wearing heels that are so high they are difficult to walk in
  • Wear your nails neat and clean and avoid using garish nail polish
  • Avoid wearing a lot of perfume, use only a small amount so as not to choke your interviewer

Things you should avoid when dressing for an interview include:

  • Having headphones or earphones in whilst waiting for your interview
  • Having your mobile on or if it must be on keep it on silent
  • Chewing gum
  • Bringing your coffee to the interview
  • Wearing sloppy or overly casual clothing

The truth of the matter is we are all judged everyday based on the way we look and the way we act. A potential employer will be observing your body language and your facial expressions as you speak to them. So maintain a good posture at all times and remember never to slouch. If you are sat at a table then keep your feet together and keep your hands on top of the table. Try to look confident and alert, whilst coming over as relaxed. Gesturing is fine, but try not to over do it and avoid fidgeting. Never cross your arms in an interview as this will make you appear as though you are lacking in confidence. Try to smile as you enter the interview and maintain good eye contact throughout, without feeling as though you are staring them out!

Prepare Your Responses to Typical  Job Interview Questions in Advance

Practice what you are going to say, perhaps asking a friend to conduct an interview with you. You may even wish to record yourself so that you can watch it back and listen to how you sounded. Plan how you are going to answer certain questions and keep practicing your responses until you can confidently and freely roll off the answers. Caution is needed however because you still want your interview to appear natural; it should never come across as forced or rehearsed.

During your interview you are going to be asked questions.Wikipedia states that 

…a common interview question is “What are your strengths and weaknesses?

When answering the question about your strengths you need to bring out your attributes that are directly related to the job that you are applying for. You need to describe your experience and skills in such a way that they qualify you for the position you wish to take on.

For instance, ‘I have excellent people skills and am often commended on my customer service. I have a lot of experience in resolving difficult situations’.

Or you might like to respond by saying: ‘I pride myself on my ability to meet deadlines when working on a project. In fact, I aim to finish well in advance which gives me time to deal with any issues that may arise.

When answering the question about your weaknesses, it is always best to have a well prepared answer. Trust me, the answer ‘I don’t have any weaknesses’ isn’t going to go down well!

Try to think of things that are not directly related to the job that you are interviewing for, and always try to turn that negative point into something positive. For instance, ‘I can be a bit of a perfectionist and can sometimes spend too much time checking over work to ensure it is perfect. However, I have now learned to do things correctly the first time so that I don’t have to spend so much time checking.’

Or you could say: ‘I have the habit of taking on tasks that I could easily delegate to others and spending too long on tasks when I could move onto another. This hasn’t stopped me from reaching my deadlines; however I do find it an effort to know when to stop and when to hand work over to others.’

Wikipedia goes on to explain that:

The candidate will usually be given a chance to ask any questions at the end of the interview. These questions are strongly encouraged since they allow the interviewee to acquire more information about the job and the company, but they can also demonstrate the candidate’s strong interest in them.

So before you even go into your interview, do a little research about the company that is interviewing you for a position. Think about questions you could ask about the company. You are likely going to be asked questions such as “What do you know about our company” and “Why do you want to work for us?”. Obviously you are going to need a better answer than ‘You were the only company that invited me for an interview.’ So use the time you have before your interview to find out a little more about the company. Use the company website to find out what their mission statement is, to find out about their past performances and to discover what they have planned for the future. If you are in any doubt about the position that you will be expected to fill then contact the company for more details before you go for your interview. This will help you come across as prepared for the position that you are interviewing for and will help you get a step ahead of your competition

Remember to speak clearly, you should neither shout nor mumble. Your pitch and tone of voice should be easy to listen to and clearly understood. Avoid stuttering and stumbling over your words and try to avoiding laughing or clearing your throat if you do not know what to say.

prepare-for-job-interviewBeware of Social Networking

The greatest of care should be exercised when deciding which parts of your private life to share publicly with the world for all to see. Would you be happy for your new boss to take a look at your social media profiles, is there anything on there that could cause embarrassment? Make no mistake potential employers will use the social media profiles of job applicants as a way of finding out information about them. There are countless examples of people who, without thinking, have posted something on a social network that they otherwise would not normally say and have lost their jobs for doing so. Being completely open and honest is a good quality that employers will admire, but when it comes to your social media profiles using a little discretion is advisable.

Take a look at your social networking profiles and ask yourself what impression those profiles give about you as a person. Ask yourself would you be proud of this achievement and would you want your Grandma to see your status? Remember that something may only take moments to type but can put a dent in your reputation for a very long time.

guest-articlesKeep a Copy of Your CV

It is essential that you are completely familiar with the contents of your CV as they will be used by the interviewer. Make sure you remember every detail as if you are fuzzy on the details you will bring them into doubt. Nobody is going to hire somebody who can’t even remember the details on their own CV! The best way to remember what you put in your CV is to keep a copy of one. Before you even get to your interview you can read through your CV and ensure that you are completely familiar with what it says. Try to think of the questions that your potential employers are going to ask you based on what they know about you. They are probably going to ask you to expand on your previous work experience so make sure you are confident of the dates and positions of the various jobs you have done.

Having a successful interview should not be left to chance. Careful preparation beforehand to ensure that you arrive at your interview on time and that you dress appropriately can make sure that you create a good first impression. By researching the company beforehand and anticipating the kinds of questions they are going to ask you, you will come across as a confident, employable individual. Hopefully, by taking on board all the above recommendations you will be the successful applicant and will get the job!

After sending out dozens of applications for premium entry level jobs and internships, you’ve finally landed your first official interview. While this is a success in itself, there’s still work to be done. You’ll want to make sure you’re completely prepared to sit and talk with a company representative for a half-hour, hour or more. Here are some tips to get started.

Research 

You’ve probably read the job description a few times when first sending out your application, but you’ll need to do further research if you want to impress the hiring manager. Scour the company’s website for information regarding its structure, ongoing projects, top executives and any recent news.

Questions 

You won’t only be answering questions about your past experiences and skills, you’ll be expected to ask some of your own as well. Make sure you draw up a list of five to 10 insightful questions that display your curiosity and familiarity about the job description, people you’ll potentially be working with, office culture, salary and benefits and opportunities for advancement.

Practice 

With all your research and questions complete, you should practice a dry-run of the interview with a friend or family member. Having someone ask you a series of common hiring questions in advance will help you formulate appropriate responses and identify areas where you need improvement.

What not to do:

  • don't be late
  • don't swear or use slang words
  • don't slouch in your seat or do anything that makes you look uninterested
  • don't smoke
  • don't lie: the interviewer may see through you. Even if you get the job, your employer can dismiss you if they find out that you have not been honest
  • don't let your nerves show too much; a few nerves are normal but extreme nerves will affect your performance. Use breathing techniques and try to remember that it's not a life and death situation - there are plenty of jobs out there!
  • don't be arrogant and assume you've got the job. Nothing turns off employers more than someone who is disrespectful and over-confident
  • don't discuss controversial topics such as religion, politics and gender relations
  • don't read from notes or your CV — you should be familiar enough with your own history to be able to talk about it unprompted
  • don't criticise former employers or colleagues. Interviewers may mark you down as a troublemaker and a gossip
  • don't argue with the interviewer, no matter what. Remember to keep things positive!
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