9 February 2008

Preparing for the Interview

I had an interview at 11, but I was busy with my job, my father was in the hospital and I was trying to arrange an engagement party for my daughter. I just didn’t have time to bring my clothes to the dry cleaner, and worse than that I had an inch of grey roots showing and I hadn't coloured my hair. I finally decided that they would just have to take me as I was because I didn't have the time to do everything I knew I should be doing to prepare for this interview.

It ended up I did get the job. They mustn't have noticed my grey roots or wrinkled suit, or I completely wowed them with my skills and humour, but this definitely was not the way to go to an interview!

How important is it what you wear to the interview?

The first thing the potential employer will see when you walk in the door is what you are wearing. It is very important to make that first impression count. I have found that a business suit is always appropriate.

How will you conduct yourself during the interview?

Will you be relaxed and confident during the interview or uptight and nervous? How do you get to the place where you are relaxed and confident and how do you make that good first impression?

The key is to be prepared. Go over some possible interview questions and answers. There are some very good websites that give sample questions and answers, but try to make the answers your own. Go over these questions, no matter how silly some of them seem, believe me, they ask them! Get a friend or family member to ask you questions and practice your answers.

You should research the company where you are applying. It is good to be familiar with what the company does. Most companies have a web page that will give you a good idea of what they do.

It is a good idea to read the job posting and determine if your skills match the requirements for the job and if you think you will be able to meet the challenge. If you think you will, then you can go confidently into the interview knowing you can do the job and that will come across to the people interviewing you. If your skills fall short of what is required for this particular job posting, you may want to pass this opportunity by (at least this time around), but you can always take courses and learn the required skills or upgrade your present skills for the next time.

If you try for a job that you know you are not qualified for and just want to be adventurous and take a chance on it and you are accepted for an interview, go with confidence in what you do know and what you lack you can learn.

One thing we tend to forget when we go for an interview is that the company has to sell you on the job as well. Ask questions and find out if this is the job you want.

And of course that all important question, "What salary are you looking for?" You should have a figure in mind before you go into the interview, but it is also OK to ask, "What salary are you offering?"

Anything you can do to set yourself apart from everyone else will help. Send a thank you note or card to the people who interviewed you. It will be noticed.

Whether you are successful or not, an interview is never a waste of time. You can always learn from the experience and see what the expectations are out there and what the job market is like.

1 comment:

Richard Rinyai said...

I actually got one of my past jobs by sending a thank you letter to the employer. They told me that the decision was very tight, but I won them over with the than you letter.

Thanks,

Richard Rinyai
www.theprofessionalassistant.net