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10 Tips : Preparing for an interview


So let's say you have an important interview in a couple of days. This is the kind of vacancy you would love to fill and also have been craving for. Now the call has come to you for presenting yourself at their office for an assessment/ interview. What would you need to do?

Firstly let me state that there is no 'best way" by which one can get prepared for an interview. Thus what one can instead look forward to is to pick up a proper process and method by which one can get prepared for the interview.

1. Nature of the interview:

Nowadays we have different forms of interview.

Though mostly it is still a face-to-face human interaction in some industries the form has changed to telephonic. Both has its pros and cons.

For a Face-to-face assessment greatly one should greatly rely on vision for promoting yourself while a telephonic interview depends on the voice and the manner you speak. Thus what is most important for a face to face is the way you present yourself while that of a Telephonic interview is how you have presented yourself in the resume and then your communication skills and etiquettes.

2. Know the employer.

This is a highly important factor to gain positive impressions, especially during a face to face interview. Once there is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge of the employers business take the chance. But be sure that what you are saying is based on truth. How can one gain knowledge of a business in a day or two? I think the easiest way nowadays is to check out their website. In case one is not aware of their website, one can check it out through a search engine, such as Google, MSN or Yahoo. Usually most companies would have a page like about us; contact us and product or business page. These are the most important sections to find about: how long the company is in business, where are their offices and branches located, what kind of business the company does or producyt it sells, their main customers etc.

A second way is to check it out through any yellow pages/ business directory.

A third way, which is also highly effective is to call up the reception or customer helpdesk of the company and to ask them about their company. One can explain that you have an interview with so and so in a couple of days and thus wanted to know more about their business or organization. This can be highly effective especially since it creates a chance of this reaching the interviewer's notice and creates a favorable impression even before the interview. Other methods can include

3. Present yourself in a proper manner.

If the interview is of the face to face type one should be ready to present himself properly. This includes but is not restricted to personal grooming. One should try and understand the culture prevalent in the organization. Some organizations prefer mostly official dress codes and attire. Some are OK with trendy dresses and some prefer a more relaxed outfit. These are sometimes related to the industry or business. For example, an auditing or chartered firm would keep to strictly formal dress code, a management firm might go in for a mix of official and trendy styles, an advertising agency would go in for casual and relaxed dress codes. Software companies have day codes and they switch from a strictly business to trendy and casual dress codes. A formal dress code might include a tie and cuff links or even a blazer and suit. A trendy outfit might include flashy shirts or skirts even a hat/cap or headscarf. A casual dress code mainly refers to corduroys, denims and T-shirt, and warm textures and colours. Get acquainted with the existing culture of the interviewing company before hand to help you decide your dress codes.A mild deodorant/perfume is helpful for humid and hot days and a comb is effective for unruly hair. Avoid heavy makeup or jewellery. But remember that an ironed and clean shirt is better than a dirty suit.

4. Be on time.

There is nothing worse than to be late for an interview. It creates an unfavorable impression in the minds of the employer / interviewer. Know the route and the address properly. Check the place in advance if possible. Know the scheduled time and start early. Keep enough time for traffic, parking restrictions etc. If it is unfamiliar territory or city, try out a dry run. Know the building or even check whether the lifts/escalators are working in the building. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early. It gives you also time to sit back in the reception and analyze the people and the work culture of the organization. Check that your watch is working. Also sometimes the receptionist or the front-desk employee is also asked for a feedback.

5. Carry proper documents.

Its always an intelligent move to carry proper documents with you. This includes: the interview letter, a copy of the resume, related supporting documents like certificates and mark sheets, experience letters and any other achievements letters. Software and consulting companies would also prefer to have a soft copy of most of these documents ready with you.

6. Reference Checks:

Nowadays most companies depend highly on references and makes a check of them meticulously. So provide references of people who would know you well or knew you from a career prospective. This means they would be able to support your candidature regarding the kind of work you have done before and the approximate date range while both of you were associated with. So before furnishing your references, it is always better to contact your references and tell them that you are providing their names and what you expect them to tell about you. Try to find out if you know anyone who might be working with the organization or with any of its sister companies or subsidiaries. Let the interviewer know only if you are sure to receive a positive feedback from that person, else do not.

7.Know your subject.

One should be properly prepared for the interview subjectively.This is more important during the first or second round of the interview where the interview is mostly focussed on how conversant are you on the subject and how able would you be to handle different situations related to the job.

8. Practice mock interviews.

Try to list out 10 questions which the interviewer might ask you and then prepare the answers. This helps in preparing yourself. Ask friends and family to take mock interviews of you. Ask them for feedbacks. Work on the negative ones and try to sharpen the postive ones too. Alternately you can interview yourself too. Do it in front of a mirror. This helps your mind to be acquainted with standard questions which might star the interview . Once you have programmed yourself to answer them properly , you have already started the interview confidently and thus would find yourself in a good footing then.

9. Memorize the basics.

Memorize the name of the person and his designation who would be interviewing you. This information is sometimes furnished in the interview letter, sometimes can be obtained though a phone call and sometimes by asking the receptionist/front desk operator before the interview. This helps you since you can personally address or wish him during the beginning of the interview process. It creates and impression and gives a positive vibe with the interviewer.

10. Know your resume

Check your resume. Make a List of the points which you would like to highlight in your resume or during your discussion. Line up your achievements or experiences that are in line with the kind of Job applied for. If you think that there are sections or times when you do not have a good enough be open about it. Do not give an excuse or try to bluff the interviewer.

Things You Will Need

A Pen and a Pad

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Tips & Warnings



2009-08-12 8:06am PDT
Good tips!

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2009-09-01 9:16am PDT
Good information on preparing for an interview.

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2009-09-05 9:22pm PDT
This is great information!

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2011-08-16 6:22pm PDT
Another good place to look at before an interview is Glassdoor.com. This website has feedback from employees as well as people who have gone through the interview process and it can help prepare you for what you will encounter in your interview. Also, remember that no matter what position you're interviewing for it is your job to sell yourself in the room. Confidence can make or break an interview. Your goal should not be to highlight your strengths. Your goal is to get the interviewer to believe that your strengths are exactly what their company needs. Make sure you explain how your strengths and skills apply directly to the job as if you had been preparing for this your whole life.

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