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Preparing for a Job Interview

Tips and techniques on how to prepare for an interview for optimum performance

When preparing for a job interview, you must sell yourself convincingly and to do this, you must have confidence in your ability. You must answer questions directly and make steady eye contact. If you believe in yourself and your own abilities, this will exude in your body language and the interviewer(s) will most likely believe in you too.

Have you set out clear career goals?

A key feature of effective job interview preparation is the need to set clear career goals for yourself along with a tangible plan on how to achieve your goals. So, when you are asked to talk about yourself in an interview, you can do so convincingly. Importantly, make sure your chosen career is aligned with your natural aptitudes and personality. This is because people whose career are aligned with their pesonality tend to excel in their chosen vocation and are generally more fulfilled.

Can you go through your CV mentally without having to read it?

When preparing for an interview it is important that you update your CV, making sure the information is accurate and tailored towards the prescribed job. You might be asked by the interviewer to "talk through" your CV so make sure you familiarise yourself with every detail, including dates and remits. Back up your CV with proof of achievements and always take at least three copies to the interview.

Have you researched the company?

Never attend an interview without researching the company. Make sure you understand their corporate philosophy, current/future plans etc. You can easily find this on their website and by contacting them for brochures. The interviewer(s) will assume you have researched the company and will give you the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of the company during the interview. By showing foreknowledge of a company, you are demonstrating your professionalism. If a candidate cannot be bothered to find out about an organisation at this stage, it will reflect negatively on that candidate.

Do you know what type of questions to expect?

Being stumped by an unexpected question can quickly erode confidence and can lead to unease and even panic. The best way to avoid this unpleasant situation is to prepare adequately for likely interview questions. You should familiarise yourself with likely questions and make sure you know the answers. You should first rehearse answers in your mind and then practice delivering them in mock interview sessions with a friend, colleague or family member.

The interviewer(s) will expect questions from you. Have you prepared any?

When preparing for an interview, you should write a list of questions about the job and the organization itself. Gather all necessary information: brochures, catalogues, job description, person spec and other information relevant to your job application from which you can add additional questions to your list. Asking relevant and pertinent questions show you have done your homework, that you take the job seriously and that you are interested in the organisation.

Let your interviewer know your skills are in demand

You should emphasise your value by informing the interviewer(s) about jobs which have been offered to you which you have yet to decide on accepting. If you have other interviews lined up, also communicate this to the interviewer. This will alert the organisation to the fact that your skills are very much in demand. Quite often, this knowledge can be a decisive factor in the final stages of the selection process. However, you should only inform the interviewer(s) if prompted.

Adopting these steps when preparing for a job interview will greatly enhance your performance and maximise your chances in the selection process. Adequate preparation is the key to job interview success, especially in competitive job markets. Good luck.

Preparing For a Job Interview