Making the right impression in your job interview is one of the most important steps in your future career. Many people don’t realise that being successful in your interview begins before you even arrive at the interview. Job interviewing requires careful planning, otherwise you will significantly reduce the chance of getting the job. In the current economic climate, competition for jobs is extreme and hiring managers can receive hundreds of job candidates for every job they advertise. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to properly prepare for your job interview.
Research is the key to success
The first (and sometimes most important) thing to do is conduct research about the job and company. With so much company information available online you can easily begin to educate yourself on the company’s culture, philosophy and values. The more information you can acquire the better your chances at impressing the interviewer. With knowledge of the company you can subtlety use this information during the interview (when appropriate). Don’t overdo it though – you don’t want to sound like you’re repeating their whole website!
Practice makes perfect
A great way to practice job interviewing is to role play with a friend or family member. Ask them to question you on your resume and the job you’re applying for to fully prepare you for the interview. Remember the 4 Ws – Who, What, Where and Why. The interviewer will ask ‘Who’ you are, so give them a little detail about your life without overdoing it. Interviewers will also get you to explain ‘What’ your skills are. If you have done your research about the company properly, you will have no problem doing this. Make sure you focus mainly on the skills that the company or job is looking for.
The interviewer will also ask you ‘Where’ you have worked before. It’s worth calling up your previous job (if any) and asking them to write a reference just to back up your claims. Explain the position and the responsibilities that you had with your last job. The final W – ‘Why’ – is the most important of them all. The interviewer will ask you ‘Why’ you want this job. Think of a clever answer for this one. Don’t just say you’re doing it for the money, for example. Say something about bringing and valuable skills to their workplace.
Dress to impress
After completing your research you can begin to plan your attire. Remember that you should always dress to fit the context of a job. If you’re applying for a casual gardening company, a suit might not be ideal, but if you’re applying for a position as an accountant or a banker, then a full suit would be the required minimum.
Don’t forget that non-verbal messages are often more important than words, so make sure that you greet your interviewer with a firm handshake. Maintaining correct posture and eye contact are also two very important non-verbal messages as they portray a more confident and presentable image.
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