Before the Interview Tips

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Before the Interview

Before your interview find out everything you can about the company (read their annual report which can be obtained by telephoning them). Re-read your application, thinking through your own career and the questions they might ask you. You should try to anticipate the general questions which they will ask and also prepare some questions to ask them.

To do well at the interview you will need to convince the interviewer you are technically qualified to do the job. You will also need to show that you are sufficiently motivated to get the job done well and that you will fit in with the company's organizational structure and the team in which you will work.

You should dress smartly for the interview and should leave home earlier than you need to on the day of the interview - you may be delayed by traffic or for other reasons. Be courteous to all employees of the company. At the interview itself you must be positive about yourself and your abilities - but do not waffle.

Here are some tips:

1. Assemble all necessary papers

Resume or personal data sheet
Know your resume well enough that you can discuss every line if necessary
Licenses, Social Security card and/or military records
Samples of work, if relevant
List of questions you want to ask the interviewer about the job

Many employers will use your resume as a source of questions during the interview. Review your resume prior to the interview and be able to develop answers to questions that relate to your employment and educational experience listed on your resume. Be prepared to discuss gaps in employment. If called upon, you must be able to demonstrate the skills you stated on your resume. Focus your answers on the skills and experience that will be most useful to the position you are interviewing for.

2. Learn all you can about the prospective employer

What are the products and services?
What is its reputation?
What types of jobs are available?
What are the hiring policies and practices?
What are their salary ranges?
What are their goals?

Researching the company you are interviewing with and the position you are pursuing demonstrates genuine interest and initiative. It will be obvious to the interviewer whether you did your research or not. Many interviewers will focus questions on finding out how much preparation you did for the interview.

One can research a company utilizing many different sources:

The Internet
Company brochures and year end statements
The area Chamber of Commerce
Networking – ask friends, relatives, teachers, social and business contacts

You do not need to know everything possible about the company. The information most helpful for the interviewing process includes knowing the product manufactured or service offered. You should find out the size of the company and if they have multiple locations. Who are their competitors? Did they recently merge with another company? What is their sales volume and is that down or up from previous years?

3. Identify what you have to offer.

Your education, training and experience—what you have done, know how to do and can do.
Remember all the skills, abilities and talents you possess that will make you an excellent employee.

4. Consider your potentials as an employee

Why do you feel you can do the job?
What makes you qualified for the job?
What do you have to offer the company or organization?
Why do you want to work for the employer in question?

Pre- Interview Checklist

Before you leave home for your interview, check the following:

Have you researched the organization you are interviewing with?

Do you know the interviewer’s name? If not, get it from the receptionist before the interview.

Have you formulated answers for usual interview questions?

Do you have all necessary information for the interview? This includes items such as resume or personal data sheet, names and addresses of references, pen and note pad.

Is there someone you could do a practice interview with? You will benefit from suggestions for improvement.

Do not forget the most obvious research, simply knowing where you are going BEFORE the interview. What is the company address? How long should you plan for travel time? Drive by the company to be sure that you know how to get there and how long it will take. Also, remember to give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes in case they ask you to complete their job application.

Other tips on preparing for your interview:

Consider how the position relates to your talents and goals, such as specialty area and opportunities for advancement.

Schedule the interview at a time that will not conflict with your working hours. Most interviewers will understand you not wanting to take off work at your current position to interview for other jobs.

Find out the name and position of the person you will meet with and get his/ her telephone number in case an emergency arises.

Be prepared with answers to why you want to work at that particular organization, and how you would be the best candidate for this position. Understanding the company, their mission and their environment will help you with these questions.

Dress properly for the interview. Dress slacks, dress shirt, a tie and possibly a sport coat for men. Women should wear a knee length (or longer) skirt or pants, and blouse. If a skirt is your choice, be sure to wear nylons. Don’t forget the dress shoes.
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