You have just received the much anticipated phone call from an interested employer for an interview, so what’s next? The thought of attending a job interview can be so nerve-wracking that you may actually lose sleep over it. While thinking positively is certainly one way to psyche yourself up for the interview, it will important to put in some effort and be well-prepared for it.

You may think of it as a dialogue session, where your interviewer is interested to find out more about your education background and past work experiences to see if you are fit for the job. Though this is basically what it is, do not assume a passive role and attend the interview without any preparation. As an interviewee, you need to take responsibility of the outcome of the interview and do your due diligence in your preparation. This interview is an opportunity for you to show your strengths and how they can value add to your potential employer.

Here are five essential tasks that you are encouraged to check off for your preparation: [more…]

1.Anticipate questions

Anticipate the questions (that the interviewer may be asking you. Make a list of questions and practice your responses. Standard interview questions include “Tell me more about yourself”, “Why do you want to work for us?”, “What is your biggest weakness?” and “Why should we hire you over another person?” Get a friend to do a mock interview with you and to rehearse all the possible scenarios and questions. Take a video of the interview, and replay the video to watch yourself. Observe your body language – were you being too fidgety? Or showing a lack of eye contact? Polish your presentation accordingly and work on a smooth delivery.

 

 

2.Revise your résumé and cover letter

The interviewer is very likely to ask you to elaborate on what you have mentioned in your résumé and cover letter. Revising your résumé and cover letter is necessary, especially so when you have sent out different versions for various jobs applications.

 

3.Research on the company

It is important to have some good knowledge of the company that has invited you for the interview. Do some research on the company, find out the company’s culture and understand the challenges that are currently facing the company and industry. Knowing this can help you tune your replies better and where you can contribute your strengths to.

 

 

4.Prepare questions to ask the interviewer

“Do you have any questions for me?” Most, if not all interviewers will ask this question towards the end of the interview. Your questions will communicate how much interest you have in the job. This is also an opportunity for you to find out more information about the job and company. Ask questions to learn more about the industry, company or job related challenges, as well as to clarify the job’s responsibilities. The answers to these questions will help you to be more informed if this is a good place to work before the offer comes in.

 

5.Get your right clothes ready

You do not want to wake up on the day of your interview and find out that you do not have the right attire for the interview. Prepare the right clothes for the interview before the actual day. The first impression is made in than 30 seconds and is decided upon your dressing. Leave a positive impression by looking neat and smart, wearing attire that fits well and is well pressed.

Make the next interview count.

Have you been interviewed recently? We hope you can share with us about it!

 

Reference

http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewsnetworking/ss/job-interview.htm
Arlene Bastion, The Book of Jobs: Seeking, Getting, Keeping and… Loving Our Jobs. Published by: Armour Publishing. Year of publication: 2009.

You might also like: “3 Ways an Interview is Like a First Date”

1. You’re Dressed To Impress

Do: Put more effort into planning your outfit

Don’t: Whip out those false eyelashes or the tie with skull-and-crossbones on it

 

Why: It’s great that you are putting in the effort to help your interviewer remember you better. But you want it to be for the right reasons. It’s not a fashion parade. Interviewers like personality but they don’t want your individuality shoved in their faces. Like a first date, it’s important to understand what the other party is like. If your company is a respected bank, going for the interview in a plunging, cleavage-bearing LBD may not be the best option. [more…]

 

2. You Celebrate Your Victory Too Early

Do: Decompress from the stress of the interview

Don’t: Make that call to your best friend while you’re still on the premises

 

Why: You don’t just make an impression when you walk into the interview room. You could be leaving one right until you exit the building. Just as how you’d wait until you’re out of earshot to gush about your date to your friend, the last thing you want is for someone from management overhearing you brag about “how you just nailed it” as you make the call in the office toilet. This will come across as extremely cocky and off-putting — and it’s a sure way of ensuring you won’t get called back.

 

3. You Go On and On … and On

Do: Mention about some of the more notable projects you worked on in your previous company

Don’t: Talk about how you led your rowing team to victory when you were 17

 

Why: You’ve done some wonderful things with your life. Great! But just as you don’t tell your date your entire life story during your first meeting with him or her, the same rule applies for a job interview. When you have just 15 minutes with your interviewer, the keyword here is “edit”. Talk about your role in the successful management of key projects with your previous companies and, more importantly, ask pertinent questions about the one you’re interviewing for throughout the interview (and not just at the end). That way, you’ll come across as plugged-in, engaged and sincere.

With a little bit of preparation and practice, job interviews and first dates don’t have to be nail-biting experiences. Just remember that, in either case, it’ll do you well not to celebrate any victories until you know for certain the other party is willing to make that crucial commitment to you.

 

Share with us your interview experience or you can refer to our Interviews Section for more tips.

 

 

Skype interviews are increasingly becoming part of the digital recruitment revolution, and have proven to be a cost-effective tool which simulates many elements of a face-to-face interview. However, such online interviews pose new challenges for candidates looking to leave a positive impression and progress to the next stage. Here are some tips and tricks that we hope will enable candidates to tackle a Skype interview head-on.

Doing the prep work:

1. Setup: Download Skype and configure the volume and camera settings, making sure that your entire head as well as the top half of your shirt are visible in the camera. If possible, get a trusted friend or family member to conduct a trial run with you.

2. Background Clutter: When positioning the camera, be mindful of any clutter in the background which may distract the interviewer. While the interviewers realize that you will be at home, distracting pictures or a messy background may divert their attention away from you. [more…]

3. Lighting: Another variable that you should control is lighting, as a poorly positioned light source can either cast shadows on your face or result in unnecessary glare. Try to place lamps such that they illuminate and flatter your face.

4. Attire: Choose clothes in dark colors as they present a sleek, professional image, unlike white clothes or those with distracting patterns which may detract from your appearance. Despite the interview taking place while you are at home, make sure to be professionally attired from the waist up.

5. Watch where you are looking: Practice talking to the camera instead of looking at the interviewer’s image on the screen, as this will make you appear as though you are looking downwards. If possible, tape a photo next to the web-cam, as it this may help you to focus on and talk directly to the camera.

6. Ambient Noise: Finally, try to eliminate all sources of noise so that your interview will not be disrupted by the ringing of the telephone or barking dogs.

Finding the right job and candidate can be a painful and time-consuming process for all involved, however employers and job-seekers alike are given access to many more opportunities through free video-conferencing services like Skype. We hope that through these simple steps, interviewees can be thoroughly prepared to impress during the interview and leave a positive impression.

Just went for an interview recently? Share with us your interview experience!

Check out what others are saying about their interview experiences and questions to expect here.