Preparing for your interview

Preparing For Your Interview

The key to a successful interview is preparation. Almost without exception, the candidate who has done the most preparation will be the person who gets the job.

 Basic interviewing tips

 - It is essential to observe the time of the interview and, if possible, try to be at the location of the interview about 15 minutes in advance to allow yourself enough time to compose yourself and collect your thoughts before you are called in for the actual interview.

 -Avoid being on site too early, as you might come across as being on edge. Moreover, the extra time spent waiting before the interview might increase any discomfort felt in anticipation of the interview.

Research the location of the place of interview and/or company. Should you not be familiar with the area, visit the location in advance on a separate occasion and take note of any traffic-prone streets and the amount of time it would take you. Alternatively, set off for the interview with enough time to allow you to look for the location on the day, without arriving late or too early.

Always carry the main reception telephone number with you, in case of any emergency.

Acing your interview

1. Prepare your answers

You can never know exactly what what you will be asked, but there are a number of questions that are always asked during job interviews (scroll down to the Questions to expect section below).

An online search would present you with a well of answers ready for most questions. There will always be a set of unexpected questions, but if you have thought through your work history, prepared relevant points and know your CV inside-out, then you should be able to answer everything competently.

2. Research the company

In almost every interview situation, you will be quizzed about the organisation. The detail and complexity of your answer depends on the role you are applying for and the level of seniority.

In any case it is critical that you demonstrate that you have 'done your homework' and that you are familiar with the company, the market and the competitor landscape. Their website is always a good research tool and, if possible, contact the company to request any relevant corporate communications.

During the actual interview, make sure you follow the lead of the main interviewer. Be flexible: it is only natural to have rehearsed a speech for the interview, but do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of mentioning out all the points you have compiled when they're not required in the particular question or context.

3. Listen to the question being asked, and ensure that your answers are relevant and to the point.

An interview isn't all about being reactive. Try to get the interviewer to tell you what skills they are looking for early on and make a mental note of any information that they give you. In this way you can tailor your answers accordingly and ensure you say what they want to hear.

Asking questions during an interview could also be to your advantage. You may ask about working hours, what is being expected from the successful candidate, etc. However, do not ask about perks, bonuses, etc.

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