Job interview. Businesswoman having a job interview. [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786622][img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40117171/business.jpg[/img][/url]
Photo credit :Stockphoto.com

       I think most new graduates feel scared and stressed when thinking about the job interview. Especially for the first time interview, the stress, excitement, and anxiety might decrease our potential to present ourselves to the employers. The best way to handle and nail it is to make sure you’re prepared. The following are the steps that I think will be useful and help you get ready for the interview.

1.Do your homework
It’s important that you need to know the basic information about the company you interview for. The interviewer will expect you to know quite a bit about their company. Therefore, do some research about the organization. At least, go to read the information on the company’s website.You should know what they do, the competitors, and the current situation of their industry.You can go beyond that by reading the business magazines, newspapers, or industry journals. This will help you have some information to develop answers when you are faced with the specific questions. In addition, if it’s possible, try to get the inside information by talking with some of the company’s employees.

2.Prepare for the typical interview questions
The best way to handle and reduce the stress for the interview is preparing beforehand and practicing answers for some typical interview questions, especially, the toughest questions that you fear the most. The most common questions asked by the interviewers are :

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What are your short and long term goals?
  • More typical interview questions on Monster

When you answer the questions, remember that your answers should focus on how you will benefit and add value to the organization,not just about yourself.
When you struggle with some questions during the interview, it is okay to say “ That’s a tough question” and pause to think before answering.Try to complete and respond the questions as best you can and avoid the answers that are lengthy and rambling.The interviewers like and want answers that are concise, complete, focused, and relevant.

3. Develop examples from your resume related to the job you’re seeking.
Identify your top skills and experiences on your resume. Think about examples that explain and prove those points. You can describe the situations and problems you deal with. Then explain what you did to fix it and and finally, the outcomes of the problems. Try to demonstrate your personal contributions.

4. Prepare to ask good questions
During the interview process, you’ll be asked whether you have any questions. You shouldn’t say “No” because asking questions demonstrates your level of interest in the job. This is also an opportunity for you to find out information about the company and decide whether you are fit to that organization. You should prepare 3-6 questions or jot some down during the interview. These are examples of what you might ask the interviewers.

  • Can you describe the characteristics of your ideal candidate for this job?
  • Is there a training program for this position; what does it consist of ?
  • Are there any travel requirements? Relocation expectation?
  • Based on good performance, could this job lead to career growth opportunities within the company?
  • Could you tell me about the people with whom I would be working? To whom would I report, and who would be my peers and subordinates?
  • More questions on Job Mob

However, there are some questions that you should not ask, especially in the first interview. The interviewers might feel unimpressed if you are too enthusiastic to ask these questions.

  • What does your company do ?
  • How much does the job pay?
  • What are the hours of this position?
  • How many sick days do I get?
  • How much time off do I get?
  • If I’m hired, when can I begin applying for other roles within the company?
  • Do you do background checks?

5. Practice Practice and Practice
Practice makes everything better. It can help you have more confidence and reduce the pressure. You should practice interviewing out loud with counselors, mentors, adults, or even in the mirror. Practicing out loud makes you hear the words you intend to speak, including the tone, emphasis, inflections and facial expression which is very important in the interview. According to the book “How to make it happen” by Harwood, attitude which includes enthusiasm, energy, likeability,smile, optimism, and confidence accounts for 40% of the factors that make the interview successful. The second factors are image/appearance and verbal and nonverbal communication. Each accounts for 25%, followed by job qualification 10%.

6. Be Professional
First impressions really matter. As I mention above that image and appearance including dress and grooming is a significant decision factor for the interviewer, so make sure that you dress and behave properly and professionally. This factor demonstrates the level of your interest
in the job. In addition to going to the interview, you should bring these materials with you.

  • Your business portfolio ; transcript, letter of recommendation, etc.
  • Spare copies of your resume
  • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of 3-6 personal and professional references
  • Pens and pencils
  • A notebook with a list of questions for the interviewer.
Photo credit : Pmtips.net
Photo credit : Pmtips.net

7.Know Where You’re Going
The worst thing that you don’t want to happen on the interview day is being late. You must have precise and good directions to the company ahead of time, and if you can, practice traveling to the site. Being late because of getting lost is an unacceptable excuse.

8. Relax and take a rest
Get a good night’s sleep , so you will be ready and fresh for your interview day.

9.Finish strong and follow up.
The closing statement is important. Tell or show them how much you are excited and interested in this opportunity and why you are fit for this job and organization. Also, you should ask and clarify the next steps and the timeline. You can ask about the decision date , so you can follow up. Finally, send a personally tailored thank-you letter or email to each interviewer (if more than one interviewer) within 24 hours after the interview. The thank you note is a sign of your interest and professionalism.

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