How to prepare for a job interview

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It is always exciting to hear from the company that you have applied for an employment opportunity. This is usually the first step in realizing your lifelong dream of having a career, even perfect if the call is from a company that you have dreamt of working for. Whether it is your first job after completing university, you are changing jobs or moving to a different direction from your last career, it is important to prepare. It matters not if you have zero experience at a work environment or you have 20 years work experience. Every company is different and has its own expectations, behaviors and rules to be followed. After all preparation will give you that important edge over other candidates who may be more qualified than you. Knowing more information about that particular company will put you at ease and build up your confidence. This will enable you to give off your best in a relaxed mode and make you seem confident even if you may not be.Job interviews are never the same for every company. There are those whore you will have a panel of managers interviewing you or where it is just you and one interviewer. Regardless preparation is the same in all situations. Preparation is mostly just about you getting ready to face your prospective employers, it has nothing to do with them, the interviewers. So here is a few pointers as to how to prepare for that all important interview on your way to getting your dream job.
Do a thorough research on the company’s profile. You need to learn as much as you can about the company that you might be working in. get resources like the company website, search for annual report if you are able to get your hands on it, newspapers or magazines are a great way to learn about the company especially current affairs. You may even talk to some of the current employees of the company. This will give you a better insight as to what the company is all about especially the vision, mission and even goals of the company.
It is important to think of questions to ask the interviewer. As much as you are going to be interviewed it is impressive if you also have one or two questions for the interviewer. This will give the interviewer a good impression of you and will show that you are interested in the company. For instance you can ask about the company’s expansion plan or even the kind of opportunities available for growth in the company you are interviewing in. it shows interest and that you are not just searching for a job just for the sake of it.
Interviews can be daunting so build your confidence. You do this by having a practice session with a friend. Let your friend be the interviewer and see how to respond to questions and how to behave in the interview room. When you practice you build up your confidence levels and makes you less nervous. Afterwards get feedback from the friend of where you did great and the areas for improvement. Ask the friend to be as honest and critical so that you genuinely learn.
Anticipate the questions you’ll be asked by the interviewer. As you prepare it is crucial that you have an idea of what the interviewer is going to ask. This will help you to be able to give the right answers and know exactly what to speak. Expect questions like what are your career goals? What are you long and short term plans? What past successes have you had? What is your strength and weaknesses? What have you done to overcome your weakness? How well do you work with workmates? Ensure you give genuine answers to such questions.
Dress appropriately for work. Dressing especially for a work environment is the most important part of the interview. Fast impressions always stick and last forever. There are some who have lost jobs not because of lack of qualifications but because their dress code was not appropriate. When going for an interview be formal. Wear subtle colors like brown, navy blue, grey or black which will give you very a professional look. The clothes should be well ironed, avoid wearing strong scented perfumes or aftershave but you can wear mild deodorant. A professional look would be a smart suit, closed toe shoes for women and for men wear a smart suit too with closed shoe that are dark in color.
Appear at the interview presentable. It is critical that you show up in at the interview venue as presentable as possible. This means that you should know exactly the location of the interview, some companies use agents so they may not conduct the interview at the company. Knowing the location will is important so that you do not get lost and get to the interview out of breath or disoriented. If for instance you had to run because of getting late, you will be a sweaty mess looking haggard and not ready at all. Arrive at the interview venue at least 15 to 20 minutes so that you are well rested, relaxed and have removed all your anxiety. Rest well the day before the interview.
Always have an extra copy of your documents. Some interviewers may not have a copy of your CV especially if it is a panel interview. It is important you have several copies in case they ask for one as a reference point. This will show preparation and will also make the interview go smoothly so that you may not be asked to look for extra copies by the interviewer.
Eat a healthy breakfast. Most people are usually too nervous to eat breakfast, but this is imperative to your alertness. There is nothing as uncomfortable as being in an interview room and your stomach is grumbling in protest. Eating will also improve your brain function and help you to be alert. Hunger may also lead you to be anxious or irritable thereby not giving the best presentations of yourself. Eat.
During the interview be courteous to everyone. Even if the person interviewing you does not look like the top management treat them like they are already your boss. After all, if you end up getting the job, you will have to work with them. Make eye contact with everyone and smile. A smile eases your looks and makes you seem approachable. Talk audibly so that the interviewer does not have to keep asking you to repeat yourself. Speak confidently to portray one who is sure of himself and his answers.
Avoid distractions at all costs. Don’t allow the prevailing environment to distract you. Focus on the interview and interviewer/s. do not distract others by fiddling with your mobile phone or car/house keys. In fact your mobile phone should be off and not on sight. Being distracted or distracting the interviewer may cost you the employment opportunity.
Be honest. Truth is always the best defense, therefore be as honest as possible. If you lie and get the job, the lies will still catch up with you and you will lose more than just the job. Also keep your answers short, simple and precise unless you have been asked to expound on a particular point. Use proper English and not slang, the interview is a professional session not a place to show off how much slang you know.
Be likeable. Try as much as possible to portray someone that is likable. You can do this by being pleasant and smiling often. Don’t be too serious. Have an optimistic attitude no matter how bad the interview is going, especially if you perceive that it is not going too well. After all sometimes employers don’t always hire the candidates most qualified for the job, rather candidates they like the best.
When the interviews ends. Exchange pleasantries with the interviewer/s and shake hands with them. No matter how the interview went keep your cool, hold your head high and thank the interviewer/s for the opportunity to interview you. You can ask when you can expect to hear back from them before exiting if they had given you an indication that they would contact you with the results of your interview. If you have been told when to expect to be called back, you can follow up with the interviewer at the appropriate time.
Interviews are usually 95% your effort and the rest it is up to the interviewer to determine using your educational and professional papers. So make the best effort in presenting who you are because your personality can be the thing that makes or breaks your chances at getting that job. Otherwise good luck in your journey

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