The decision to hire is often made in the first thirty seconds. Make a good first impression: Practice opening a door, coming into a room, offering your hand confidently, smiling and introducing yourself. Use your left hand for carrying, leaving your right hand free for the handshake.
Practice responses to interview questions - but don't try to memorize them. Being yourself is essential to interview success. Responses need to feel and sound natural. When you've thought through how you can add value to a specific employer, you'll be able to easily add examples of how in the answers you provide. To give a top-notch interview, you need to know the answers to three critical questions:
- Why do I want this job?
- Wha t do I have to offer?
- What else do I need to know?
Employers aren't just looking for bodies to fill in vacant positions. They want people who can bring something new and valuable to their business. The only way you can prove to an interviewer that you've got what it takes is to show that you know exactly what his/her organization does. Find out as much as you can. When you really know the answer to "Why do I want this job?" you'll be able to answer some important interview questions such as:
- How did you become interested in this field?
- Why did you submit your application to our company/organization?
- What are your general career interests?
- What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Employers want to know why they should hire you. To find out, they ask a variety of questions to help them find out who you are and what you can do. To be prepared, review your experiences at work, at school and in volunteer activities.
- Keep a mental list of your accomplishments.
- Think about challenges you've faced and how you dealt with them.
- Remember times that you've been a problem-solver.
- Consider mistakes that you've made as learning experiences.
One of the final questions you'll be asked in an interview is: "Is there anything you would like to know about the organization or the job?" Answering "No" sends the wrong signals--that you're not really interested in the organization, don't know what's important to you in an employee/employer relationship, or lack confidence and assertiveness. Here are some questions you should be prepared to ask.
- About the job
- What is the size of the department/branch/section?
- Do you have a training program? Could you please describe it?
- What are my opportunities for advancement?
- What is the salary range for this position?
- About the person you would be working for
- Who would I report to directly?
- How long has he/she been with the company?
- What is their background?
- Select references who will comment fairly and positively.
- Ask permission to use them as a reference.
- Ask your reference what they would say about you especially in regards to such things such as interpersonal and team work skills, reliability, and work habits.
- Inform your references promptly about any job interviews.
- You can ask them to comment specifically on key skills that are relevant to the position.
- Give your reference a copy of your resume.
Facing an interview can rattle even the most confident people. Here are some things to do the day before the interview so you'll feel prepared.
- Organize: Put together the things you'll need for the day: clothes, money, and interview information such as the name of interviewer, address, and directions on how to get there.
- Give yourself time. Make sure you give yourself extra time for last minute problems.
- Documents. Make sure you have all the papers you need such as:
- business cards
- several copies of your resume
- reference letters
- a portfolio or samples of your work
- Certificates and licences
- I shake hands firmly and maintain eye contact.
- I am confident because I'm well prepared.
- I fully participate by being enthusiastic and interested.
- I am a good listener and pay attention to what the interviewer says.
- I demonstrate my knowledge of the organization and the industry.
- I show the interviewer my skills and how they will benefit his/her organization.
- If I don't know something, I say so knowing that I can learn it.