Interviewing Basics

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By Duncan Gotobed

Let’s face it successful interviewing is much more than just giving the right answers to questions. As with most things, preparation is the key to success. Without proper preparation, you will go into an interview as if you were driving a car blindfolded and on the wrong side of the road.

Plan your travel route.  The last thing you want to do is get lost or be late for an interview, so plan your travel route ahead of time. Find out where the interview will take place and decide how you will get there (car, bus, taxi, etc.), then conduct a “trial run” using that mode of transportation. Factor in any other possible complications such as road construction or rush hour traffic do determine how long it will take you to get to the interview.

Once you know how long it takes to get there and you have factored in other issues such as traffic, add at least 15 minutes to the amount of time you think it will take. This extra bit of “insurance” means you will be better able to deal with unforeseen events and last minute issues.

Get to know the organization.  Potential employers want to know that you are interested enough in their organization to learn a bit about it before an interview. Conducting research to learn about an organization also demonstrates that you are proactive, forward thinking, and willing to put in extra effort to be better prepared.

The internet is an excellent tool for researching an organization, as are marketing brochures and annual reports from the organization. Ask around to your friends and professional contacts to find out if anyone has any experience with or knowledge of the company. Some experts also recommend that you check the electronic archives of the local newspaper to see what, if anything has been written about the company over the previous twelve months or so.

Plan your approach.  Once you get to the interview you will have to “sell” yourself. The interviewer will be evaluating you on the answers you give to questions, of course, but also on many other things that you might not think about, so plan for these in advance.

Dress the part.  The way you are dressed and how you enter the interview room have a huge effect on the first impression you make. Select an outfit that is appropriate for the culture of the organization (conservative, modern, casual, etc.) and practice walking into the interview room with confidence and a smile.

Plan and practice your answers to likely questions, especially those behavioral-based questions that are so popular right now. Here are a couple of example questions:

  • Describe a situation in which you had to deal with an angry customer.
  • Describe a situation in which you made a mistake

The key to successfully answering these questions is to cover three key things – the situation, the action you took, and the result you achieved.  Keep your stories short and factual, and even practice them in advance so that you become fluent when talking about them.

Make no mistake about it, the better prepared you are the more comfortable you will feel in your interview

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.  Duncan Gotobed makes it easy for you to get your next job and hit the ground running. Learn more great ways to enhance your employability. Visit Top Briefings.com today to access a range of e-briefings that can help you become more successful.

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