As the old phrase “Fail to plan and you, plan to fail”. If you want to be an exceptional interviewee, you have to do exceptional preparation. Preparation is the first thing that will make you exceptional from other applicants. Do want to be more impressive? Then prepare more. If you’re infatuated with preparing for all aspects of interviews, then you‘ll be ready to bring it down.
At job interview you are sure to be asked definite questions about your potential employer, industry and the curriculum vitae, so ensure you have done your preparation well.
The website of a company is the best place to begin. It gives you an idea about the company as it would like to be identified and the services as well as the products they provide. You will have a feel for the culture, corporate style and tone of voice. Check out the company’s annual report and try to find their announcement or news page.
If you are applying for a position at a public company, then take a look at their SEC filings and financial statements. Go online and look for the Proxy statement, Annual Report, and some essential information for the company you are interested in.
These documents are not gripping reads, but they have essential information in them. Even if you only grasp the summary at the first page of each document, you will be knowledgeable on the inner function of the company.
The company filings are also a great way to ascertain specific questions about the corporation and you can state that you read the documents in your research. This shows your interest in the company.
Nothing is as letting down as when you ooze enthusiasm and then you don’t even know some figures and most essential facts about an organization for example last year’s profits.
It is not just basic knowledge about the company you need – you should also get some background information of the industry so you can make an impression at the interview.
Browse through the websites and business publications to note what they’re writing about your prospective employer as well as their industry.
Take time with your curriculum vitae and make good notes, just the same as when you were preparing for exam. Analyze your work record together with what you have accomplished. How do you rate yourself? What have you achieved? What goals do you have?
Get to know somebody on the inside. An employee can often give you an idea of what exactly ‘a day in life’ is like and can help you decide if this is a right place to work at. In addition, if you disclose your meetings with the company’s employee in your interview, then you will give an impression as someone who is more interested in position, and serious about the job.
If you do not know where to begin, then go to Google or LinkedIn and do some searches for employees at the company you’re interviewing with. If everything fails, call them and talk to people who are willing and ready to let you have lunch with them.
You need to have confident that you can answer every question the interviewers through at you, and try to be positive as you can. It surely shines through.
You may also like to observe these tips:
- Ensure you know the location, date and time of the interview and the name of your interviewers.
- Have a trial-interview with your friend based on the questions you are likely to get in the interview room.
- Make a decision how you will get to the interview venue and what time you need to hit the road to get there in good time, predicting any delays. Do a rehearsal if necessary.
- Do not go into an interview with lots of past history, experiences or opinions that may have negative effect – physical or psychological.
- Ensure you use toilet before you step in the interview room – you do not want to be dying to go when you are mid-interview.
- If you’ve been requested to carry certificates, references, etc, have them all set well before the interview date to keep away from having to chase around on the big day.
How should you prepare for a phone interview?
Most companies use telephone interviews as a means of identifying and hiring the right candidates for their jobs. Phone interview is usually used to screen applicants so as to narrow the pool of candidates who will be asked for the in-person interviews. They’re used as a technique to minimize the expenditure in the process of interviewing “out-of-site” applicants.
Even as you’re actively job searching, it is very important to prepare yourself for a phone interview. You do not know at what time the interviewer might call and ask if you have some minutes to talk.
Therefore prepare for a phone interview just like you would for an ordinary job interview. Have a list of your strengths as well as weaknesses, and a list of answers to regular phone interview questions. In addition, get ready for a phone interview discussion about your achievements, background and skills.
- Keep your curriculum vitae at a clear view; on top of the desk, or bind it to the wall near your telephone, so it is at your fingertips at the time you want to answer questions.
- Prepare a short list of your achievements.
- Have a pen and a paper well-located for note-taking.
- If the time is not convenient, request if you could have the discussion at another time and give one or two alternatives.
- Clear your phone interview room; evict the pets and children, turn your television off, and lock the door.
- Unless you are sure your mobile phone service will be perfect, consider using landline as opposed to your cellular phone to avoid static on the line or dropped call.
Speaking on the telephone is not as simple as it seems. You should do more practice. Have a relative or friend do a mock interview and record it so you can note how you speak and sound over the telephone. Any tape recorder will work.
You will be able to listen to your “Okays” and “ums” so you can practice how to avoid them, or reduce them from your speech. Also prepare answers to those general questions you might be asked.
Here is a list of things to do, and things you should not do during your phone Interview;
- Do not chew gum, smoke, drink or eat while talking.
- Have a glass of water close at hand, in case your mouth gets dry.
- Always smile. Smiling will figure a positive image to your interviewer and will actually change the quality of your voice.
- Talk slowly and pronounce clearly.
- Use the interviewer’s title such as Mr., Ms., and the surname. Only use their first name if they ask you to.
- Do not cut short your interviewer.
- Take you time – It is acceptable to take a few minutes to gather your thoughts.
- Always give short answers.
- Remember your aim is to have a face to face interview. So after you express your gratitude ask the interviewer if it would be possible to meet in-person.
After the phone interview:
- Write down what you were asked and how you answered them.
- Learn to say “thank you” by heart to the interviewer. Then follow with a thank you letter which restates your interest in the position.