Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Seven Interview Tips for Interview Preparation

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Why is preparation important?
I met a guy who worked for Google and I asked him how many interviews he had to attend to get the job. He said, "10 interviews." I asked, "What interview tip would you give to others to pass 10 interviews at Google?" He answered one word, "PREPARATION."

When we cook we prepare all the ingredients before we cook. When we go for an exam in high school our teachers always say, "Study hard." When we play a competitive sport, we train hard before the real game. The same concept applies when you are attending a job interview, especially if it is your dream job, you need to prepare.
I have conducted numerous job interviews in my HR career and in my business. The following are my Seven Interview Tips for interview preparation:

1. Do your research on the Company
Many people who attend job interviews don't even do the basic research on the company. In the interviews that I have conducted, my first interview question is always, "What do you know about our company?" And if you answer this question well then you have demonstrated that you have done your homework and that you are keen to work for the company. Read up on the Vision, Mission and the Values of the company and see how your personal values align to the company's values.

2. Do your research on the Job
Keep a log or diary of the jobs you apply for and write down key words so you can remember the detail of the jobs. Read the job advertisement and or the job description if you were able to get hold of one. The requirements of these two documents show you what the interviewers are looking for in the ideal candidate.

3. Do your research on the Interviewers
Ask for the name of the interviewers and do some research using LinkedIn and search engines. During the interview use the information you find to help you build a stronger relationship with the interviewers. I have personally received job offers using this strategy and it has been successful for my clients as well.

4. Read your resume and cover letter
So you do the research on the company and you re-read the job advertisement and then you totally forget to review your own resume. It happens. You get so focused on finding out about the company and then forget to review your own resume. The interviewers will go through your resume and there is nothing worse than not being able to recall what you wrote in your own resume and cover letter. Be prepared to talk about the key responsibilities, challenges, achievements and reason for leaving each role. Always ensure you communicate your reason for leaving in a positive way.

5. Source Interview Questions related to your field
I strongly suggest you to source interview questions that are related to your field and prepare answers for all questions. This will definitely reduce any nervousness when you are familiar with the questions.
Please visit my website for the top 5 things that all employers want to know about you.

6. Prepare your Tools for Success
First impressions count and you only have one opportunity to make the first impression, so make it a positive one. Try on your interview attire and ask for a second opinion. Ensure your personal appearance is presentable in terms of clean and ironed clothes, being well groomed and having good personal hygiene. There is nothing worse than two hours before the interview, you realise that your shoes are not polished or you can no longer fit into your clothes. Preparation is paramount, so remember to dress for success.
If you want to differentiate yourself among other candidates, bring something along that you can show the interviewer. This could be a representation of your work on paper, iPad or laptop; or simply colour copies of your resume to provide to each interviewer.

In the majority of the job interviews that I have conducted, so many people turn up empty-handed as they assume the interviewer will have a copy of their resume. You will be surprised how many recruitment agencies edit the version of your resume sent through to the company to ensure all their candidates are perceived equally. Always at the minimum, bring a copy of your resume for each interviewer.

7. Practice your Interview Skills
Practice! Practice! Practice! Interviewing is a skill and in order to be good at it, you need to practice it. You can practice with a friend, record your own voice or make a video of yourself answering questions and review your performance.
Alternatively, find a specialist like myself to coach you in your interview skills. You will be surprised at how much more you can achieve. It will definitely increase the chances of you winning the dream job you have been waiting for. In 2011, 80% of my clients secured work after they received interview coaching through my business.

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