Preparing for an interview, and how to pass it successfully

An interview is an important stage in applying for a job. Be sure to prepare for your interview beforehand.

Here are some tips that may be helpful to you.


1. Preparation

  • Gather together all the documents that you may need; your resume, reference letters, project portfolios, samples of your work or achievements, etc.
  • Before the interview, ensure that you are thoroughly familiar with everything related to the vacancy. An excellent place to start is to take a look at the company’s website. You can also use many social networking sites to learn more about the company’s culture, business and how you can contribute to the company’s success.
  • Think carefully about the route that you will take to get to the interview and what mode of transport you intend to use. Calculate the time you think it will take to reach the company’s office and allow some leeway. Make sure that you have the HR Manager’s contact details with you and try to be on time. If something happens that means that you will be unexpectedly late, call the HR Manager and let him or her know as soon as possible.
  • Think about how you would answer such typical questions as: why you are looking for a new job, what your main achievements have been to date, etc.
  • Don’t forget that your appearance should be appropriate for the vacancy of your interest. When you’re preparing for the interview, it’s worth asking the HR manager about the company’s dress code. It’s a perfectly valid question which shows that you are willing to make the effort to create a good impression.

2. Interview Etiquette

  • Arrive slightly earlier than the stated interview time so that you have time to complete any preliminary formalities without hurrying, for instance, receiving a security pass. Be prepared to wait if you are asked to do so.
  • If you do not have much time at your disposal, or have another meeting afterwards, be sure to let the interviewer know beforehand.

3. Answering Questions

  • Try to be concise when answering the interviewer’ s questions, but avoid one-word answers unless it is deemed appropriate. If you don’ t understand the question, ask the interviewer to clarify what they mean.
  • When you are discussing your achievements with your interviewer, use definitive quantities rather than vague generalizations. For instance, it is better to say " within a month" rather than " for a long time".
  • Be prepared for questions about your previous salary and expectations during the interview. When asked such questions, be as truthful as possible. You may feel that the salary you were earning previously was too low and could give the wrong impression of your worth, or indeed, would set the threshold for negotiation too low. If this is the case, explain why you feel that your previous salary was too low, and what you can offer the company. You should come across as deserving a better salary rather than just seeking an unjustifiable pay increase.
  • Be open. You may say that you were expecting a specific salary figure. However be aware that the interviewer will definitely want to find out why you named that amount, you should be ready to answer. Do however remember that an employee’ s qualifications and experience usually correlates directly with their salary.
  • At the end of the interview, you are likely to be asked about your impressions and whether you have any questions concerning the vacancy or the company. If you think of any additional questions once you have left the interview, reach out to the recruiter through email or a phone call to ask. Be sure to ask the recruiter if they have any reservations in hiring you. You can address their concerns ensuring you finish the interview demonstrating your interest in the opportunity and your ability to be successful in the role.

4. At the End of the Interview

  • When the interview is completed thank the interviewer for his or her time. Ask when you can expect the result, and try to determine what the next steps will be. If you are planning a holiday or business trip, be sure to notify the employer.

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