How to prepare for a job interview
- Get as much information about the company to which you apply (as a rule of thumb, the candidates answering the question “What do you know about our company” with: “Honestly, I don’t know anything”, severely diminish their chances for a second interview. On the other hand, an informed person shows they are well organized and interested in the company they wish to work for).
How do you get the information?
By using sources like the company’s site or, in case there are no online sources, you can ask a representative from the company that contacted you to give you some historical/organizational details about it.
- Print your resume. You have to print your resume and have it with you at the interview in order to give it to the interviewing person. Yes, the employer is supposed to have your resume already, but if you bring it too, it shows you have been careful, organized and that you are a professional individual.
- Preferably when you apply for a specific position, you should write a personalized letter of intent for the respective company.
- Write down all the information you have about the company at which you are about to get an interview.
- Write down the phone number of the person who contacted you. You might need certain information.
- Be punctual: Don’t come half an hour early or 10 minutes late. Ideally, you should show up for your interview 3 to 5 minutes early. For example, if it is scheduled at 15:00 you should get there at 14:55- 14:57.
- Dress in a decent manner (office attire is recommended).
- In order not to be late, leave home earlier than you would normally do. If you get there too early, just take a short walk. This will give you an opportunity to study the surroundings of what might be your next work place. In case you will be late, call the person who contacted you.
- During the interview, don’t say things like: “I don’t want to work during the weekend”; “I want to have time for something else besides work”; “I can’t begin working at the date you mentioned because I have already planned a vacation”. It is also important to be determined and resolute. No interviewer will consider hiring a candidate if they are hesitant, picky, timid, etc. You can be shy, you can be nervous; however, no matter how nervous you are, you can clearly state your professional objective, your expectations, what you can add to the company etc.
- When you are asked what your professional objective is, don’t say “I haven’t thought about it”. Even if you haven’t thought about it, think for a few seconds and then give them an answer.
After the interview is over, you can send an email to the interviewer the next day or a few hours later thanking them for their time, thus showing once again your interest for the job.
by Mihai Silviu Botezatu, Manager People Solutions