Preparing for a job interview

A job interview can be likened to writing an examination. As a student, how do we prepare for our examination? We read the notes given by the teacher, read textbooks, search on the net, ask the teacher questions and discuss with our friends and classmates. All this takes a lot of time and effort. Finally, when the day comes, we have to face the examination with calmness and confidence.

In a similar way, a job interview can be stressful to even think about. Candidates may apply for a job but can be nervous or not fully prepared when called for the interview. Because if one fails an examination, the person can be given another chance. But if one fails an interview then that’s the end of the story.

A candidate develops the confidence to face interviewers when properly prepared. How does one do that? Here are some tips

Before the interview:

1.When the invitation is received for the interview, one should reply in a brief and cordial manner, thanking the employer for giving the opportunity.

2. Conduct research about the company. Due to the internet, you can get a lot of information about many things. Search the company’s website and social media. Know who the top people there are and what their roles are. Note down current information about the company. If you know someone who works there, ask the person about the company.

3. Try to think what questions can be asked. You can also find out from your friends and family members about their own interviews. In that way, you can get some ideas about what an employer can ask. However, there can be some common questions like “Why do you want this job?”, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and “What’s your biggest weakness?”

4. Practice answering the questions. You can look at yourself in the mirror or ask a friend to help. The more you practice, the more you feel confident on how to face the interviewers.

5. You can also be asked about your previous job or the previous employer. “Why did you leave the job?” is also another common question. One must be careful in formulating an answer. No matter how bad the job or how awful the employer was, you should present your answer in a positive light.

6. Prepare your own questions to show that you have done your homework about the company and the job you applied for.

7. Make sure to eat well and sleep early on the night before the interview.

On the day of the interview:

1.Wake up early and have a healthy breakfast. Select a professional outfit. The phrase “First impression is last impression” fits when going for work. This is the first thing people there will notice about you. Keep your look basic and conservative. Make sure the clothes have been washed, dried and wrinkle free. Usually dark coloured clothes such as in black, brown and grey with white shirts are worn.

2. Knowing the address of the company means you should plan how long it will take to reach there and leaving earlier. Calculate the timing so that you won’t be late as your every move will be watched by everyone there.

3. Prepare a briefcase with your essential items. You should also have a few copies of your resume and a notepad. Make sure your bag is clean and in good shape.

During the interview:

1.Acknowledge everyone at the workplace from the receptionist to the interviewer. When you greet politely and smile while looking in the eyes of the other person, people will feel at ease and will be friendly with you.

2. Usually there will be more than one candidate. So while waiting, try not to freak out about when is your turn. Relax and mentally go over the information you have gathered about the company and the position you applied for.

3. When called, walk into the room with your head held high and with confidence. Even body language speaks volumes.

4. Be honest while answering the questions. Many companies do background check to make sure you have a clean record.

5. Try to keep your answers short but not too short. Have a friendly attitude. You can also talk about a hobby or a volunteer work you have done to show that you are an active person.

After the interview:

1.Extend your hand for a handshake and thank the interviewers for the chance and time they have given. Even if the interviewer doesn’t tell you anything, you can ask when they will inform you about their decision.

2. If you haven’t received any information for some time, follow it up by sending an email to the interviewer.

Garima Nabh is the founder of New Age Magazine.

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