Interview preparation basics

Interview preparation basics

Preparing for an interview is like running in a marathon...you would not even think about entering unless you had done the necessary training, so follow these basic steps:

1. Research the company.  Make sure that it is a company that you will want to work for

2. Use your Resume as a marketing brochure - Learn your selling points off by heart and be able to relate them specifically to “any” job requirements

3. Draft a list of “agenda of points” that you want to make during the interview

4. Practice your “one minute responses” to ensure maximum impact and a “close off”, of the topic.  You must not allow an interviewer to dwell on a point as it reduces the time available to sell yourself

5. Ensure that you are talking 60% of the time.  If the interviewer does most of the talking, then you have nothing to lose by interjecting when they take a breath

6. Make sure that all your responses to negative or hard to understand questions about yourself are “positive”.  If you can’t, make sure any negatives have been turned into strengths by personal development

7. In every response you must demonstrate that you are “willing”,  “able” and “manageable”

8. Start your preparation by:

  • familiarising yourself again with the work of the organisation and the services it provides together with any other issues significant to it
  • read the organisations recent annual reports and any other publications of relevance, especially their website
  • examine the duty statement and other information available to gain an appreciation of the tasks and responsibilities of the position
  • research the interviewer on LinkedIn to see how you can quickly build rapport

9. Be prepared to answer questions about:

  • the reasons you applied for the position
  • any inquires you made about the position
  • knowledge and understanding you have of the duties and responsibilities
  • experience you have had and how it relates to the position
  • qualifications, both formal and informal
  • your career aspirations and how they fit in with the organisation
  • how you see yourself carrying out the duties of the position
  • the contribution you believe you could make to the organisation’s endeavours
  • initiatives you have taken in the past
  • position related community and leisure interests

10. You might ask questions about:

  • what you will be doing and with whom you would work
  • what training facilities are available and study required
  • future career paths and prospects within the organisation
  • any special projects you have heard about
  • the effect of change within the organisation

11. Have some additional information about yourself to give to the interviewer/panel when the opportunity arises:

  • anticipated study
  • other skills that you have
  • relevant special interests
  • your career objectives

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail".- Benjamin Franlkin

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