Careers & Education

How to prepare for your interview

BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT Career & Education reporter

Sunday, August 24, 2014    

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RECEIVING a call to attend an interview for a possible job is good news for anyone, especially when they've been unemployed for a long period.

But even though you're excited, you should remember that being adequately prepared for the interview is important.

Below a Kingston-based human resources professional offers some tips on what to bear in mind when preparing for a job interview if you expect to be selected.

1. Thoroughly research the company's background and not just the organisation's vision and mission statement

"Adequate research on the company shows that you are interested in the job, that you are proactive, and you're one step ahead. Try not to sound cliché, but rather tell us what the company does, look at websites, try to access the company's reports and even speak to employees within the organisation. Show us you've done your research and earn yourself some extra points," she said.

2. Know what's on your résumé

"You may not know how to construct a résumé and you ask someone to do it for you. However, you didn't look at what was written on it, like the objective. Familiarise yourself with your résumé so when the interviewer asks you about it, you can speak confidently and he or she doesn't have to question your credibility."

3. Conduct a mock interview

Try and conduct a mock interview with a friend to be mindful of questions that may be asked.

4. Get the facts

Gather as much information as possible on the job you applied for. Know what are the skills and competencies that go with the position.

5. Remain composed

The interviewer will look at how well you respond to questions, how articulate you are, your personality, and how you handle pressure. If it's a panel that does the interview, they may throw questions at you all at once to see if you'll panic and run away or take the bull by the horns and manoeuvre your way through the problems.

6. Be properly dressed

Grooming is extremely important. Dress the part and put yourself together well (if you even have to borrow a suit). Do not wear brightly coloured or long fingernails. Be moderate with jewellery and make-up. Ensure your skirt is long enough so you don't have to continuously pull it down. Cover tattoos and remove jewellery from piercings other than your earlobes. Remember, some interviewers begin to assess you as soon as you walk into the room and others while you're in the waiting area.

7. Turn off your cellphones.

8. Take care of your personal hygiene

First impressions last. You do not want to be remembered as the man or woman who smells bad.

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