What you need to know about preparing for a job interview

There are a few basic rules to prepare for an interview: do your homework and learn everything you can about the company. Here are some other handy interview tips to help you navigate the job-hunting process.

What you need to know about preparing for a job interview

Making a good impression

You won’t get a second shot at this. If can't convince the interviewer that you know what you want, know what you’re worth, and how you capitalize on both your strengths and weaknesses, there’s little chance you'll move forward with them. So what should you do?

Polish your resume
Revise your resume and tailor it according to each new position you are applying for.

  • Highlight your qualities, knowledge and experience relating the roles and responsibilities of the job you want.

Know yourself well
Questions about your achievements and failures are almost guaranteed to be asked.

  • If you successfully “sell” them on your professional experience and discuss your skills and abilities, you’ll have little difficulty explaining even your worst failure!
  • The best tip here is to be honest and make it clear that you learn from your mistakes.

Trust your instincts
Know that the recruiter is making up their mind about you very quickly.

  • Be natural, confident and smile. First impressions go both ways, so trust your intuition.
  • If you feel uncomfortable during the interview, you can decide whether or not you want to the job or a next interview. Make the decision you feel most comfortable with.

Research the company and the position beforehand

There’s nothing worse for a recruiter than realizing the candidate in front of them is completely clueless about the company.

Show initiative
No one will push you to recite the company mission statement. But it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll need to assert some knowledge of the company’s operations and know what you’re talking about.

  • This is especially useful when they asked you why you want to work for them, or why they should hire you rather than another candidate — notably a person who did their homework.

Explain why you're a good fit
Prepare to discuss the company’s values by consulting the website of your potential employer.

  • Remember to name a couple of them and reflect on how they fit in with your own values.
  • You can also mention the different ways their industry relates to your professional profile and how this career opportunity will allow you to demonstrate your specific training and experience.

Figure out if you're interested
The most important point is to honestly evaluate whether or not the company ultimately interests you.

  • Read about the company’s history and familiarize yourself with its products and services.
  • Visit their blog and check out feedback forums and message boards to see how customers are treated.
  • Put on your detective hat and call the company pretending to be a customer and speak to the marketing, administration or customer service departments. See if employees are professional and courteous or if they seem cynical and jaded.

Checklist

  • Do your homework and research the company
  • Review and modify your CV accordingly
  • Avoid sounding scripted; be yourself and act natural and confident
  • Jot down notes about your goals and professional objectives; you’ll certainly be asked about it

Don’t be overly critical of yourself. If you think you messed up, take comfort in the fact that you’ll be better at the next interview.

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