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Interview Tips

The importance of interview preparation hardly needs to be overemphasized. Whether a candidate likes it or not, an interview is basically a marketing exercise, where candidates need to present and showcase their accomplishments and achievements in a way that is relevant to the prospective client.

Interview Preparation:

About yourself - Create a 30 sec summary statement (Elevator pitch) that you can say about yourself that highlights all your experience, skills and accomplishments in relation to the job. Some of the other questions you also need to prepare, which are:

  • Career goals - Both in the next job and few years down the road
  • Likes and dislikes about your current job
  • Experience that you want to gain in the next assignment
  • Key strengths and weaknesses

Accomplishment and Achievements - Companies want to hear from you about relevant things that you are proud of, to get an idea of what you may be able to contribute upon joining. Ways to prepare around this would be to:

  • Prepare a list of major accomplishments: Be specific in terms of dollars saved, Percentage increases, Units produced, Goals achieved, etc.
  • Keep samples of work done ready, to demonstrate your achievements: Project work, Articles published, Presentations, and Similar stuff
  • Be ready to talk about special Training courses and Seminars attended

Prepare to answer questions on your negatives and weaknesses - This is a common question and you need to prepare to answer it in such a way that it reflects two things:

  • How you have learnt from your past mistakes and improved your current skills
  • How the weaknesses can sometimes be a positive in the role being offered by the new employer/client

Do a complete research about the opportunity - This will help you to impress the interviewer by showing your interest in the role, it will also allow you to present your experience appropriately in relation to the job you will be entitled to.

Ask questions– It is the best way to keep your questions till the later part of the interview so that you can tailor them to the pertinent topics - or so you can show active listening and interest. Some of the questions you can ask are:

  • What are the most important responsibilities of the job?
  • To whom will I report and what is his or her background?
  • What support or training will be available to help me learn what I need to know to be successful?
  • Is this a team environment or individual contributor role?
  • What is the most important thing I can do to help your firm in the first 90 days of my employment?
  • How much will I be expected to travel?
  • What is a typical work week?

In case of a Face to face interview: Carry a briefcase or note book folder containing:

  • A note pad and pens
  • Extra copies of your resume and a few business cards
  • A list of your key accomplishments and questions
  • Breath mints and any minor medication needed during the day
  • Information about the employer so you can do a final review while waiting.