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Interview Preparation Tips

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The success of your career depends a lot on how you conduct your interviews. The better your interviews, the better will be your chances to get hired. The minutes you spend in your interview are probably some of the most important moments in your career.

It is often noticed that people are severely under-prepared for interviews. Here are a few pointers gleaned over years of experience to help you prepare better for the interviews.

Common Questions

The interviewer, as he/she is conducting the interview, tries to assess any one of the three things: Are you able enough to do the job? Do you have the willingness to do the job? And how well will you fit in with the organization? Your answers should reflect that you can handle the job being offered. While every interview will vary, there are certain standard questions you may encounter. One typical opener is, tell me about yourself. They may ask what you think of their company or people. They might want to know what interests you about the job; if you can handle the stress or workload. Another common question is what are your strengths and weaknesses? Almost everyone will ask why you’re leaving your current job. It is wise to have a general answer prepared for questions of this type. It is also a good idea to know something about the company before you go in. Look for material at the library, check their annual report, or discreetly ask around in the industry. This can help you give intelligent answers during the interview, or ask some important questions of your own.


Many surveys have found that demeanour is the most influential factor in the hiring decision; in some cases, it even ranks ahead of experience. Therefore, making a good impression is crucial. Here are some tips: first, be friendly and courteous to everyone you encounter, starting with the receptionist who greets you. When you enter the office, discreetly look around for possible conversation openers. Maybe you share a common interest. During the interview, it is vital to show enthusiasm. Be responsive, attentive, and remember to smile. Even if you tend to be shy, or are just a bit nervous, do your best to radiate confidence. Sit up straight, don’t fidget, and make eye contact periodically throughout the interview. Keep your answers fairly brief. And, allow some time for the interviewer to talk too. Always end the interview on a positive note. Thank the interviewer for his/her time, and say you’ve enjoyed meeting with them. If you want the job, by all means, let them know.


Along with the way you’re dressed, personality grooming is essential to leave a pleasing impression and landing the job you want. Your hair should look neat and tidy, and if you happen to color it, make sure the colour looks natural. While a hint of cologne or powder is okay, never make the mistake of applying too much of it. The room you might be interviewed in might be a small one, hence go easy on the cologne. Take care of your skin, and do your best to promote a healthy complexion. This is a much-neglected aspect of grooming, especially when it comes to men. Few men realize the importance of maintaining their facial appearance. Your interviewer will notice it, and also the confidence you feel because of the same will come shining through. Finally, do get a good night’s sleep. It will help you look fresh and stay alert.


Like it or not, your interviewer will judge you by the way you dress. It’s important that you look professional and well groomed. For the majority of interviews, a business suit is recommended. Be sure your suit is clean, well ironed and fits properly. Walking in wearing jeans gives the impression that you don’t take the interview very seriously. When in doubt, dress on the conservative side.

A Few Don’ts

Just as there’s a plenty of advice on what you should do regarding interviews, there are also many things you should not do. The following is a list of interview don’ts: First of all, don’t be late. Get good directions, and allow adequate time to reach your destination. Never take anyone with you to an interview; if someone must go along, have them wait outside the building. Don’t smoke during the meeting, even if your interviewer does. Never drink alcohol, even at a lunch interview, where others are drinking. It is also a bad idea to chew a gum, or ask to use the interviewer’s phone. Showing confidence is a positive trait, but you don’t want to come across as egotistic. Don’t lie about your background or accomplishments. On the other hand, never volunteer any negative information about yourself. Don’t criticize your former boss or employer, no matter how bad you might think they were. It won’t win you any points. Never tell jokes, or use off-colour language. And whatever you do, don’t get into an argument with the interviewer.

Keeping all these tips and pointers in mind should stand you in good stead at these important turning points in your career. Be Prepared!

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