There's lots to consider once you get to the interview stage. Here are some helpful tips on how to proceed, some do's and don'ts. Remember you cannot over prepare for an interview. Take it seriously, put your best foot forward, relax, enjoy and be happy that you made it to this stage. Statistics say that only 6% of all online applications you make will result in an interview. Given the law of large numbers, you need to be proactive here . . . the interview is the result of a lot of hard work on your part.
Several points to consider first:
1. Research the company that you are applying for - look at their website, and do a thorough Google search.
2. Do the same for the position that you are applying for.
3. Know your worth, and believe in your worth.
4. Be prepared for the the tough question, i.e., "what are your salary expectations?" You need a number here - if you ask what the job pays, be prepared to get a "low ball" offer.
5. Dress for success - you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make a good one!
6. Don't be late for your interview - understand that there could be delays in terms of your transportation, and parking and parking can sometimes be an issue.
7. Have a copy of your resume (CV) with you - you may need to refer to it, so better safe than sorry.
8. If the opportunity presents itself, ask "why did you select me for an interview for this position?" The hope is that the interviewer will say something positive, and this will be an "ice breaker."
9. Jobs can be difficult to come by, the fact that you are interviewing for this job is a great thing - understand this, embrace this and know full well that this is an significant accomplishment.
Expect any and / or all of the following questions:
1. What are your salary expectations?
Be honest, and give a number that you can live with, the best time to negotiate is on the frontend of the process, after the fact likely means that you will be given the salary that the company wants to give you (and you may not be happy with this).
2. When can you start?
Be honest, and be prepared, when can you start, companies will try you on for size here - if you can't commit to this question / answer, then how are you going to do throughout your term with the company.
3. Why do you want to work here?
Well, don't say, "I don't know." That's basically, the worst answer that you could have given. Also, don't say, "I just need a job." That's not going to cut it as well. Both may in fact be true, however, the reason you want to work for this company is: potential for growth, positive corporate reviews and atmosphere, skill set matches the job requirements and you're excited about the opportunity to take on a "healthy" challenge.
4. Give an example of when you did not perform well as a manager (or something along these lines)?
This is a standard HR play - basically, you need to fault yourself in such a way that the fault can be consider a positive attribute, i.e., "I like to be thorough with respect to replying to my emails, and as such, I sometimes take longer to clear out my inbox." This is hardly a fault but your answer to this common (somewhat, "trivial") question will likely let the interviewer move on to the next question.
Some Do's and Don'ts
1. Turn your cellphone off before the interview starts. If you forgot, don't answer any incoming calls for any reason.
2. You have two ears and one mouth - listen first (carefully) to questions before you answer.
3. Let the interviewer do their job - they know what they want to ask, so don't turn the table around and become the interviewer (i.e., asking too many questions is not going to help your cause in the least).
4. Don't eat during the interview, even if something is offered, it is better to say "no thanks" rather than spill something on your clothing, or make a mess of a conference table.
5. Resist the urge to take notes, you'll end up drawing out the interview process and seem like a "micro manager"). If you need to take any notes, just fix in on something that may be asked of you to provide, i.e., list of references, contacts, etc.
6. Avoid getting into traps, i.e., discussing political, religious, social, controversial, or other such - nothing can be gained in a discussion along these lines. This type of questioning is not appropriate; however, it may come up and be prepared to direct the conservation to another area that you feel comfortable with.
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