Key To Success

  • Preparation can be the key to success, especially when it comes to interviewing. Before your interview, find out everything you can about the area that you are interested in, and how this incorporates into the company’s overall structure. Re-read your application, thinking through your own career and the questions they might ask you. You should try to anticipate the general questions which may be asked and prepare some questions to ask the interviewer. It is always advisable to use the third person when talking about the job, and try to avoid sounding as though you assume the job is yours.
  • To do well at the interview you will need to convince the interviewer you are technically qualified to do the job. You will also need to show that you are sufficiently motivated to get the job done well and that you will fit in with the company’s organizational structure – and the team in which you will work. There really is no point lying about your background and/or skills. If you are caught, or avoid this predicament in the actual interview – but are found out later, you can be sure you will not be around for long! Job interviews are about matching needs – if there is not a good match, the chances are that the job will not work out.
  • Try to find an area of experience/skill that you may be currently lacking but would like to develop. An interviewer will appreciate your honesty and your willingness to improve – as long as what you disclose is easily remedied. Interviewers are also keen to hear about your particular success – things you have done that you are particularly proud of; how you have solved problems and learnt from difficult situations.
  • Aim to avoid criticizing previous employers. It is best to focus on your positive achievements.
  • Research the company – You’re about to meet a new company, and you know very little beyond their name and industry. How can you find out more before you find yourself in front of them? There are four basic techniques you can use: Internet Research, Directories/Public Library, Better Business Bureau, and Networking. What do they do? What will your team are doing? Even if you can only get a little information from their website or news articles, you can use these starting points to come up with intelligent questions to ask them.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask them. These should ask about the company, the team you will be working with, the job you are applying for and perhaps even some general questions about the industry the company is in.
  • Aim to avoid criticizing previous employers. It is best to focus on your positive achievements and views.
  • If you are however unsuccessful in the job you were pursuing, it is advisable to find out the reasons why. Feedback from interviews where you have been turned down is valuable for improving your techniques in the future.
  • Should leave home earlier than you need to on the day of the interview – you may be delayed by traffic or for other reasons.
  • Plan your route! This may seem stupid, but go to the company the day before (don’t go in – just to the front door). How long did it take you? Did you take the bus (if so will it be slowed down by traffic at different times of the day)? You’d be surprised how many people leave this to the last minute and end up realizing the company is in some obscure office estate that they can’t find. Aim to arrive at your interview around 10 minutes early.
  • When you go through this process, not only are you increasing your chances of a successful interview, but you are increasing your self confidence – preparing for an interview is as much about the confidence boost as it is about the actual preparation!
  • Take some notes about key points you’d like to make and questions you’d like to ask so you don’t waste energy worrying you’ll forget something. You might even want to develop a career portfolio, a three-ring binder full of evidence of your key skills and achievements, so you have something to lean on as you go through the typically draining process of talking about yourself.

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