The face-to-face interview is generally the last stage before the final selection. It is also the most demanding. This is where you meet your prospective employer directly, and where he/she grills you on your skills, attitude, behavior, and qualifications. You will be asked questions that will test your intelligence, be quizzed on how you’ve handled difficult situations in the past and asked to explain why you think you should be hired for the job.
It is important to plan ahead for an interview. Choose what you will wear (formal wear is a good idea for most job interviews), make sure you are well groomed and think of what you will bring with you to the interview hall (copies of your resume, samples of your work, a list of references).
While there are certain common interview questions, there is no way of predicting for sure what you will be asked. That is why you need to be thoroughly prepared. Reading up on the company, anticipating the questions you may be asked and preparing for them and paying attention to your body language will make it easier for you to handle the interview.
Before stepping into an interview, remember to:
Read up on the organization
Visit the company website. Familiarize yourself with the company’s mission, core values, and objectives. Figure out how many employees they have, the countries in which have offices and factories and look up the company’s organization chart. Even if you have researched all this before applying for the job, brush up on it now.
Read the news
If the company has been in the news for good performance, it can be a great talking point for you. On the other hand, if there have been negative stories you should know about them to avoid any missteps. Gather in-depth perspective on the company and industry in which it operates. If possible, speak to someone from the industry who can help you understand any major developments. Also, read up industry-specific newsletters and magazines to get the latest on the sector.
Go back to the application
Read the job description again. Highlight the key skills and attributes. Now pull out your resume and match the desired skills and attributes mentioned in the job description to it. Try and explain how your qualifications, job experience and past achievements demonstrate that you can perform the job efficiently. This exercise will make it easier for you to explain why you think you should be hired for the job.
Find out about the interview format
Your interview could be a one-on-one, an interaction with a panel or even a group session. Each requires a different sort of mental preparation. Ask the HR team to clarify what the format of the interview will be. Also ask if there is any specific agenda for the interaction.
Prepare questions for the interviewer
Interviews generally end with the interviewer asking if you have any question for him. Prepare two or three intelligent questions based on your research. This is a chance to show the interviewer your smarts, as well as convey the impression that you’re cued in to the latest developments in the industry.
Know your market value
Some interviewers ask about your salary expectations. Be ready with an answer. One way to decide how much to quote is to figure out your market value and then quote a slightly higher sum. On the other hand, you could wait for the company to quote an amount and see if it meets your expectations.
The biggest mistake candidates make is going in for an interview unprepared. Avoid doing that. Success comes to those who prepare and prepare well.
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