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8 Tips on preparing for your next interview

Phew! You’ve just been shortlisted and now they’ve called you for a job interview. Your CV impressed the company enough for you to secure a spot in the following round. The next step is to make a good impression in person and nail your interview. Here’s how to do that.

Good manners

When you enter the building, make sure that you greet everyone. Greet the receptionists and the staff working there. Smile and be pleasant to any person you come in contact with.

Be punctual

Show up on time for the interview. Don’t arrive too early as your interviewer could be busy. And don’t arrive late. Showing up late for your interview says to the hiring manager that you don’t respect their time and aren’t serious about the job. If you want to avoid getting lost on the day of your interview, have a practice run before the day. Find out where the company is located and go there so you’ll be on time.

If you get held up because of an emergency, try and call the company to explain. And when you get there make sure that you apologise.

Dress to impress

When you go for an interview, you’ll only get one chance to make an impression so make sure it’s a good one. Despite what the dress code is like at the company, you have to dress professionally. Unless they specify otherwise. How you carry yourself and how you’re dressed can make or break your chances of having a successful interview. Put effort into the outfit you choose and make sure that it’s appropriate. Ensure your clothes are wrinkle-free and neat.

And be comfortable. If you’ve never worn heels and have trouble walking in them, rather leave them and choose shoes you’re comfortable with. An interview is the last place where you should be experimenting. You’ll have enough on your hands without having to worry about falling on your face.

What are they about?

Take time to do research on the company. What do they do? What are their missions and values? Who are the key players in the company? Get the company’s background information. And find out any latest achievements and current news about them. If you’re knowledgeable about the company, you’ll impress the hiring manager. When you know exactly what the company you’re applying to is about, you’ll be able to tell them how you can contribute effectively to the company. Show your enthusiasm about the company and let them know you really want to be part of the team.

Preparation is key

Find out the most common interview questions and then prepare how you’ll answer them. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel. For example, they could ask you what your key strengths are or where you see yourself in five years time. If you answer a few questions that you have prepared for in the beginning, it’ll give you confidence throughout the rest of the interview. Make sure you’ve read carefully about the job requirements and what the hiring manager will be looking for. For example, you may be applying for a job in the medical field and they could ask you a tough question, such as where do you see the future of medical insurance in South Africa?

You have to be prepared for any questions that may come your way.

Honesty is the best policy

Be honest throughout the whole interview. The company has probably already done a background check on you. Don’t act more qualified than you really are. You don’t want to be caught out in a lie during the interview. Chances are you won’t be able to recover from that. And the hiring manager will have already marked you down as a dishonest person.

Answering Questions

When you answer questions, make sure they’re not one word answers. Elaborate on your answers. And prepare a question for your interviewer. Make sure that you sound interested and listen to what they have to say.

Thank you email

After the interview, send an email thanking the hiring manager for the opportunity. Don’t call incessantly asking if you have been hired or not. They’ll let you know as soon as they’ve made their decision.

If you’re fully prepared for your job interview, there’s a good chance it’ll be successful. Make sure that you’re well groomed. And that you know where the interview will take place beforehand so that you aren’t late and leave a bad impression. Also, take the time to find out information about the company you’re applying for. Your eagerness and enthusiasm could set you apart from the other candidates.

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