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The Interview

Most people fear the interview and see it as the most nerve wracking part of the job-hunting process. By preparing yourself for it however, the interview can be an enjoyable experience. The key to a successful interview is to be prepared - follow the tips below to ensure you are ready for your interview.

Tips About Day Before Interview

  • Research the company - You may have to talk about the company in the interview. Your knowledge of the company may include how long they have been in business, the strong and the weak points of the company, who is the owner, what is the ranking of the company in their field of business, etc.
  • Know about the position - Read the job ads or requirements very carefully, most question comes from there. Make sure you can answer most of them.
  • Place of Interview - Find out the location of the interview and how long it will take you to go there. You can't be late in an interview.
  • View from other side - Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer and think what kind questions can be asked. Think how you will be rated and improve on it.
  • Appearance - Decided how you will dress and make sure they are in proper condition.
  • Review Skill - Refresh your memory on your skills. Practice questions and answers on your skills.
  • Rest - Get a good night's sleep before the day of the interview. You will really need it.

Tips - Before the Interview

  • Eat before you leave home. An empty stomach or too full stomach is not advisable.
  • Do not discuss or think of any subject that may distract or excite you.
  • Arrive early.
  • Take care of your washroom necessities before the interview.
  • Say hello to everyone (guard, receptionist, secretary etc.).
  • Bring any certificate, which you think the interviewer may want to see.
  • Bring extra copies of your resume, reference letter or list.

Tips - During the Interview

  • Be yourself and smile. Do not try to be someone else or lie.
  • Be confident or at least show it (it is very natural to be nervous). A warm smile, firm handshake, eye contact, and good posture all counts.
  • Do not sit until you are offered a chair. Sit upright, look alert and interested at all times.
  • Do not bring any food or beverage with you.
  • Avoid distracting gestures or making too many hand gestures.
  • Listen carefully before you answer. If you are not sure about the question, rephrase the question in your own words and clarify it. However, do not make the interviewer repeat questions too many times which may work adversely.
  • If you don't know an answer, just say so politely. No one expects you to answer all the questions, however a wrong answer may harm your chance. If you feel that you have made a mistake, or said something you wish you hadn't, you can address it directly.
  • Do not answer before the interviewer finishes his question.
  • Speak clearly and avoid "uh", "you know", and slang.
  • If there is more than one interviewer, address all of them, not just the person who asked most of the questions.
  • Do not argue or try to prove the interviewer is wrong.
  • Avoid answering with "yes" or "no", elaborate and answer to the point. If you did some work or project on the subject of the question, mention it. (This may generate more questions on that subject. You may impress them with your knowledge in that subject or you may expose yourself if you lie).
  • Stress accomplishments. Do not bore the interviewer with unnecessary details. Do not lie or exaggerate about your experience.
  • Ask questions wisely. Your questions may generate more questions.
  • Do not talk about your bad experiences or weaknesses voluntarily. This is not the time or place to bring them up. If they asked about it, answer in a less damaging way.
  • Again, be yourself and smile.

Cover Letters

Cover letters are also great ways for you to introduce yourself in a less formal format than a resume. It should compliment, not duplicate, resume information, and focus the prospective employer's attention to pertinent areas of your expertise. The letter should be composed for a specific person or organization and not mass-produced, i.e. Dear Sir or Madam. The letter should include a short introduction of yourself, why you want to work for the business/company and the skills and expertise you bring to the job you are applying for.

Look at our sample cover letters to get you started.

Students' cover letters Word PDF

Sample cover letter Word PDF

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