In a recruitment process, an interview is invariably one of the last but most crucial processes. It involves a one to one interaction of the candidates with the prospective employer. Besides giving the interviewer a chance to evaluate your strength and skill, it also gives you an opportunity to understand what to expect from the organization.
No matter how well qualified and articulate one is for a job, there is nothing to replace thorough preparation for the interview. Have a good grip of your strengths and weakness. Know what to talk at the interview and how to handle the situation, if things do not go as planned.
PLANNING A STRATEGY
The first step in preparing for an interview is to put together a strategy. Try and analyze that the interviewer would have already reviewed your resume, which provide the hard facts of your employment history and skills. You can make a good impression by reviewing how to bring forth your essential skills.
There is a need to portray sincerely and politely, though enthusiastically your knowledge about the organization and its mission. For instance, it would be good to know the names and positions of key people in the organization, its products/service and key business competitors.
PREPARATION FOR THE INTERVIEW
- Keep yourself calm. Often going well prepared is the best way to enhance your confidence.
- Know all about the company, its business. Research the company and interviewer if possible.
- Analyze why you want the job.
- What soft skills do you have to offer the organization? For instance the resume may have shown some concrete examples of skills as a team player, but you need to convince interviewer of your ability to fit within a team.
- Prepare questions you wish to ask about the job or organization.
- Line up reference in advance in case you are asked for them.
- Punctuality is of essence. Arrive well in time for the Appointment.
- Be positive to everyone that you meet at the office, it counts. Be aware of body language, vibes and reactions, as someone might be noticing them.
- Be personable yet professional in your conduct.
- Do not assume that the interviewer knows how to elicit the information he is looking for. Bring it out clearly.
- Answer all questions honestly but in the positive light.
- Take some time to formulate your answers before you speak.
Formal office dress Code Look Calm & Composed Read Newspaper Headlines Speak In a Clear Voice Carry Your Folder Sit Alert & Maintain Eye Contact Arrive Early May Accept the Cup Of Coffee Make A Natural Entry Go With an Open & Positive Mind At the Interview
- Shake hands with the interviewer firmly.
- Appear confident.
- Remember the names of the interviewers.
- Make eye contact when you talk to people and be natural.
- Answer questions honestly. If you mentioned something on your resume, make sure you know about it. If you don’t know much, mention that you have not worked too much detail in the area.
- Ask the interviewers about the company. You are usually given time for this.
- Find out what the advertised job involves so it will enable you to make a fairly quick decision if you are made an offer.
- Thank the interviewers after the interview.
- If you have been interviewing at other companies, it is not unfair to ask when you can expect them to make a decision.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW PREPARATION TIPS
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW BACKGROUND
Telephone interviews are quite common in today’s job market. They are offered for a variety of reasons including cost savings, screening of candidates and out-of-town applicants.
To successfully navigate the phone interview, it is important to have a solid game plan in place for preparation.
The following 8 quick telephone interview tips will help prepare you for a successful call.
1. DO SOME RESEARCH
Try to find out who will be interviewing you. Will there be multiple people on the call? If possible get their names and titles. Become familiar with these before the call and you will have one less thing to worry about during the call. Try and get some background on the interviewer. Any insight you can gain about him/her will allow you to better tailor your responses to make the best possible impression.
2. ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS
Make a list of your accomplishments, goals and strengths. On another list write out your weaknesses and what you are doing to overcome them. On a third sheet write down why you are interested in the company. Think carefully about all of these items as they often come up in interviews.
3. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Never forget that a telephone interview is still an interview. Take time to practice interview questions with friends or family. Ask them to provide honest feedback so you can improve your responses. Mock interview questions can easily be found on the internet or the bookstore. If you get stuck on a question, sample answers to these questions are often provided as well.
4. DO A SOUND CHECK
During the mock interview, have your friend ask you questions both over the phone and in person. Make sure that he/she listens not only for content, but also tone, rate and clarity of your speech. If possible, record yourself speaking. Are you speaking slowly and clearly? Can you easily be heard? Is your voice portraying you as a confident and enthusiastic candidate? If not continue to practice until you are comfortable.
5. FIND YOUR LOCATION
Stake out a quiet space to occupy during your interview. Ideally, there should be a comfortable place to sit as well as a table to lay out your papers. Try and find a low-traffic spot where members of the household are un-likely to disturb you.
6. ORGANIZE YOUR PAPERS
Have a copy of your resume and cover letter close at hand. Take out those lists you made while organizing your thoughts. In addition keep any notes related to the company that you feel may be helpful during the call. Spread these items out across your table so they are easy to access. Only keep what is truly necessary. Too much paper can be a distraction.
7. GATHER YOUR WRITING TOOLS
Place a notepad and several pens or pencils on the table. These will be helpful in writing down notes, questions and most importantly, your interviewer's names.
8. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
As the appointed hour draws near, make sure that the television and the radio are turned off. Exit your email and turn off your computer screen. If possible, disable your call-waiting. Let your family or roommates know about the timing of the interview so they do not accidentally disturb you. Place a do not disturb sign on your door as a gentle reminder.
By following these 8 basic tips, you are making a great impression and on your way to the onsite interview. Remember, the phone interview is very important and you should plan and prepare for it carefully.