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  Being Interviewed

The most important thing you must do before going to an interview is to find out as much as you can about the company in question. Look at their web site, ask your friends, obtain some information from them in advance. By going to an interview prepared and able to demonstrate at least a basic understanding of the company’s business shows that you are actively interested in it rather than simply seeking any job anywhere.

Prepare some questions in advance about the specific job you have applied for and also about the company in general. Again, this will demonstrate your knowledge and interest in both the company and the job, don’t forget that you may not be quite right for one job but perfect for another.

Dress according to the company’s dress code, if you are unsure as to what this is, err on the side of caution and dress formally. Nothing would be more intimidating than sitting in an interview in casual clothes being interviewed by somebody in a 3 piece suit!

Almost inevitably during the course of the interview you will be asked to respond to a number of fairly standard questions. Again, it is advisable to have the basis of your response thought out in advance. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, be honest and don’t try to make a positive statement into a weakness. Try to make these as relevant to the job you have applied for as possible.

Keep your answers as short and succinct as possible, using specific examples or scenarios to demonstrate your experience, ability and knowledge. Consider your long term career goals and your personal attributes. Again be honest, for example, don’t position yourself as a team player if you are a loner, it may get you the job in the short term but in the long term you will be unhappy and looking for another job!

Ask a friend to give you a mock interview in advance, think of potential questions and practice your answers with them. Be aware of your body language, sitting slouched in a chair looking around the room gives the impression that you are not really interested or enthusiastic, whereas sitting slightly forward in your seat and engaging your interviewer’s eyes gives the impression that you are interested and enthusiastic.

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