Another question people always ask me is what questions will I be asked at a job interview?
The answer to that is no one knows. That's probably not the answer that you want to hear but if you think about it logically, if every one knew what questions would be asked at every job interview, they could rehearse their answers and every job interview would be the same. Not exactly a good way for an employer to select a candidate, unless they want to recruit robots!
The fact of the matter is that every job interview is going to be different and unique just as each person and each company is. The way companies recruit may be similar in some cases, but each has its own methods and approaches to recruiting new staff.
The best way to prepare for a job interview is research what are the classic job interview questions and think about how you would answer them. You may not get asked those questions, but a bit like an athlete, the more you warm up, in this case your brain, the more agile you will be in the interview room.
Probably the first thing that you need to do is prepare for your job interview. It's a bit of a cliché but failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Do your research. Use the internet to research the company you are applying to. Read media stories about what are the latest issues that are affecting the company. You don't necessarily want to bring up this information at the job interview, especially if it's negative, but it's good to have this information in your mind as a back-up.
Find out about the culture of the company. Are they an old-fashioned suited and booted type of company or are they a new, young and thrusting tech start-up? Knowing this kind of information will help you in your approach, certainly what kind of style you should adopt when attending for interview.
Prepare your journey. How far is it? How are you going to get there? Again use the internet to find out what trains or buses you need to get or where you can park.
Give yourself plenty of time to get there. You never know what's going to happen with trains, buses or with traffic so allow for hold-ups. Aim to get there early. Why? Once you get to the address of the job interview, you can relax, go for a tea or coffee. Look over your notes. Mentally prepare yourself and then go into the building where the interview is due to take place 10 to 15 minutes before the appointed time. Don't go in too early as they may not know what to do with you. Obviously turning up late is a big no, no.
Once at the job interview, prepare to meet your interviewers. Shake hands with them, smile, make eye contact and try to relax. If you've done your preparation and you've turned up in plenty of time, it should make you feel calm and confident.
Take a notebook and pen, preferably with a list of questions they may ask and prompts for an answer to help jog your memory if you get tongue-tied and dumb-struck. The interviewers will probably have a notebook and pen and will be making comments on you and your answers, so why not be prepared to do the same. You are after all, interviewing each other to see if both parties are happy before proceeding.
Have some good questions to ask the interviewers, as they will surely ask you if you have any questions at the end of the job interview. It doesn't look good if you don't have any and shows a lack of preparation and forethought. If they answer your questions during the course of the interview, then say that you had some questions but that they have answered them - you could even show them what your questions were to show that you were prepared.
Avoid asking questions about things like holidays or sick pay or anything that makes it sound like you're planning on taking a hike as soon as you've got your feet under the table.
At the end of the job interview, thank the interviewers for inviting you in, shake their hands and smile. Say that you look forward to hearing from them.
During the interview, they should say when and how they will contact you with their verdict. If they don't, you can ask them when you will receive a decision.
If you don't get the job, it's not the end of the world and probably wasn't meant to be. Think of it as a practice job interview and try to analyse what you think you could have done better. You could ask for feedback from the interviewer to see if they can point out any thing that you can work on. Don't insist on feedback though, increasingly these days companies don't have the time to feedback to job applicants who were unsuccessful.
Above all keep trying, keep applying and keep smiling - you will get a job offer eventually!
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