Monday, September 15, 2008

Preparation for Interviews

Preparing for Interviews
presented by Kelly Services

This is an important process that job seekers may overlook. It is not a process that requires a lot of time but it does require some discipline. Often, the toughest part of getting any job is likely to be the interview - that moment when you come face to face with a prospective employer and just when you need all the confidence you can muster it seems to completely disappear. Getting through interviews and making them work effectively for you is something everyone can do - it just takes careful planning. If you want to make a good impression, preparation is necessary.


If an interview has been set, you will know the name of the employer (company name). Do your homework, find out more about the employer. Find out as much as you can about the job, analyse the job description, try and work out what sort of person is required and match that to your own strengths and skills. This information can be found using many sources. Business directories and listings and company websites are useful sources and full of information. Company profiles can also be found in their annual reports. You could also speak to friends, relatives and acquaintances that are working to find out what they know about a certain company or job. If you are confident enough, you may also wish to call up the company and speak to their corporate communication or human resource department. Staff in corporate communication and human resource are generally willing to assist by giving out non-sensitve information on their company provided you explain your purpose. Larger companies and foreign companies tend to be more open to giving information. Some questions you can ask - nature of business, where they are based or where are their headquarters, what are their main products. This type of information is non-threatening and most companies use it in their publicity material.

If you are through an organisation such as Kelly Services then your consultant will be able to give you a detailed job description and make sure you know all about the position before you get there.

Time and Place of Interview
Take mental note of this information. Often people forget or get flustered over last minute details. If necessary, check a street directory on the exact location of the building and the location of the stopping points of the public transporation system nearest to the place of interview.

Plan what you are going to wear the day before the intervierw. Ensure your clothes are clean, fresh and well pressed. Take cues from others you know in that profession or sector. It is better and safer to be slightly conservative. Some men wear suits for interviews. It is not really necessary unless it is a senior appointment. A conservative simple tie, a well pressed long sleeve shirt and dar trousers is adequate for men. Fpr women, a dark jacket with a plain or light pastel shade blouse always gives a professional appearance. Skirts should be of appropriate length. Jewellary and accessories must not be distracting to the interviewer. Avoid clothing that is ill-fitting, revealing, casual or unprofessional.

Ensure your hair is properly combed or brushed. If you wear aftershave or perfume, choose something with a light fragrance; avoid anything that is 'overpowering'. For ladies, light make-up is permitted. Ensure you appear fresh and relaxed.

Be sure to place the important documents, references and information in a presentable well-organised folder. A folder with clear plastic sheets is handy and you can display all your certificates nicely without having to take them in and out of an envelope. Some applicants bring their documents and references rolled up or all crumpled and folded - this creates an impression of a disorganised person. Make it easy for you display all your documents easily to your prospective employer. Carry the folder in a presentable briefcase that makes you look professional. Avoid shopping and travel bags.