Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Job Interviewing. Preparation Checklist.

Job interviewing is perhaps the trickiest part of job hunting, it being a popular topic among career experts notwithstanding.

Don't give us that frown. We're not playing oblivious to the contents of our very own parent website (under Job Hunt Tips, we know) just for the sake of style. We're true to our words. Perhaps we can convince you if we mention that it's the stage of the unexpected in the recruitment process. There are many career resources that can prepare you, yes, but even the most comprehensive of career articles cannot dictate everything that will come out of the interviewer's mouth during the interview itself.

At least in resume writing, you can be sure that randomness will not throw itself at you and mess up your personal brand. The fact that job interviewing is a two process should be enough to lay out our reasoning.

Expecting the unexpected and preparing...
That's why it's SOP for us to start an article about job interviewing with a description on the importance of preparation, like today. Nothing can be expected in this stage of job search really. Conversations can get to anywhere, and so even though you can expect common interview questions to be asked, you'll still have to edit your prepared answers based on however the interview has progressed. Otherwise, you'll sound weird and robotic.

Those little things...
Prepare so you'd have something to hold on to come the appointment, lessening your nervousness. Preparing will also help you ace the little factors of job interview that may not seem important, but can affect your personal brand if blatantly ignored. For instance, get your wardrobe ready and if you’re not familiar with the location of the office, find your way the day before. It's for your punctuality.

The secrets remain untold.
It doesn't all depend on how many articles you've read and memorised, though. It's interesting to note that no matter how popular this topic is among career professionals, the secrets remain untold. We're not even sure if they can be told in the first place. The key is using the knowledge to turn every question into an opportunity to sell yourself. It's a combination of preparation and tact, so to speak.

Our checklist.
Have interviews coming up? We've generated this five-point checklist for your reference. We're all for our readers' know that for sure. As inspired by the experts on Career Advice, here's our take on preparing for an interview. Excel at your next interview by taking note of these tips:

1) Basic details. Your very first task is to research about the company. How's their industry doing? What products or services do they offer? How can you be an asset to their pursuits? Their office is located at?

The point: The next pointers in the list will require your knowledge on these. Do not mark finished unless you're really done answering all the questions.

2) Interview skills. Job interviewing is tricky, yes, but practising with frequently asked questions will make it easier for you to adjust your answers to suit however the conversation has progressed during the interview. Take note of what you've researched regarding the company and then, try to answer common interview questions. You can find many samples on the internet. Career Advice is particularly rich on this aspect. We recommend:

The Ten Toughest Questions You Will Face In A Job Interview
Don't Get Stumped by Off-the-Wall Job Interview Questions
The Top 10 Questions Most Often Asked
Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions

The point: What's the point of preparing if nothing's certain? It'll boost your confidence and lessen your fidgeting. Do not mark unless you've checked all the articles above.

3) Menial work. Sometimes, punctuality draws the line. So after you've accomplished the first two tasks in this list, at least a day before, prepare your wardrobe already and find your way to the location.

The point: You won't want to be late.

4) Bio kit. Your resume, photocopies of your achievements, and similar things ... they're all important. Make sure you have everything secured in a clear envelope for the interview.

The point: You never know...

5) Execution. All your preparations will be put to waste if you don't present them with conviction and confidence, come the showdown. Think this: You've prepared and you're most definitely ready.

The point: This will be rating your interview skills. Make sure to ace it.

Related resources.
Aimee Young, a consultant at Robert Walters has a more in-depth checklist on Career Advice. Hers include pointers not only on preparing for what to wear but also on answering odd questions. A favourite on Job Hunt Tips, you can check out her checklist at

Kelly Services has checklists on job interview at as well. Check them out for better understanding. Here's one: Another here:

If you're willing to go the extra mile, we suggest you prepare questions to ask for the interviewer as well. It's a tip that's been gaining popularity among career writers for quite some time now. As for what to ask...we suggest you take on the advice of expert recruiter Jonathan Kwan which you can read at

In case you haven’t noticed yet, our editors have just uploaded new articles on Career Advice. A lot of them are about job interview. Please also read the following:

The Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Preparation (part 1)
The Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Preparation (part 2)
Behavioural Interviewing Strategies

We’ll have them properly featured on this blog in the near future… In the meantime, enjoy them in their original forms. Singapore
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