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Lesego Setou
 
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Preparing For An Interview

23 March 2012, 08:54

So your curriculum vitae has scored you an hour with the hiring manager, you are getting closer to your goal of achieving a job, what to do next?

1. Know Your CV

It is important to understand your CV, silly as it might sound; some people have no clue how to communicate all the wonderful things they have written on their CVs. You should be able to speak comfortably about all the information you have put on your CV.

2. Analyse the job specification

Read the job specifications, read every key performance area on the job     specification, as you read, ask yourself if you can perform that task and how your ability to perform that task is reflected on your profile e.g. if training people is one of the key performance areas, there should be something on your CV that indicates that you have trained people before or are currently training people. Interviews are more and more based on scenario questions, so you should be able to give examples of how you performed tasks and displayed competencies that your prospective employer sees as important.

3. Read about your prospective employer

Know the company, know their competitors, know their vision, mission and values. Know the company’s Chief Executive Officer; know the Head of whatever division you will be working in. Find out what the news are saying about the company. You can do this by putting the company name on the Google search and clicking on news button before you search.  The above information, if well researched can give you information on the direction the company is taking, how the company is performing, challenges facing the company or the divisions within the company.  You can use this information to come up with ideas on how the company can improve or better position themselves and this will definitely score you brownie points with the interviewer. Researching the above information can also prevent you from walking into a company that is 24 hours away from liquidation.

4. Analyse Yourself

What are you bringing into the role, your strongest attributes, what areas, do you excel in with regard to the job specification, what are your areas of development. Knowing this information makes you better prepared when the interviewer asks you about you areas of developments e.g. If the job spec requires you to work with File Finder system but you have never worked with that system before, however have previously worked on Lotus Notes; you can then say to the interviewer, I have not worked on the File Finders system, but displayed ability to learn and work on different systems in the past like working on Lotus Notes.

5. Get The Personal Touch

Do you know anyone who works at that company, speak to them, it will help you get a feel of what the company culture is like, this will also guide you on how you can better present yourself, there is no point in wearing a suit when you are going for an interview at Levi Strauss when everybody there will be wearing a Levi Jean and again, it will really be unforgivable for you to rock up at Absa wearing a jean, when everyone is wearing suits. Do however note that it is vital to get a representative sample when conducting a personal touch research. People’s views on their companies can be subjective.

6. Always Bring A Copy of Your CV

Believe it or not some human resources people walk into the interview meetings without the very CV you emailed them, you giving them the CV again just when they are about to run out of the meeting to fetch it in their offices, shows them that you have the ability to think ahead.

7. Be presentable

Make sure you are neat, polished shoes, clean clothes, I don’t know about you but black and white still look very presentable and beautiful to me.

8. Be There On Time

Rather be the an hour earlier than an hour later, but should you be there an hour earlier don’t immediately go in the meeting, find something to kill time with and go in 30 minutes before. Know who you are going to meet and know how to properly pronounce their name and surname.

Going for an interview is pretty much like going on the first date, you have to pull out all the stops. The idea is to live the interviewer wanting more of you.

                                                                   
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