Searching for and securing a job is a two-stage process. The first stage is the submission of a good job application to gain acceptance for a job interview. The second stage involves doing well at the job interview.
Many jobseekers tend to spend too much effort on the job application and overlook the importance of preparing for the interview. They falter at the interview and cannot live up to the impression created in the application document.
Neglecting to adequately prepare for the interview frequently results in the jobseeker being unable to finally secure the job.
Here's how you can prepare for the interview:
A credible application
You should be thoroughly conversant with all the information in your résume. You should have a copy of your job application with you during the interview.
The document should not contain lies, half-truths and exaggerations — in other words, claims that cannot be substantiated at the interview.
Do not offer any confidential information or negative comments about your past employers even if you were unhappy working with them.
A positive attitude
Maintain a relaxed, positive attitude throughout the job interview. Make sure you arrive early and remain tactful and courteous even if the interview is not going the way you expected.
Try to exhibit maturity and not let any disappointment from past job rejections hamper your ability to appreciate and seize present opportunities.
A sensible appearance
Plan ahead on how you want to appear at the interview. It is very important that you present yourself as a confident and professional candidate.
This essentially involves dressing formally but comfortably — avoid bizarre hairstyles, loud clothes or excessive makeup. Be careful not to appear arrogant or overconfident.
Make an effort to practise answering typical interview questions. Insights into different interviewing styles and sample questions are available from many Internet sites. Learn to organise your thoughts and answer clearly in complete sentences — avoid slang or inappropriate language. Do not memorise your answers as you will sound too rehearsed and unnatural.
Gather as much information as possible about the organisation and current trends in the industry. Be clear about the job you are applying for and the competencies the employer is expecting.
This will help you to prepare for difficult questions as well as allow you to think through how your skills, abilities and experiences will make you the better candidate. Don’t show off either — never attempt to overwhelm the interviewer by appearing to know everything about the job, organisation and industry.
Many young jobseekers today lack good writing skills that are necessary for preparing technical reports and other formal documents. This is often attributed to the prevalent use of e-mail, texting and social media.
Organisations are increasingly testing candidates on their writing skills as part of the recruitment process. Written and verbal communications skills are still very important for many jobs, especially managerial and supervisory positions. Trawl the Internet for practical advice or sign up for a short course that is designed for boosting your communication skills.