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Preparing for your 1st interview

Preparing for your 1st interview

Interviews can be daunting if you are facing them for the 1st time…

 We have all gone through this phase and although it may scare you at the onset, preparation is key to breezing through them.

Do your homework – research the company

It does not matter what the job is or how big the company is you should always do research on your potential employer.

–      Read through their mission and vision statements.

–      Familiarize the industry they are in and any direct competitors.

–      Understand their partner and subsidiary companies.

–      Look up their company goals.

–      Check their business model and organizational chart and understand where your position would be placed.

Interviewers generally find it a positive trait when candidates do their homework before an interview. Interviews are your opportunity to show that you would be an asset to the company.

Understand who would be interviewing you

The company website and LinkedIn are great resources to find out who heads the company and certain departments.

Prepare to answer common questions

It may sound simple, but if you are prepared and have thought through, you can come up with relevant answers that are to the point.

“What do you consider your strengths?”

When preparing for this question, relevance is key. Pick a strength that would be relevant to the position you are applying, and prepare a concrete example of why you think it’s a relevant strength.

“What do you consider are your biggest weakness?”

Prepare well for this question and this can either make or break a successful interview.

Everyone has weaknesses, identifying them is a 1st step towards rectifying them.

“Why do you want to work for our company?/ Why should we hire you?”

Best to point out what you have learnt about the company, its line of business and align them to your skills and experience. Do not say they were the only company to call you in for an interview.

Interviewers would take notice when they hear a confident well prepared candidate.

Ask questions

Interviews work both ways. Companies are looking to hire good candidates and the candidates are looking to join good companies.

–      What would the typical day be like for this position?

–      Would there be a period of on the job training?

–      Would there be opportunities to get involved with other areas and departments within the company

You increase your chances of getting hired when you ask smart well thought out questions that are relevant to the role you have applied for.

Plan what to take

Depending on the job role, you may be required to carry certain things to the interview.

–      A good print of the CV

–      Certificates of achievement

–      Service letters from past employers

–      Portfolio of work – relevant to design related positions.

Practice the interview with a friend

Familiarity helps when facing tough situations. It can help to prepare you for twists and turns.

–      Ask your friend to role play with you and play the role of a tough interviewer.

–      Invite constructive criticism, and ask for suggestions to improve.

Good Luck!

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