The Interview

How to have a successful interview
Following are a few pre-interview tips and common-sense preparation tactics which will help make your interview an altogether less painful experience.

You are more likely to be successful if you are prepared and confident.

Pre-interview preparation:
Find out as much as possible about the company interviewing you.
You can find information about the company in the business pages of the local newspapers, as well as the company's website.
Try to find someone who already works for or with the company.
You should try to find information which will help you direct your answers and skills specifically to the company.
Be prepared for questions you may be asked. See the list of questions below.
Be prepared to talk about yourself and everything mentioned in your CV.
Prepare extra copies of your CV and any reference letters.

The day of the interview:
It is a good idea to arrive at the interview 15 minutes early. This will serve 2 purposes:
1. It will ensure that you arrive relaxed and that you are not out of breath for your interview.
2. It will also give you a chance to have a good look around and observe your surroundings, which will give you some ideas to answer the inevitable: "Do you have any questions?"
Dress conservatively. It doesn't matter which position you have applied for.
Be sure you are clean, shaved and neat - a little deodorant goes a long way!
Be polite to everyone you encounter in the office.

At The interview:
Sit up straight.
Keep continuous eye contact with the interviewer.
Smile and radiate self-confidence.
Answer questions directly. Turn your negative aspects into advantages (e.g. advanced in years equals more experienced)
Don't be afraid to answer about blank periods on your CV. Make them look like advantages (e.g. Long period of travel equals knowledge of other cultures, independence, languages, resourcefulness and other interests.)
Do not invent jobs in order to fill your blank periods - today more and more companies appreciate the time people spend on self-development.

After the interview:
It is a good idea (and polite) to send a follow-up letter thanking the interviewer for his/her time. This also helps to leave a lasting impression.

List of commonly asked questions
Here are 3 questions which will almost certainly be asked:
Q - Tell me about yourself
A - This is a straightforward question and is intended to put the interviewee at ease. A brief description of your CV is enough.

Q - What are your strengths and weaknesses?
A - Prepare yourself for this question in advance. When you state your weaknesses try to describe them as advantages as well.

Q - Why should we hire you?
A - This is not an invitation to repeat all your skills and experience to the interviewer.
The employer wants to know which benefits you will bring with you to the company (dedication, commitment, new ideas) and that you (yes, YOU) are suitable for this position and company.

More questions that you may be asked:
Why did you apply for this position?
Why are you more capable than any other applicant?
Which of you past positions did you enjoy the most? Why?
What would your previous employers have to tell me about you?
Why did you leave your last job?
What would your friends say about you?
What are your most prominent characteristics?
How might your negative characteristics interfere with you work?
What could damage the quality of your work?
What are your hobbies?
Where do you see yourself in 10 year's time?
What are your short-term goals?
Why did you choose this profession?
What do you find most interesting about your profession?
How would you define success?
What is your most worthy accomplishment gained from your previous jobs?
Which of your personal accomplishments are you most proud of?
What values are most important to you in your work?
How do you cope with stress at work? Give a specific example
Give an example of something that you would do differently given a 2nd chance.
Describe a problematic situation which you were faced with and how you coped.
What mark out of 10 would you award yourself for creativity? Give me an example of something creative that you have done recently.
What mark out of 10 would you award yourself for curiosity? How much do you know about this company?
What interested you most in your studies?
In your opinion, what are the most important skills for this position?
Describe your relationship with your colleagues in your last job.
If you get the job, what will you do on your first day of work?
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