Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 14th 2013 Contents B2
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Do your homework.
"One of the biggest complaints of
hiring managers is that many job inter-
view candidates know very little about
the company they re interviewing for,"
says Andy Teach, author of From Grad-
uation to Corporation: The Practical
Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder
One Rung at a Time, and host of the
YouTube channel FromGradToCorp.
Google the company you re interviewing
with and read some of the articles that
pop up; study the company s website;
know the company s mission, its prod-
ucts and services, its locations, and
who their top executives are. Go to the
Public Relations tab on their website
and print out some of their latest press
releases. "Study them so that you can
talk in the interview about what s going
on with the company now," he says.
Prepare a list of likely questions.
Shweta Khare, a career and job search
expert says getting a list of common
questions for an interview is easier than
ever before. "You can never underes-
timate the importance of preparation.
It s the first step and the most impor-
tant," she says.
Identify what the organisation wants
and needs. "While the focus of Why
should we hire you? (and other similar
interview questions) is on you, the
interviewee, it s important to remember
the answer isn t all about you," says
Miriam Salpeter, job search coach,
owner of Keppie Careers and author
of Social Networking for Career Success
and 100 Conversations for Career Suc-
The most successful interview
responses focus on the hiring manager s
needs. "Framing replies that demon-
strate you understand their problems,
or pain points, makes a big difference
when competing with many other qual-
1. Prepare by identifying the skills
employers are looking for. "Use their
in-depth job descriptions, view videos
the employers post about their organ-
isation, and visit their Facebook page
and Twitter feeds," she suggests.
2. Google yourself. Find out what
the company knows about you, Teach
adds. "See what they see. If there s
anything negative about you, have a
response ready as to why it s negative
but don t get too defensive. Respond
and then move on."
3. Interview yourself for the position.
Before every interview, ask yourself:
"Why am I a good fit for this job?"
"I tell my clients to post the question,
Why should we hire you? on their
bathroom mirror, refrigerator or any-
place they will see it during the day,"
Salpeter says. "I instruct them to
answer, out loud, keeping different
companies in mind each time. Rehears-
ing this way will help you hone in on
what you have to offer."
4. Identify what is unique or special
about you. How have you gone above
and beyond the call of duty? What did
you accomplish that no one else man-
aged to do? Did you volunteer to tackle
a problem and solve it? "Don t under-
estimate the value of looking at yourself,
your skills and your accomplishments
and outlining the key points you will
want to share with a prospective
5. Practice and plan. Role play
answering typical interview questions
with a friend, colleague, or coach, says
Anita Attridge, a Five O Clock Club
career and executive coach. "Be pre-
pared for the typical interview questions
by thinking about what your response
would be to them before the interview,"
If you are a college student, set up
an appointment with your career center
and have them conduct a mock inter-
view with you. "Even if you re a recent
graduate, many college career centers
will conduct mock interviews to help
alumni," Tech says. "Request that your
interview is filmed so that they can
critique you and you can study the film.
Don t worry if you re nervous or you
screw up. You re much better off screw-
ing up in a mock interview than in the
You don t necessarily want to mem-
orise responses---but try to have a gen-
eral strategy for answering common
interview questions. "Today many
organisations are using behavioral inter-
view questions to better understand
what you have done," Attridge says.
"They usually begin with, Tell me
about a time when... " She suggests
briefly describing what the situation
was; how you handled the situation;
and what the result was.
To prepare for these, you ll want to
think about workplace experience sto-
ries that describe your accomplishments
or show how you dealt with a tough
situation, Khare says. "If you don t have
any stories that you can recall now, set
aside a few hours to think and write
down at least two or three stories. A
simple question like, Tell me about a
time you made a mistake, can take you
off-guard and it is not easy to recall
unrehearsed. Having a repository of
work experience stories written down
before an interview will make it easier
6. Reflect on previous interviews.
Keep a computer or paper record of
your interviews, Teach says. "Keep a
record of the time of your interviews,
how long they are, your impressions
of the hiring manager, and perhaps
most importantly, what questions were
asked of you, what answers you gave,
and record any questions they asked
you that you felt could have been
answered differently. " Study these ele-
ments and your interview skills will
improve, he says.
7. Figure out how to articulate your
goals. Most of the commonly asked
questions during an interview either
dig into your previous experience or want to explore
your future goals, Khare says. "Prepare and articulate
your goals, and remain honest here. Inconsistent
answers won t get you the respect and credibility
that is a must to impress an interviewer."
8. Be positive. When preparing for an interview
and anticipating likely questions, plan to answer all
questions positively. "Even if you were in a bad sit-
uation, think about how you can talk about the sit-
uation positively," Attridge says. You always have a
choice. It is much better to talk about a glass being
half full then to talk about it being half empty. It s
all about your perspective, and in an interview being
Never say anything negative about your prior
employers or bosses, either--no matter how bad the
situation may have been. "A negative answer actually
is a reflection about your judgment and business
acumen, and not about the employer or manager."
9. Get comfortable. "Preparation and practice aside,
the most important tip I would like to suggest to job
seekers is to feel comfortable with the interview
process," Khare says. "You can read all the advice in
the world about acing the interview, but none of the
tactics will work out of you are not yourself during
Feeling comfortable and relaxed positively influences
your confidence. "And interviewers always appreciate
a relaxed and confident candidate, as opposed to a
heavy promoter and edgy one," she adds. Practice
calming your nerves, and focus on how you can prove
you d be a valuable asset to the company.
Common interview questions
How to prepare
Links Archive May 13th 2013 May 15th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page