Prepare for Job Interview

Prepare for job interviews before undertaking one as it can be quite stressful if you are going for a position that is really interesting for you and you are not fully prepared for it. There are many candidates who appear for job interviews without any preparation and then wonder why they didn't make it.

Prepare for Job Interview - Background research

A background search of the company where you have been called for a job interview helps in familiarizing yourself with the line of questions that might be adopted by the interviewer. Do remember that you may have to appear for more than one interviews before the final selection. So your effort should be to get short-listed at each stage with good ranking. At times the initial interview does not go as well as you would like it but you are still short-listed for the next one. You have a better chance if you observe in the first interview well as to what the company is all about and what the corporate culture is.

Prepare for Job Interview - Understanding the Job Requirements

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for interview well in advance so that your chances of getting selected improve considerably. There are certain general tips for interviews where you applied to a PO Box rather than a company name:

Observe the job description in the ads to which you have applied then do a research into companies with similar operations. Suppose the job description says

"Wanted Manager Credits - The incumbent should have at least 3 years of experience in the financial sector/leasing/commercial banking ..."

This helps you in knowing it is related to the financial sector, so do a research into the financial sector by going to the websites of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). If it relates to Commercial Banks then you will find a complete list on the SBP website and if it is Investment Banks, Leasing Companies and Asset Management Companies (AMCs) it will be on the SECP website.

Go through the websites of each institution and you will gain a wealth of knowledge about what they do. Then go through the governing regulations also given on the SBP and SECP websites to help you understand their working to some extent.

Prepare for Job Interview - Make a Checklist or a Mindmap

Once you have an idea about what they do, prepare yourself with a brief note on the general characteristics of such institutions.

Then prepare a note on what your career goals are and how you intend to serve the company. Make short, medium and long term goals related to your own career path. Then look at these goals from the employers perspective...what value add are you bringing to the company?

Put all the points in a checklist or better still make a mindmap to follow all the necessary steps.

If you have appeared for interviews before that will help you in preparing better as you have knowledge of what the interviewer is looking for.

Prepare for Job Interview - Demeaner and style

On the interview day be relaxed and well rested. Be well groomed and dress suitably for the interview. you should not be sloppy or casual like going in jeans.

Try to communicate efficiency through non-verbal communication as much as possible and keep it real. The way you sit, your posture and your demeanor speak volumes without your uttering a word.

If you are changing from one career field to another prepare for interview with that perspective because the question will definitely come up.

While preparing for interview, try to understand your own personal and professional traits and work on the strong points that will be beneficial to the company. Highlight these strong points at the interview.

Be as close to the service fit criteria as the employer has mentioned in the classified ad. If you are marketing person do not apply for a financial analyst's job and vice versa.

When you speak do not just blurt out without thinking, be precise and to-the-point. Unnecessary conversation and remarks should be avoided, however, anecdotes or short experiences from previous jobs may be interjected smartly to enable the interviewer to assess your capabilities.

Remain honest in your responses but do not flatly refuse any queries. Do not over commit or over state your capabilities as that would be misleading and can be seen through.

Be professional yet amicable and warm. And if you are not selected, do not lose hope but take it as learning experience and do better next time. Preparing for interview the next time, keep the experience in mind and prepare better.

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