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Complete Interview Guide..

TypesofInterviews
PanelInterview/BoardInterviewCandidatesareinterviewedbytwoormore
individuals.Thisprocessiscommonlyusedbygovernmentsandlargeorganizations.
Itisimportanttomaintaineyecontactwiththepersonaskingthequestionandgive
ananswerwithanexampletosupportit.Alwaysacknowledgetheotherinterviewers'
presencebymakingeyecontactwhileansweringrotatingquestions.Directyour
attentionatthebeginningandendofyourresponsetothepersonwhoaskedyou
thatquestion.Thequestionsaskedintheinterviewareoftensetoutinadvance.The
boardmayalreadyhavedecidedwhichanswerstheywillaccept/preferforthe
questions.Ignorenotetakingbyboardmembers.Obtainemployers'namespriorto
theinterviewandusethemduringtheconversation.
OneOnOneInterviewsCandidatesareinterviewedbyoneperson.These
interviewstendtobemoreinformalhowever,italwaysdependsontheemployer's
style.Theinterviewerwilloftenhaveaseriesofpreparedquestions,butmayhave
someflexibilityintheirchoices.Itisimportanttomaintaineyecontactwiththe
personinterviewingyou.
ImpromptuInterviews Thisinterviewcommonlyoccurswhenemployersare
approacheddirectlyandtendstobeveryinformalandunstructured.Applicants
shouldbepreparedatalltimesforonthespotinterviews,especiallyinsituations
suchasajobfairoracoldcall.Itisanidealtimeforemployerstoaskthecandidate
somebasicquestionstodeterminewhetherhe/shemaybeinterestedinformally
interviewingthecandidate.
SecondInterviewsorFollowUpInterviewsEmployersinvitethoseapplicants
theyareseriouslyconsideringasanemployeefollowingascreeningorinitial
interview.Theseinterviewsaregenerallyconductedbymiddleorsenior
management,togetherorseparately.Applicantscanexpectmoreindepth
questions,andtheemployerwillbeexpectingagreaterlevelofpreparationonthe
partofthecandidate.Applicantsshouldcontinuetoresearchtheemployerfollowing
thefirstinterview,andbepreparedtouseanyinformationgainedthroughthe
previousinterviewtotheiradvantage.
DinnerInterviewsTheinterviewsmaybestructured,informal,orsociallysituated,
suchasinarestaurant.Don'tbetheonlyoneatthetabletoorderanalcoholic
drink,andifyouhaveanalcoholicdrink,stopatone.Decidewhattoeatquickly,
someinterviewerswillaskyoutoorderfirst(don'tappearindecisive).Avoid
potentiallymessyfoods,suchasspaghetti.Bepreparedfortheconversationto
abruptlychangefrom'friendlychat'todirectinterviewquestions,however,don't
underestimatethevalueofcasualdiscussion,someemployersplaceagreatvalueon
it.
TelephoneInterviewsHaveacopyofyourresumeandanypointsyouwantto
remembertosaynearby.Ifyouareonyourhometelephone,makesurethatall
roommatesorfamilymembersareawareoftheinterview(avoidsloudstereos,etc.).
Speakabitslowerthanusual.Itiscrucialthatyouconveyyourenthusiasmverbally,
sincetheinterviewercannotseeyourface.Iftherearepauses,don'tworry,the
interviewerislikelyjustmakingsomenotes.

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GroupInterviewsEmployersbringingseveralcandidatestogetherinagroup
situationtosolveaproblemaretestingyourabilitytoworkinateamenvironment.
Theywanttoknowhowyouwillpresentinformationtootherpeople,offer
suggestions,relatetootherideas,andworktosolveaproblem.Inshort,theyare
testingyourinterpersonalskills.Itisdifficulttoprepareforthistypeofinterview
excepttorememberwhatisbeingtestingandtousetheskillsyouhavetobethe
bestteamplayerand/orleaderyoucanbe.Someemployerswilltakeyoutomeet
thestaffwhowouldbeyourcoworkersifhired.Thisisaverycasualtypeof
interview,butleavingapositiveandfriendlyimpressionisnolesscritical.

HRInterviews
HowtofacetheInterview
1.Are yourworkpracticessimilarordifferentfromours?
(IfExperienced)
2.Describe our(products/services).
3.Describe ourcompanyforme.
4.Describe ourcorporateenvironmentforme.
5.Describeyourwork(methods/processes)incomparisontoours?
(IfExperienced)
6.Do ourcompetitorsdothingsthatweshouldbedoing?
7.Do youhaveanyconcernsaboutworking here?
8.Do youhaveanyquestionsabout(our/this)company?
9.Do youknowhowlongwehavebeeninbusiness?
10.Doyouknowwhatproductswemake?
11.How couldyouhavepreventedyour(judgmental)errors?
12.How doyouthinkourcompanydeterminessuccess?
13.How doesyoupresentemployercommunicatewithothersinyour
department?(IfExperienced)
14.Tellmehowyoufoundoutinformationabout(our/this)company?
15.Tell mewhatyouknowabout(our/this)company?
16.Wasthereanythingyourcompanycouldhavedonetobemore
successful?
17.What aboutourcompanydoyoulikebest?
18.What aboutyourpresentemployer(do/did)youlikebest?
19.What advantagesdoyouthinkourcompetitorshaveoverus?
20.What advantagesdoyouthinkwehaveoverourcompetitors?
21.What arethegreatestchallengesthatthiscompanyfaces?
22.What concernsdoyouhaveaboutthiscompany?
23.What directiondoyouthinkthiscompanyisheadedin?
24.What doyoudislikeaboutourcompany?
25.What doyouknowabout(our/this)company?
26.What doyouknowabout(our/this)operation?
27.What doyouknowaboutourcompetitors?
28.What doyouknowaboutourcustomers?
29.What doyouknowaboutourproducts?
30.What doyouknowaboutourproductsorservices?
31.What doyouknowaboutourstock?
32.What doyouknowaboutourwebsite?
33.What doyouknowaboutthewayourcompany(works/operates)?
34.What doyouknowaboutthisposition?
35.What doyouthinkarethechallengesfacing thiscompany?
36.What doyouthinkarethegreatestchallengesfacingthiscompany
inthenearfuture?

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37.What doyouthinkittakestobesuccessfulinacompanylike
ours?
38.What doyouthinkittakestobesuccessfulinourcompany?
39.What doyouthinktheatmospherehereislike?
40.What isthefinancialstabilityofyourlastcompany?
41.What questionsdoyouhaveaboutourorganization?
42.What wouldmakesomeonesuccessfulinourbusiness?
43.What isthe(best/worst)thingyouhaveheardabout(our/this)
company?
44.Whatisthe(best/worst)thingyouhaveheardabout
(our/this)department?

Precautionstotakeupbeforeyouentertheinterviewroom
Foryourfirstfewinterviewsyourbackgroundisimportantyourchool,themedium
andtheplaceyoustudiedin,allservetogivetheintervieweranideaaboutyou.
Carryacopyofthebiodatathatyouhavealreadysent,andtheinterviewletter.
Keeptheextracopywithyou,justincase.Showtheinterviewletterto
thereceptionist/interviewertoestablishyourcredentials,butkeepthis
letterwithyou.Thisgivesyou,foryourfuturereference,atimeanddaterecordof
yourinterview,givestheofficialaddressofthecompanyforfurthercorrespondence
andclarifications,andmaygiveyouthenameanddesignationofthepersonyouare
toreportto.
Carryeverythingyouneedfortheinterviewinaneatfolderdonothaveloose
paperscascadingtothefloorbecauseyouaredesperatelyhuntingforthedegree
certificate,whiletheinterviewersdrumtheirfingersimpatiently.Anddon'tcarry
yourpapersinaplasticorclothshoppingbageither:investinagoodfolder,plastic
orevenleather.
Incidentally,don'tfeelshyorhesitantaboutcallinguptheofficeandgettingdetails
aboutlocation,landmarks/busroutes/otherinformationtohelpyoureachthevenue
oftheinterview.Again,ifitisnota"mass"interview,wherelotsofpeopleare
beinginterviewedonthesameday,andyoudohaveagenuinedifficultyabout
reachingonthescheduledday/time,manyemployerswillrescheduleifyouask
themnicelyenough.Thereverseisalsotrue:agoodimpressioniscreatedifyou
takethetroubletoinformtheinterviewerthatyoucan/willnotattendtheinterview.
Ifyouareinthesametowngoand"casethejoint"seewheretheoffice/interview
centreis,andhowlongitwilltakeyoutogetthere.
Alwaysarriveatleastfifteenminutesbeforeyourscheduledtimethatgivesyou
timetocatchyourbreathincaseyouclimbedthestairstoofast,allowsyouto
composeyourselfandnotbetoonervous,andtocheckoutthecompetition.Ifthe
interviewisintheofficesofthecompanyitself,thisalsoallowsyoutogeta"feel"of
thecompany.Seehowcomfortableyoufeel,howefficienttheinterviewprocessis.
Saysalotaboutwhattherestofthecompanyis.

PanelInterview
Whenyouarefacingapanelofinterviewers,makeyourbest
moves.

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Whetheryouaresearchingforjobs,lookingforcareeravenuesorclimbingthe
corporateladder,youcan'tescapeteaminterviewsthesedays.Theproblemisthat
suchinterviewsdon'thaveapatterntothem.Theycomeindifferentforms.You
couldbefacingyourprospectiveteammembers.Oryoucouldbeupagainstthetop
brassHRvicepresident,thesectionhead,theoperationschief.Oryoucouldalso
besenttoarecruitmentassessmentcentreformultiparametricevaluation
(psychologicaltestsforpressurehandlingabilities,teamplayerskillsandsoon).Try
thesetentipsforsurviving,andscoring,inateaminterview.
GIVEVARIETYTOYOURANSWERSRememberyoumightbeinterviewedby
differentpanels.Don'tgiveastockanswertoallofthem.They'llbecomparing
notes.
Repackageyourskillssothattheysounddifferent.Ifyou'reshowcasingprojectXas
yourmajorachievementinyourpresentjobbeforeoneteam,talkaboutprojectB
beforeanotherinterviewpanel.
AtechnicalteamwilltuneintotechietalkanHRteamwouldratherhearaboutyour
interpersonalskills.
FINETUNEINTERPERSONALSKILLS
Pulloutthestopsonyourgroupmanagementandgrouppresentationskills.
Interviewersarepeopleafterall.Lookforthepersonalitytypeunderscoringeach
interviewer.Thentryandconnectwitheachoneofthemwithoutgettingpersonal.
Usuallythebestwaytomakecontactistoprojectvaluesthatyoufeelyoucanshare
withyourinterviewers.
DON'TQUAKEINYOURBOOTS
Interviewersarenotogres.Theyarelookingforexcusestohireyou,notspillyour
guts.
Don'tbeobsequious.Thatconveyslowselfesteem.
Ifyoufaceyourinterviewerswithfearinyoureyes,theywon'tlikewhattheysee.
TheyareNOTsadists.
PREPAREFORSTRESS
You'llbeupagainstatimecrunchinateaminterview.
Inoneonones,theinterviewermightbetakingnotes,allowingyoulittlebreathers.
Nosuchluckwithfourpeoplefiringquestionsatyou.Usestresscontroltechniques
tosootheyournerves.Youmightevenusetheextraadrenalinetosharpenyour
responses.
SHOWCASETHEIMPORTANTTHINGS
Listsevenimportantthingsthatfitthejobdescriptionoftheadvertisedpost.Prepare
topresentskillsthatfitsuchtraits.
Ithelpstotalktofriendsfamiliarwiththejobdescription.Youcanevenaskthemto
prepareteststhatyoucantakefromthem.
REHEARSEWELL
Puttogetherthreefamilymembersorfriendswithdiversepersonalitytraits.
Recreatetheformalityofateaminterviewsituationandaskthemtofirenonstop
questionsatyou.Thatwillserveasausefulpracticesession.
Askforseriousfeedback,especiallyaboutweakareasinyouranswers.Questions
aboutqualificationsandworkexperienceareusuallygeneric,sowhatyourmock
teamasksyouisboundtobeprettyclosetotherealstuff.
CREATEAMENTALPICTUREOFYOURSELF
Boostyourselfconfidencebyseeingyourselfasstarperformerwho'sacutabove.
Seeyourselfansweringwithlanthequestionsyouexpect.Thenreplayyour
answersandaskyourselfthesequestions:
Howinterestingwereyourobservations?
Didmostofyourresponsesbeginthesameway?

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Didyouuse'we'often,suggestingteamplayerattributes?
Aretheretracesofhumourinyourresponses?
ASKGOODQUESTIONS
Researchisintegraltoagoodinterviewperformance.Findoutasmuchaboutyou
canaboutthecompanyconcerned.BrowsetheNet,checkcompanyreports,put
togethernewsclips.
Armedwithyourbackgroundbrief,askrelevantquestionsaboutthecompany.
Ifyouthinkyouhaveabrightideaaboutanyongoingactivity,trythis:"Didthe
companyconsiderthisoption..."
LOOKBEYONDTHEOBVIOUS
Yourinterviewteamhassomecorequeriesaboutyou.It'sthesetheywantyouto
address.Tryandlookbeyondtheupfrontquestionstodeciphertheirexactintent.
Thenrespondtofillinwhattheteamisreallylookingfor.
Fleshoutyouranswerstofocusontheteam'sconcerns.Iftheyaskyouaboutyour
perceptionofthecompany'sESOPpolicy,theywantyoutopresentyourexpectation
fromastockoptionplan.
Answerinsyncwiththegeneraltenoroftheinterview.Ifyourworkinvolves
individualresearchbesidesteamwork,don'tgooverboardaboutteamplayer
abilities.Balanceyouranswer.Mentionhowsometimesindividualworkismore
productivethoughteamworkisneededtoputintoactionideasgeneratedby
individualresearch.

CampusInterview
7CommandmentsforSuccessinCampusInterviews:
CampusInterviewHmmiswhatonelooksforwardtowith enthusiasm,fear
and excitement towardsthebeginningofthefinalyear.
Forsomeit'samakeorbreak,atleastthat'sthewayit'slookedatandforsome
it'samatterofpride.Theconstantthoughtinone'smindiswhatshallmakethis
click!Whatisitthattheinterviewerislookinginme!
Here'swhatwelookforwhenwevisitthevariouscampuses.Thisbynomeansisan
exhaustivelistbutisagoodindicationoftheexpectationsandthemeanstomeet
these.Wepresentyouthe7Commandments.
1.KnowThyself!
Noteveryoneisgoodineachandeveryfield.Eachoneofushasourfortesand
weaknessestoo.Butthat'snotastumblingblock!Whatwelookforarepeoplewho
knowtheirareaofspecializationandareanexpertinit.Therefore,itpaystobea
masterinsomefieldsifnotthejackofall.
Themostcommonmistakesmanymakeistoprofessknowingafieldofwhichthey
knowlittleabout.Rememberthathugeandbulkyresumesareastoughtoreadas
theyaretomake.So,identifyyourskillset,andkeepyourresumessimpleand
straight.Knowyourlimitsandpolishonyourstrengths.
2.TestingWhatYouKnowandNOTWhatYouDon't.

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Manyinterviewersmayaskthestudentthesubjectsthatshe/hewishestobe
interviewedupon.Eureka!!Here'sagoldenopportunity.Answerthiswisely!Never
endupchoosingadifficultsubjectthatyouknowonlylittleabout,ratherchoosethe
oneyouaremostconfidentof.
3.RackYourBrainAnalyze
Theinterviewisnotjustlimitedtotestingyourknowledgebase,butwearealso
interestedinknowingyourabilitytoapplyit.Oftenquestionsthatneedtobesolved
thenandthereareasked.Nowkeepinmindtherightanswerisnottheonlything
beinglookedat.Thefocusareaisalsothewayinwhichyouattacktheproblemi.e.
approachtoproblemsolvingisequallyimportant.
So,remembertoputyourthinkingcapson!
4.AskforHelp!
Murphychoosestostrikeattheappropriatetime!Inspiteofthefactthatyoumay
knowsomethingverywell,itmightjustslipyourmind.Afterall,heavypreparation
doestakesitstoll.Whobettertoaskforhelpthantheposerofthequestion(of
course,don'ttrythistoooften!)!
Remembertheinterviewerisnottheretogrilltheconfidenceoutofyou,buttobring
forththebestin.Justincaseyouarestuck,askforahint.Thingsmightjustclick.
Also,stayalertforclues.
5.Whatareyourbiggestaccomplishments
Youmayliketobeginyourreplywith:"AlthoughIfeelmybiggestachievementsare
stillaheadofme,IamproudofmyinvolvementwithImademycontributionas
partofthatteamandlearntalotintheprocess".
Itwillbeagoodideatocloseyouranswerwithalsospecifyingwhatattributesand
circumstancesmadeyousucceed.
6.BeCalm,haveClearVerbalandSoundNonVerbalCommunication
Calmnessshowsemotionalmaturity.True,beingcalminajobinterviewisadifficult
proposition,butthenthatiswhereitisrequired!Calmnessdoesnotimplybeing
unenthusiasticorapatheticduringtheinterview,butknowingthatyouarenervous
andnotlettingitcomeintheway.Aclearverbalcommunicationimpliesclarityof
thethoughtprocess.
Oneshouldalsowatchoutfortheimpressionsmadeinnonverbalcommunication.
Bodylanguageandfacialexpressionscanassistyouinestablishingagoodrapport
withtheinterviewer.Pauses,silencesandgesturesmayallindicatewhatyoumean,
understand,orwouldliketoemphasize.
7.TwoWayExchangeProcess

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Theinterviewprocessisatwowayexchangeofinformation.Makesureyoualso
understandaboutthecompany,itsactivities,jobrequirements.Thecompanyisin
needforgoodcandidatesandyouneedagoodcompanytolaunchyourcareer.
Interviewisanopportunitytopresentyourselfandyourskillstoyourbest
advantage.Makesureyoumakethemostoutofit.AndYOUarethebestonetodo
it!!
GoodLuck!
AdarshJohn
H.R.Manager
CassiusTechnologies

Basics
TheBasicThings
Inadditiontodoingresearchandpracticingyouranswerstocommoninterview
questions,youshouldbeawareofgeneralinterviewetiquette.Rememberthe
followingpointswhenpreparingforaninterview:
Reviewyourresume,andmakesurethatyoucanexplaineverythingonit.Arrive
attheinterviewtenminutesearlytogiveyourselfanopportunitytocollectyour
thoughtsandrelax.Beawarethatmanyemployerswillhavetheirreceptionists
recordthetimeyoucamein.Ifyourushinatthelastminute,anemployermay
haveseriousconcernsaboutyourabilitytoarriveontimeforanormaldayatwork.
Getagoodnight'ssleepbeforeyourinterview.Youwillthinkmoreeffectivelyinthe
interviewifyouarerested.Also,yawningwillnotimpressanyone.Eatsomething
beforetheinterview.Ifyouareworriedaboutyourstomachgrowling,youwillnotbe
abletoconcentrateonthequestions.
Dressappropriatelyforthepositionthatyouareapplyingto.Trytodresslikethe
peoplewhoworktherewoulddressiftheywererepresentingtheirorganizationat
somefunction.Ifyouareunsureaboutwhattowear,alwayserronthesideofbeing
toodressedup.
Makesurethatyouareclean,neat,andwellgroomed.Interviewersdonoticeyour
appearance,andfirstimpressionsarecriticalinaninterviewsituation.
Takeacopyofyourresume,transcript,referencesandperhapsaportfolioorwork
sampleswithyou.Alsotakeapenand paper,asyoumaywantorecordsome
importantinformation.

InterviewPreparation
TheInterview

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Interviewisanopportunityforboththeemployerandtheapplicanttogather
information.Theemployerwantstoknowifyou,theapplicant,havetheskills,
knowledge,selfconfidence,andmotivationnecessaryforthejob.Atthispointyou
canbeconfidentthattheemployersawsomethingofinterestinyourresume.Heor
shealsowantstodeterminewhetherornotyouwillfitinwiththeorganization's
currentemployeesandphilosophy.Similarly,youwillwanttoevaluatetheposition
andtheorganization,anddetermineiftheywillfitintoyourcareerplans.The
interviewisatwowayexchangeofinformation.Itisanopportunityforbothparties
tomarketthemselves.Theemployerissellingtheorganizationtoyou,andyouare
marketingyourskills,knowledge,andpersonalitytotheemployer.

InterviewPreparation
Researchisacriticalpartofpreparingforaninterview.Ifyouhaven'tdoneyour
homework,itisgoingtobeobvious.Spendtimeresearchingandthinkingabout
yourself,theoccupation,theorganization,andquestionsyoumightaskattheendof
theinterview.

Step1:KnowYourself
Thefirststepinpreparingforaninterviewistodoathorough selfassessmentso
thatyouwillknowwhatyouhavetoofferanemployer.Itisveryimportantto
developacompleteinventoryofskills,experience,andpersonalattributesthatyou
canusetomarketyourselftoemployersatanytimeduringtheinterviewprocess.In
developingthisinventory,itiseasiesttostartwithexperience.Onceyouhavea
detailedlistofactivitiesthatyouhavedone(pastjobs,extracurricular
involvements,volunteerwork,schoolprojects,etc.),itisfairlyeasytoidentifyyour
skills.
Simplygothroughthelist,andforeachitemaskyourself"WhatcouldIhave
learnedbydoingthis?""WhatskillsdidIdevelop?""Whatissues/circumstanceshave
Ilearnedtodealwith?"Keepinmindthatskillsfallintotwocategoriestechnical
andgeneric.Technicalskillsaretheskillsrequiredtodoaspecificjob.Fora
laboratoryassistant,technicalskillsmightincludeknowledgeofsterilization
procedures,slidepreparation,andscientificreportwriting.Foranoutreachworker,
technicalskillsmightincludecounsellingskills,casemanagementskills,orprogram
designandevaluationskills
Genericskillsarethosewhicharetransferabletomanyworksettings.Followingisa
listofthetenmostmarketableskills.Youwillnoticethattheyareallgeneric.

Analytical/ProblemSolving
Flexibility/Versatility
Interpersonal
Oral/WrittenCommunication
Organization/Planning
TimeManagement
Motivation
Leadership
SelfStarter/Initiative
TeamPlayer

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Oftenwhenpeoplethinkofskills,theytendtothinkofthosetheyhavedevelopedin
theworkplace.However,skillsaredevelopedinavarietyofsettings.Ifyouhave
everresearchedandwrittenapaperforacourse,youprobablyhavewritten
communicationskills.Teamsportsorgroupprojectsareagoodwaytodevelopthe
skillsrequiredofateamplayerandleader.Don'toverlookanyabilitiesyoumayhave
Whendoingtheresearchonyourself,identifyingyourexperienceandskillsis
important,butitisnotallthatyouneedtoknow.Considertheanswerstoother
questionssuchas:

HowhaveIdemonstratedtheskillsrequiredinthisposition?
Whataremystrongpointsandweakpoints?
Whataremyshorttermandlongtermgoals?
WhatcanIofferthisparticularemployer?
WhatkindofenvironmentdoIlike?(i.e.HowdoIliketobe
supervised?DoIlikeafastpace?)
WhatdoIlikedoing?
Apartfrommyskillsandexperience,whatcanIbringtothisjob?

Step2:KnowtheOccupation
Thesecondstepinpreparingforaninterviewistoresearchtheoccupation.Thisis
necessarybecauseinordertopresentaconvincingargumentthatyouhavethe
experienceandskillsrequiredforthatoccupation,youmustfirstknowwhatthose
requirementsanddutiesare.Withthisinformationuncovered,youcanthenmatch
theskillsyouhave(usingthecompleteskills/experienceinventoryyouhavejust
prepared)withtheskillsyouknowpeopleinthatoccupationalfieldneed.The
resulting"shortlist"willbetheonethatyouneedtoemphasizeduringtheinterview.
Itisalsoinyourbestinteresttoidentifytheapproximatestartingsalaryforthat
position,orthosesimilar.Thereareseveralwaystofindoutaboutanoccupation:

Acquireacopyofthejobdescriptionfromtheemployer(Human
Resources/Personnel)orcheckwithStudentEmploymentServices.If
youarerespondingtoanadvertisement,thismayalsosupplysome
details.

TheCareerResourceCentre hasgeneralinformationfilesonavarietyofoccupations.
Makesureyouhavereadthroughtheappropriatefileandareupdatedonthe
occupation. Ifyoubelongtoaprofessionalassociationrelatedtotheoccupation,use
itsresources.Theseassociationsoftenpublishinformativenewslettersandsponsor
seminars.Itisalsoagoodwaytomeetpeopleworkinginthefield.Conduct
informationinterviewswithpeopleworkinginthefield.Readarticlesaboutpeoplein
theoccupation,andarticleswrittenbypeopleintheoccupation.Sourcesinclude
newspapers,magazinesandtheinternet.Findoutwhatthefuturetrendsareinthe
area.Istechnologychangingthejob?

Step3:KnowtheOrganization

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Themoreyouknowaboutanorganization,thebetterpreparedyouwillbetodiscuss
howyoucanmeetitsneeds.Someofthecharacteristicsthatyoushouldknowabout
anorganizationare:

Whereisitlocated?
Howbigisit?
Whatareitsproductsandwhodoesitserve?
Howistheorganizationstructured?
Whatisitshistory?
Havetherebeenanyrecentchanges,newdevelopments?

Thereareanumberofwaysinwhichyoucanaccessthisinformation.Mostmedium
tolargesizedorganizationspublishinformationaboutthemselves.Youcanaccess
thisanumberofways:

OncampusattheStudentEmploymentServices(companyliterature
andbusinessdirectories)orattheDrakeCentreLibrary
TheWinnipegCentennialLibraryhasabusinessmicrofichewith
informationonover5000Canadiancompaniesandbusiness
directories
Manycompanieshaveinternethomepageswhichyoucanlocateby
searchingbyindustryandcompanyname
Finally,youcanvisitorphonetheorganizationandrequestsome
informationontheirproducts,servicesorareasofresearch

Iftheorganizationisfairlysmall,orfairlynew,theremaynotbemuchinformation
published.Inthiscase,itwillbenecessarytodoaninformationinterview.Contact
someonewithintheorganization,introduceyourself,explainthatyouareconsidering
movingintothefield,andaskifitwouldbepossibletomeetwithhim/hertoinquire
aboutthecompany/organizationandaboutwhatexactlythepositionwouldinvolve.

Step4:PrepareQuestions
Havingcompletedyourbackgroundresearch,youarenowreadytoprepare
questionstoasktheinterviewer(s).Trytothinkofquestionsforwhichtheanswer
wasnotreadilyavailableincompanyliterature.Intelligentwellthoughtout
questionswilldemonstrateyourgenuineinterestintheposition.Becarefulhow
manyquestionsyouask,however,astoomanycanimplyyoufeeltheinterviewwas
notsuccessfullyrun.Pickyourquestionswithcarethisisyourchancetogather
information,soaskaboutwhatyoureallywanttoknow.Avoidsoundingcriticalby
mentioningnegativeinformationyoumayhavediscovered.Thisisoneofthemost
effectivewaystocomparedifferentemployers,soforissuesofparticularimportance
toyou(forexample,whethertheysupportstaffupgrading),youshouldaskthe
samequestionsofeachemployer.Somesamplequestionsare:

Whatarethemostsignificantfactorsaffectingyourbusinesstoday?How
havechangesintechnologymostaffectedyourbusinesstoday?
Howhasyourbusiness/industrybeenaffectedbytherecession?
Howhasyourcompanygrownorchangedinthelastcoupleofyears?
Whatfuturedirectiondoyouseethecompanytaking?
Whereisthegreatestdemandforyourservicesorproduct?

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Whereismostofthepressurefromincreasedbusinessfeltinthiscompany?
Whichdepartmentfeelsitthemost?
Howdoyoudifferfromyourcompetitors?
HowmuchresponsibilitywillIbegiveninthisposition?
Whatdoyoulikeaboutworkingwiththisorganization?
Canyoutellmemoreaboutthetrainingprogram?
Haveanynewproductlinesbeenintroducedrecently?
Howmuchtravelisnormallyexpected?
Whatcriteriawillbeusedtoevaluatemyperformance?
WillIworkindependentlyoraspartofateam?
Howdidyouadvancetoyourposition?
Whatarethecareerpathsavailableinthisorganization?
WhencanIexpecttohearfromyouregardingthisposition?

Itisveryimportanttoaskthelastquestionbecauseemployerswanttohire
individualswhoareinterestedinthepositionandaskingthisquestiondefinitely
helpstodemonstrateinterestonyourpart.Exercisejudgementwhenasking
questionstoanemployer.Whenbeinginterviewedbyalargecompanythathasa
highprofile,onewouldnotaskthequestion
"Whatisthehistoryofyourcompanyandhowwasyourcompanystarted?"Youcanfindtheanswertothis
questioninthecompany'sannualreportorarticlesinmagazines/newspapers.However,small and
mediumsizedcompaniesdonotalwaysproducepubliclyavailableannualreportsanditmaybedifficultto
accessinformationonthecompanyanditsroleintheindustry.Thisquestionisappropriateifyouhave
exercisedallotherwaystofindouttheanswer.

DressingRightforTheInterview
PREPARATIONS
Let'ssayyouaregoingforaninterviewtomorrow.Youhavepreparedyourselfwell
fortheoccasionanticipatingthequestionsandgettingreadytheanswersbut
haveyougivenathoughttowhatyouwillwear?
Ifyouhavenotpeekedintoyourwardrobeyet,it'stimetotakearealhardlook
now.Yourapplication'sfatedependsnotjustonhowwellyouanswertheinterview
questions,butalsoonhowwellyouprojectyourselfphysically.Thefirstimpression
yourinterviewermakesaboutyouisbasedonthewayyoulook,andyouknowwhat
theysayaboutfirstimpressions.AccordingtoJoeHodowanes,J.M.Wanesand
Associatescareerstrategyadvisor,"Thewayapersondressesisthesinglebiggest
nonverbalcommunicationyoumakeaboutyourself."Therightdressingisa
measureoftheseriousnessthatyouplaceontheposition,asapersonnormally
spendstimeonhislooksifheconsidersaneventimportantenough.
"Althoughproperdressingbyitselfwillnotgetyouthejob,apoordresssensemay
excludeyoufromfurtherconsideration,"warnsGerryDitching,managingpartnerof
Filgifts.com.Besides,giventwoequallygoodapplicants,thecompanymaychooseto
hirethepersonwhoisdressedmoreprofessionally.Herearesometipstogiveyoua
headstart.

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MEN
Longsleevedshirtanddarkslacks.Whiteisstillthesafestandthebest
colorforshirts.Thecolourisalsoappropriateforourtropicalweather.Also
acceptable:paleshadessuchasbeige,blue,andotherpastels.
Tuckintheshirtanddonotrollupthesleeves.Neverwearashortsleevedshirtto
anintervieworanybusinesspurpose.Wearingashortsleevedshirtwilldestroyyour
executiveimage.
Ties.Optional.Butifyoudowearone,chooseaconservativepattern.Solids,small
polkadots,diagonalstripes,smallrepeatingshapes,subtleplaidsandpaisleysare
allacceptable.
Belts.Beltsshouldmatchyourshoes.Thosewithsmallerbuckleswithsquaredlines
lookmoreprofessional.
Socks.Blacksocksarethebest,followedbyblueorgray,dependingonyourattire.
Neverwearwhitesocks!Checkyoursocklength,toonoskinshouldshowwhenyou
sitdownorcrossyourlegs.Shoes.Blackorburgundyleathershoeswithlaceson
them,becausetasselloafersareverycasual.Othersuitablecolorsarebrown,
cordovanandnavy.
Hair.Keepneat,shortandpreferablypartedontheside.Andshaveoffallthose
facialhair.
Jewellery.Wearnoorlittlejewellery.Thewatchandweddingringaretheonly
acceptablepiecesofjewellerytogowiththemaleattire.Thingoldorleather
strappedwatcheslookprofessionalbutnotdigitalwatches.Also,avoidpoliticalor
religiousinsignias,necklacesorbracelets.Definitelynopiercedbodyparts,and
coverupyourtattoos!
Accessories.Asmuchaspossible,useleatherbriefcasesorfolderstoholdcopiesof
yourresume.Usenarrowbriefcasesandavoidplasticfoldersandplasticballpensas
theyareoutofplace.

Etiquettethatyoushouldhave
Goforamockexercisebeforetherealtalkatthejobtable
Honeyourinterviewetiquette................Churntherightmixofdeportment,
attitudeanddressingskillsforagreatjobtalk!
Nevermakethebigmistakeoftreatinganinterviewlightly.It'snotanimpromptu
thingwhereyoudependonyourimprovisationskills.Aninterviewrequirescareful
thoughtandplanningbeforeyoutakeit.Keepinginmindsomebasicattitudesand
presentationtechniqueswillhelpyousailthroughitwithpanache.

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Soifyouthoughtthatgoingforaninterviewjustmeantpullingyourbestsuitoutof
thewardrobeandupdatingyourresume,pleasethinkagain.Youareforgettingthe
otheressentials:bodylanguage,basicetiquetteandattitude.
Rememberthatyouareactuallysellinganentirepackageandthepackaging,inthis
case,isasrelevantastheproductinside.Ultimatelyyouarepresentingyourselfasa
valuableprofessionaltoanewjobenvironment.Andyoucan'tdothatwithout
mindingthebasicinterviewetiquettetogetyouaheadoftherestofthepack.
Aninterviewisthesumtotalofmanyparts.It'snotjustwhatyousaybuthowyou
sayitthatmattersequally.Soit'sgoodtobrushuponmorethanjustyourtraining
skillswhenyoudogoinforaninterview.
ATTIRE
Howyoudressforaninterviewisperhapsasrelevantasthewayyoulayoutyour
resume.SaysNinaKocharofUpgradeManagementServices,anorganisationwhich
coaches'executivesinthebasicrulesofcorporateetiquette:"Apersonwhoissloppy
inappearanceshowsasloppypersonality,soyouhavetobedecentlydressed."Of
course,decentlydresseddoesnotnecessarilymeanbeingdressedtothegills.In
mostcases,thiswouldmeanyouwouldwearlongsleevedshirtsandapairofformal
trousers.Infact,NinaKochardoesnotrecommendsuits,especiallyforyounger
people."Alotofyoungpeopledonothavethemoneytoinvestinsuits,
consequently,theywearillfittingorborrowedsuitsandthatlooksevenworse.Atie,
shirtandpantshoulddothetrickformostjuniorlevelpositions."
MostHRexpertswouldalsotellyoutomindtheaccessoriesliketies,beltsand
shoes.Tobesure,badlymatchedshoesandtiescanhaveajarringeffectonan
interviewer.Similarly,pleaseavoidheavyjewelleryorpersonalaccessoriesasthey
wouldlookincongruousonyou.
ENTRANCEANDINTRODUCTION
Eventhoughmostofusareprimedforthebasicgrillingthatwewouldfaceduring
theinterview,weseldompayattentiontothewayweenteraninterviewroomor
howweintroduceourselves.SaysSubhashishMitra,deputymanager,Essar
Cellphones:"Alotofpeopledonotthinkitimportanttoknockproperlywhile
enteringtheinterviewroom.Theyassumethatasaninterviewistakingplace,the
panelwillbeexpectingthem.Tomymindthisisaverymajorfauxpaswhichreally
jars."
Infact,thebestwaytoenteraninterviewistoknock,askforpermissiontoenter
andthenwaitforawhilebeforeyouactuallysitdown.Fewintervieweesknowthis
buttheinterviewpanelneedsalittlequiettimetodiscussthepreviouscandidate
beforetheygetaroundtothenextone.Soyoursilencetillyouactuallygetseated
wouldbeveryvaluable.Tryandkeepabagwithyouforallyourpapersand
certificatesmakesurethisbagisanunobtrusiveaspossible.
ATTITUDEANDRESPONSE

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Thisisagreyareaformostinterviewcandidates.Whiledressingupandresume
writingareskillsyoucanGoforamockexercisebeforetherealtalkatthejobtable
handlewithalittlepractice,cultivatingtherightattitudeasanintervieweerequiresa
lotofpatienceandreadingbetweenthelines.Theusualcomplaintofmost
interviewersisthatfewintervieweesareabletostriperhapsthebestthingyoucan
doforgettingyouranswerright.Mostinterviewersliketogivealeadtothe
candidateinthewaytheyaskthequestion,soit'sentirelyuptoyoutonotefacial
expressionsandthetoneofthewords.
Doyoushowyourcertificatesimmediatelytotheinterviewpanel?
Nottillyouareaskedactually.Youmightalreadyhavesentinyourresume,soyou
shouldn'ttryandoffloadallyourachievementsandskillsontothepaneltillaturnin
theinterviewleadstosuchasituation.
Tryandtakecuesformthetonalvariations,facialexpressionsandthrustof
questionsfromtheinterviewpanel.Thatinitselfwillgiveyouaclueastowherethis
interviewisheading.
TENTHINGSTHATANINTERVIEWERLOOKSINYOU!
1.FamilyBackground2.Education3.Experience4.Stability5.Initiative6.General
Ability7.InterpersonalSkills8.Confidence9.Aptitude10.PleasantLooks
Howonewishedthataninterviewwereasimplemeetingofmindsandhearts.Just
onecasualmeetingwhereanemployee'sfuturegetssealed.Unfortunately,it'snot
somethingaspreordainedasyouwouldlikeittobeit'sapremeditatedexercise
whichfetchesyoudividendsonlyifyourhomeworkisdoneright.

ResumePreparation
Yourresumeisthefirstinterfaceyouhavewithyouremployer
Yourresumeisthefirstinterfaceyouhavewithyouremployer.Makethemostof
thisopportunity.............Theemploymentmarketischangingallthetimeandso
haveresumes,evolvingfromaonesizefitsallstandard.Hereareourtipsto
convertyourresumeintoacatchingone.
FollowTheseBasicStandards....

Don'tovercrowdyourresumeallowforplentyofwhitespace.
Keepyourresumetoonepagewheneverpossible.
Keepthenumberoffontsyouusetoaminimumtwoatthemost.
Useafontthatiseasytoread.TimesRomanworkswell.
Donotjustifythelinesoftypeonyourresume.Allowtherightsideof
thepageto"rag."
Donotoverusecapitalization,italics,underlines,orotheremphasizing
features.
Makesureyourname,address,andaphonenumberappearonyour
resumeandallcorrespondence,preferablyatthetopofthepage.

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Printyourresumeonwhiteorcreampaperusingagoodquality
printer.
Secondandthirdgenerationphotocopiesmustbeavoided
Printononesideofthepaperonly.

AvoidMistakes:
SPELLINGMISTAKES:
Toavoidspellingmistakes:

Don'tusewordswithwhichyouaren'tfamiliar.
Useadictionaryasyouwrite.
Performaspellcheckonyourfinishedresume.
Carefullyreadeverywordinyourresume.
Haveafriendortwoproofreadyourresumeforyou.

PUNCTUATIONMISTAKES:
Thingstolookfor:

Periodsattheendofallfullsentences.
Beconsistentinyouruseofpunctuation.
Alwaysputperiodsandcommaswithinquotationmarks.
Avoidusingexclamationpoints.

GRAMMATICALMISTAKES:
Grammarhangupstowatchfor:

Donotswitchtenseswithinyourresume.
Thedutiesyoucurrentlyperformshouldbeinpresenttense(i.e.,write
reports)
Dutiesyoumayhaveperformedatpastjobsshouldbeinpasttense
(i.e.,wrotereports).
Capitalizeallpropernouns.
Whenexpressingnumbers,writeoutallnumbersbetweenoneand
nine(i.e.,one,five,seven),but
usenumeralsforallnumbers10andabove(i.e.,10,25,108).
Ifyoubeginasentencewithanumeral,spelloutthatnumeral(e.g.
Elevenserviceawardswonwhileemployed.).
Makesureyourdateformatsareconsistent(i.e.11/22/01orNov.22,
2001,or11.22.01.Chooseoneandstickwithit.).
ChooseYourWordsCarefully:
Phraseyourselfwell:
Beonthelookoutforthefollowingeasilyconfusedwords:
accept(toreceive),except(toexclude)
allright(correct),alright(thisisnotaword)
affect(tobringaboutchange),effect(result)
personal(private),personnel(staffmembers)
role(acharacterassignedorafunction),roll(torevolve).

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Useactionwords(i.e.,wrotereports,increasedrevenues,directed
staff).

REFERENCES:
Inmostinstancesitisnotnecessarytoincludenamesandaddressofreferenceson
theresume.Ifyouincludeareference,makeitsurethatthereferencedperson
knowsverywellaboutyou.Itisalsoadvisabletoaddthepersonsasreferences,
whomtheemployercancontacteasily.Ifpossibleaddthephonenumberandemail
IDofthereference.Neveraddapersonasareference,aboutwhomyouknow
nothing
STICKTOTHEPOINT
Employershaveabusyschedule,sodon'texpectthemtoreadthroughalong
resume.Ideally,resumesshouldbeofonepage,oroftwopagesonlyifabsolutely
necessary,todescriberelevantworkexperience.
WORDSCOUNT
Useoflanguageisextremelyimportantyouneedtosellyourselftoanemployer
quicklyandefficiently.Addressyourpotentialemployer'sneedswithaclearly
written,compellingresume.Avoidlargeparagraphs(fiveorsixlines).Ifyouprovide
small,digestiblepiecesofinformation,yourresumewillberead.Useactionverbs.
Verbssuchas"developed","managed",and"designed"emphasiseyour
accomplishments.Don'tusedeclarativesentenceslike"Idevelopedthe..."or"I
assistedin...",leaveoutthe"I".Avoidpassiveconstructions,suchas"was
responsibleformanaging".Justsay,"managed":thatsoundsstrongerandmore
active.
MAKETHEMOSTOFYOUREXPERIENCE
Employersneedtoknowwhatyouhaveaccomplishedtohaveanideaofwhatyou
candoforthem.Don'tbevague.Tellingsomeonethatyou"improvedthecompany's
efficiency"doesn'tsaymuch.Butifyousaythatyou"cutoverheadcostsby20per
centandsavedthecompanyRs20lakhduringthelastfiscalyear",youaremore
specific.
HONESTYISAGOODPOLICY
Employerswillfeelmorecomfortablehiringyouiftheycanverifyyour
accomplishments.Thereisadifferencebetweenmakingthemostofyourexperience
andexaggeratingorfalsifyingit.Afalsifiedresumecancostyouthejoblater.
DOUBLECHECKFORMISTAKES
Checkyourresumeforcorrectgrammarandspellingevidenceofgood
communicationskillsandattentiontodetail.Nothingcanruinyourchancesof
gettingajobfasterthansubmittingaresumefilledwithpreventablemistakes.Make
yourresumeeasyontheeye.Usenormalmargins(1"onthetopandbottom,1.25"
onthesides)anddon'tcramyourtextonthepage.Allowforsomespacebetween

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thedifferentsections.Avoidunusualorexoticfonts.Preferredfonts:ArialandTimes
Roman

InterviewQuestions
TypeofQuestions
Interviewersusefivedifferenttypesofquestionsdirective,nondirective,
hypothetical,behaviordescriptive,andstress.Beingawareofthedifferenttypescan
helpyouinthepreparationstageasyoubuildyourskills inventory.Itmayalso
helpyoufocusinonexactlywhatisbeingaskedandwhattheemployerislooking
forinspecificquestions.

DirectiveQuestions
Theinterviewerdeterminesthefocusofyouranswer.Theinformationthatthe
interviewerwantsisveryclear.Ifyouhavecompletedtheresearchonyourself,this
typeofquestionshouldbeeasytoanswer.

Example:"Whatskillsdoyouhavethatrelatetothisposition?"
"IhaveverygoodcommunicationandinterpersonalskillsthatIhaverefinedthrough
severalsummerandparttimejobsworkingwiththepublic.Inaddition,Iamfluentin
bothEnglishandFrench."

NonDirectiveQuestions
Youdeterminethefocusofyouranswer.Theinterviewerasksageneralquestionand
doesnotaskforspecificinformation.Themostcommonnondirectivequestionis

"Tellmeaboutyourself."
Whenansweringthequestion,keepinmindthattheemployerisinterestedin
knowinghowyourbackgroundandpersonalityqualifyyouforthejob.Inyour
answer,youshouldcoverfourareas:youreducation,relatedexperience,skillsand
abilities,andpersonalattributes.Asyoutalkabouttheseareas,relatethemtothe
jobyouareseeking.Decidewhatyourresponsewillbebeforestartingtospeak,this
helpstokeepresponsesconcise.

Example:"Tellmeaboutyourself."
"IhaveaBachelorofArtsDegreeinPsychology,andhaverecentlycompletedthecourse
inVolunteerManagementthroughtheVolunteerCenterofWinnipeg.Thesehavegiven
meastrongbackgroundinmanyoftheprinciplesofhumanbehaviorandthe

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recruitment,training,andsupervisionofvolunteers.Ihaveexperienceinworkingwith
youngadultsinahelpingcapacity,boththroughmypositionasaPeerAdvisoratthe
UniversityofManitoba,andasacampcounseloratacampforbehaviorallytroubled
adolescents.Bothofthesepositionsinvolvedindividualcounseling,facilitating
discussiongroups,andteachingyoungpeopleabouthealthissuesallofwhichrelate
directlytotheserviceswhichIwouldbetrainingvolunteerstoprovidewithinyour
organization.Inaddition,Ithoroughlyenjoyworkingwithyoungpeople,andcan
establishrapportwiththemeasily."

HypotheticalorScenarioQuestions
Whenaskingahypotheticalquestion,theinterviewerdescribesasituation,which
youmayencounterinthepositionandaskshowyouwouldreactinasimilar
situation.Thisisagoodwaytotestproblemsolvingabilities.Whenansweringthis
typeofquestion,tryapplyingasimpleproblemsolvingmodeltoitgather
information,evaluatetheinformation,prioriestheinformation,seekadvice,weigh
thealternatives,makeadecision,communicatethedecision,monitortheresultsand
modifyifnecessary.

Example:"Supposeyouareworkingyourfirstdayinourlaboratory,andafireata
nearbyworkstationbreaksout.Whatwouldyoudo?"
"BeforeIstartworkinginanylaboratory,Ialwayslocatetheemergencyequipment,such
aseyewashes,fireblanketsandalarms.Iwouldalsoreviewthesafetyprotocols.Soin
thissituation,Iwouldbeawareofthese.AssoonasInoticedthefire,Iwouldshutdown
myexperimentandifthefireissignificant,Iwouldpullthefirmalarmandhelpto
evacuatethelab.Inthecaseofverysmallflame,I wouldaskthestaffmemberatthe
stationwhatIcoulddotohelp,Whichwouldvarywiththetypeofsubstancesinvolved.

BehaviorDescriptiveorBehavioralQuestions
Thistypeofquestionisbecomingincreasinglypopularininterviewsituations.Itasks
whatyoudidinaparticularsituationratherthanwhatyouwoulddo.Situations
chosenusuallyfollowthejobdescriptionfairlyclosely.Someemployersfeelthat
examplesofpastperformancewillhelpthemtopredictfutureperformanceinsimilar
situations.Thereisnorightorwronganswertothistypeofquestion,butkeepin
mindthatyoushouldrelatetheanswertotheposition.Ifyouareinterviewingfora
researchposition,talkaboutaresearchprojectyoucompleted.

Example:"Givemeanexampleofaworksituationinwhichyouwereproudofyour
performance."
"WhileworkingasasalesrepresentativeforXYZCompanyforthesummer,Icalledon
Prospectiveclientsandpersuadedthemoftheecologicalandeconomicbenefitsof
Recycling.Ialsofolloweduponclientstoensurethattheyweresatisfiedwiththeservice
Theyreceived.Thisinvolvedbothtelephoneandinpersoncontacts.Iincreasedsales
34%overthesameperiodinthepreviousyear."

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Whenpreparingforthistypeofquestioning,itiscrucialthatyoureviewtheskills
andqualitiesthatthepositionwouldrequireandidentifyspecificexamplesfromyour
pastwhichdemonstratedthosetraits.

StressQuestions
Somequestionswillsurpriseyouandpossiblymakeyoufeeluncomfortableduring
aninterview.For

Example:" Whichdoyouprefer,fruitsorvegetables?"Therearemanyreasonswhy
aninterviewermightasksuchquestions.Theymaywanttoseehowyoureactin
difficultsituations,ortheymaysimplybetryingtotestyoursenseofhumor.Such
questionsmaydirectlychallengeanopinionthatyouhavejuststatedorsay
somethingnegativeaboutyouorareference.Sometimestheyaskseemingly
irrelevantquestionssuchas,

"Ifyouwereananimal,whattypeofanimalwouldyoube?"
Thebestwaytodealwiththistypeofquestionistorecognizewhatishappening.
Theintervieweristryingtoelicitareactionfromyou.Staycalm,anddonotbecome
defensive.Ifhumourcomesnaturallytoyou,youmighttryusingitinyourresponse,
butitisimportanttorespondtothequestion.Whatyousayisnotnearlyas
importantasmaintainingyourcomposure.

Example:"Whichdoyoulikebetter,LionsorTigers?"
"Oh,lionsdefinitely.Theyappearsomajesticandareverysociable.Tobehonest,Ithink
thatseeingTheLionKingfourtimeshasprobablycontributedtothis!"

AnsweringInterviewQuestions
WayofAnswering
Regardlessofwhattypeofquestionyouareasked,youwillfinditeasierto
respondeffectivelyifyoukeepinmindsomebasicquestionanswering
strategies:
Youcanneverpredicteveryquestionthatyouwillencounter,soapproachthe
interviewwithaninventoryofimportantpoints.Makealistofthepoints
aboutyourselfthatyouwanttheinterviewertoknow.Forexample,ifyou
weretoapplyforajobasaSalesRepresentative,youmightwanttolistthe
productsyouhavesoldbefore,typesofcustomers(byindustry,age,etc.),
languagesspoken,personalexperienceinthatindustryandrelated
knowledge(perhapsfromyouracademicprogram).
Considereachquestionanopportunitytoprovidesomeofthisinformation.
Don'tassumeanything.Youwillbeevaluatedonyouranswers,notyour
resume.Therefore,ensureyouincorporatetherelevantinformationfrom
yourresumeinyouranswers.

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Pauseacoupleofsecondsbeforeyourespondtoeachquestion,evenifyou
knowexactlywhatyouwanttosay.Takethistimetoquicklyplanyour
answer,thishelpstoavoidmisunderstandingsandproducesmuchmore
conciseanswers.
Ifyoudon'tunderstandaquestion,askforclarification.Thisisexpectedand
ispreferabletoprovidinganunsuitableanswer.Ifyouneedtimetocollect
yourthoughtstakeit.Whenpeoplearenervoustheytendeitherto"drawa
blank"ortobabble.Itisbettertothinkforafewmomentsandmakesure
thatyouranswerisdoingyoujusticeandthatthereisapointtowhatyouare
saying.
Alwaysexpand.Neveransweraquestionwitha"yes"or"no."
Theinterviewisanopportunityforyoutosellyourself.Don'tbeafraidto
'blowyourownhorn.'Aslongasyoucanbackupwhatyouaresayingwith
exampleswhichdemonstratethatwhatyouaresayingistrue,youarenot
bragging.Thirdpartyobservationscanalsobementioned.Forexample,"My
lastemployertoldmethatIwaspromotedbecauseofhowIhandledconflicts
withclients."
Beverypositive.Don'tcomplainaboutanythingfromyourformeremployer
totheweatheranddon'tapologizeforexperiencethatyoudon'thave.Just
sellwhatyoudohaveandlettheemployerdecideifyouhavewhathe/sheis
lookingfor.Also,avoidnegativewords.Forexample,youwouldnotsay"I
havealittleexperience...,"youwouldsay"Ihaveexperience......"
Don'tbeafraidtorepeatimportantpoints.Infact,itisagoodideatodothis.

ThroughInterviewProcess
GoThroughTheProcess
Therearemanydifferenttypesofinterviewsdesignedtoservedifferentpurposesor
situations.Regardlessofthetypeofinterview,mostwillincorporatethefollowing
stages:establishingrapport,exchanginginformation,andclosingtheinterview.Pay
attentiontothejobtitlesoftheinterviewer(s).Thiscanhelpyoudecidehowmuch
technicaldetailtoprovideinyourresponses.
EstablishingRapport
Thisisaveryimportantpartoftheinterviewbecausewhileestablishingrapport,first
impressionsaremade,andthetoneoftheinterviewisset.Somepeoplesuggest
thatthedecisiontohireisgreatlyinfluencedbythefirstfiveminutesofthe
interview.Agoodinterviewerwillintroducehim/herself,andtakethelead.Followhis
orherleadiftheyarechatty,bechattyiftheyareformal,beformal.Some
employersusewhatseemstobecasualconversationtogettoknowyouonamore
personallevelthismaybecrucialtoahiringdecision!
Tips:

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Smileandmaintaineyecontact.Thisisonewayofcommunicating
confidence,evenifyoudon'tfeelit.
Iftheintervieweroffershisorherhand,shakeitfirmly.Iftheydon't,
itisappropriatetoofferyours.
Waituntiltheinterviewersitsoroffersyouaseatbeforesittingdown.
Iftheinterviewerismakingsmalltalk,participate.Keepyouranswers
shortandpositive.

ExchangeofInformation
Thisisthebulkoftheinterview.Itisyouropportunitytolettheinterviewerknow
whatyouhavetooffer,andyourchancetolearnmoreabouttheorganization.
Tips:

Whenyouansweraquestion,looktheinterviewerintheeye.
Beawareoftheinterviewer'sreactions.Ifheorshelooksconfused,
askifyoucanclarifyanything.
Beawareofwhatyourbodyissaying.Avoidclosedpostures.Sit
upright,butnotstiffly.
Trytofindacomfortablepositionasthatwillmakeyoufeelmore
relaxed.
Controlyournervoushabits.Don'tswingyourfoot,talkwithyour
hands(toanextreme),orfiddlewithjewelers,buttons,pens,etc.
Showthatyouareinterestedinthejobbyaskingquestions.
Trynottoappearboredoranxious.Don'tlookatyourwatch.

ClosingtheInterview
Whentheinterviewerisdonegatheringtheinformationthatisneeded,heorshewill
askifyouhaveanythingtoadd,orifyouhaveanyquestions.Thisisyour
opportunitytomentallyreviewyourinventoryofskillsandmakesurethatyouhave
communicatedeverythingthatyouwantedto.Ifanyofyourquestionshavenot
beenaddressedduringthecourseoftheinterview,nowisthetimetoaskthem.
Tips:

Thanktheinterviewerforhis/hertimeandconsideration.
Askwhenyoucanexpecttohearfromhim/her.
Ifitisnotknownwhenadecisionwillbereached,askifyou
canphoneinaweek'stimetoinquireabouttheprogress.
Iftheintervieweroffershis/herhand,shakeitfirmly.
Otherwise,itisfinetoofferyoursfirst.
Ifnotalreadydiscussed,youcanoffertoleaveasampleof
yourwork,orportfolioifyouhaveone.

MistakesThatCostPeopleJobs
Thinkaboutthefollowingpoints.Doanyofthemapplytoyou?

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OversellTryingtoohardtoimpressbraggingactingaggressively.
UndersellFailingtoemphasizethefactthatyouhaverelatedskillsdiscussing
experienceusingnegativequalifiers(i.e. "Ihavealittle experience...").

BodyLanguageItiseasytocreateanegativeimpressionwithoutevenrealizingthat
youaredoingit.Areyoustaringatyourfeet,ortalkingtotheinterviewer's
shoulder?Beawareofwhatyouractionssayaboutyou.

LackofHonestyTheslighteststretchingofthetruthmayresultinyoubeing
screenedout.

NegativeAttitudeTheinterviewisnotanopportunityforyoutocomplainaboutyour
currentsupervisororcoworkers(orevenabout'little'things,suchastheweather).

LackofPreparationYouhavetoknowabouttheorganizationandtheoccupation.If
youdon't,itwillappearasthoughyouarenotinterestedintheposition.

LackofEnthusiasmIfyouarenotexcitedabouttheworkattheinterview,the
employerwillnotassumethatyourattitudewillimprovewhenhired.

TopTenInterviewTips Noteit
Greatinterviewsarisefromcarefulgroundwork.Youcanaceyournext
interviewifyou:
1. Enterintoastateofrelaxedconcentration.Thisisthestatefromwhichgreat
basketballplayersorOlympicskatersoperate.You'llneedtoquietthe
negativeselfchatterinyourheadthroughmeditationorvisualizationpriorto
sittingdowninthemeeting.You'llfocusonthepresentmomentandwillbe
lessapttoexperiencelapsesinconcentration,nervousness,selfdoubtand
selfcondemnation.
2. Actspontaneous,butbewellprepared.Beyourauthenticself,professional
yetreal.Engageintrueconversationwithyourinterviewer,restingonthe
preparationyoudidpriortocomingtothemeeting.Conductseveraltrialruns
withanotherpersonsimulatingtheinterviewbeforeitactuallyoccurs.It'sthe
sameasanticipatingthequestionsyou'llbeaskedonafinalexam.
3. Setgoalsfortheinterview.Itisyourjobtoleavethemeetingfeelingsecure
thattheinterviewerknowsasmuchasheorshepossiblycanaboutyour
skills,abilities,experienceandachievements.Ifyousensethereare
misconceptions,clearthemupbeforeleaving.Iftheinterviewerdoesn'tget
aroundtoaskingyouimportantquestions,posethemyourself
(diplomatically)andanswerthem.Don'tleavethemeetingwithoutgetting
yourownquestionsansweredsothatyouhaveaclearideaofwhatyouwould
begettingyourselfinto.Ifpossible,trytogetfurtherinterviews,especially
withotherkeyplayers.

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4. Knowthequestionbehindthequestion.Ultimately,everyquestionboilsdown
to,"Whyshouldwehireyou?"Besureyouanswerthatcompletely.Ifthereis
aquestionaboutyourmeetingdeadlines,considerwhethertheintervieweris
probingdelicatelyaboutyourpersonallife,carefulnottoaskyouwhether
yourfamilyresponsibilitieswillinterferewithyourwork.Findawaytoaddress
fearsifyousensetheyarepresent.
5. Followupwithaneffective"thankyou"letter.Don'twritethisletterlightly.It
isanotheropportunitytomarketyourself.Findsomeareasdiscussedinthe
meetingandexpandupontheminyourletter.Writingaletterafterameeting
isaveryminimum.Standingoutamongtheothercandidateswilloccurifyou
thoughtfullyconsiderthisfollowupletterasanadditionalinterviewinwhich
yougettodoallthetalking.Proposeusefulideasthatdemonstrateyour
addedvaluetotheteam.
6. Considertheinterviewer'sagenda.Muchisontheshouldersofthe
interviewer.Heorshehastheresponsibilityofhiringtherightcandidate.
Yourabilitytodothejobwillneedtobejustified."Arethereadditionalpluses
here?""Willthispersonfitthecultureofthisorganization?"Theseaswellas
otherquestionswillbeheavilyontheinterviewer'smind.Findwaysto
demonstrateyourqualitiesaboveandbeyondjustdoingthejob.
7. Expecttoanswerthequestion,"Tellmeaboutyourself."Thisisapetquestion
ofpreparedandevenunpreparedinterviewers.Everythingyouincludeshould
answerthequestion,"Whyshouldwehireyou?"Carefullyprepareyour
answertoincludeexamplesofachievementsfromyourworklifethatclosely
matchtheelementsofthejobbeforeyou.Obviously,you'llwanttoknowas
muchaboutthejobdescriptionasyoucanbeforeyourespondtothe
question.
8. Watchthosenonverbalclues.Expertsestimatethatwordsexpressonly30%
to35%ofwhatpeopleactuallycommunicatefacialexpressionsandbody
movementsandactionsconveytherest.Makeandkeepeyecontact.Walk
andsitwithaconfidentair.Leantowardaninterviewertoshowinterestand
enthusiasm.Speakwithawellmodulatedvoicethatsupportsappropriate
excitementfortheopportunitybeforeyou.
9. Besmartaboutmoneyquestions.Don'tfallintothetrapoftellingthe
intervieweryourfinancialexpectations.Youmaybeaskingfortoolittleortoo
muchmoneyandineachcaseruinyourchancesofbeingofferedthejob.
Instead,askwhatsalaryrangethejobfallsin.Attempttopostponeamoney
discussionuntilyouhaveabetterunderstandingofthescopeof
responsibilitiesofthejob.
10.Don'thangoutyourdirtylaundry.Becarefulnottobareyoursoulandtell
talesthatareinappropriateorbeyondthescopeoftheinterview.Stateyour
previousexperienceinthemostpositiveterms.Evenifyoudisagreedwitha
formeremployer,expressyourenthusiasmforearliersituationsasmuchas
youcan.Wheneveryouspeaknegativelyaboutanotherpersonorsituationin
whichyouweredirectlyinvolved,youruntherisk(earlyintherelationship)
ofappearinglikeatroubledpersonwhomayhavedifficultyworkingwith
others.