Job Interview Preparation Cinnabar Consulting has compiled this brochure to assist the job seeker in preparing and

obtaining the skills required to successfully handle interview situations. A big mistake when starting the job hunting process is not understanding your suitability for the position as you would generally think of yourself either the best in your field or uncertain whether you are qualified for the job. This is where the most important aspect of the interview process comes into play, PREPARATION. A prospective job seeker must prepare himself/herself thoroughly for the interview process covering aspects such as self-image and knowing the organization you are going to for the interview. More than often the interview process is stopped in its tracks due the lack of understanding in what it takes to prepare oneself properly. It can often make the difference between success and failure. To quote an industry saying, “there is no best way to prepare”: but there are specific and important methods that you may want to address to enhance your success in the job seeking process. You must always remember, not only are you in the market for a new job, the company you are interviewed with has a requirement which they think you may be suitable for. The better you market yourself, the better the chances of success. In addition the company also has to market itself to you in order to make the position look attractive - it is a two way street as you may want to opt out of the process should you feel uncomfortable with the company. Items to consider when preparing for an interview: • Self – Know your strengths and weaknesses. A useful way to approach the question regarding your strengths is to identify the key qualities needed for the position you have applied for. Assess yourself against these and then realize which of these qualities you possess. Steer clear of answers such as “I’m a hard worker” – it will not make you stand out from the crowd. Assess your achievements over your working career and use these in selling your skills. A work history diary can be very useful in this situation as we often forget achievements as we go along. Use the STAR methodology when discussing your achievements: Situation, Task, Action, Result – how did you make a difference in your department / company. Another question always asked is to identify your weaknesses. Do not make this personal, but rather steer towards areas of improvement – additional skills or training that you are looking forward to.

and protocols for follow-up. Every interview is a learning experience. Always come away from any networking meeting with at least two additional contacts. and research on the targeted company/organization and position. The second version must have sufficient detail for any person to get to know you enough to want to meet with you. Most companies have websites with a wealth of information. what to expect. which was obviously successful in making the cut. Practicing typical and targeted interview questions:. Specific items to be addressed prior to an interview: • Research: Use every possible means to learn all you can about the company and position. Preparation also includes actual practice of typical and targeted interview questions. values. review it thoroughly and know everything that's on it. interests. and accomplishments. magazines. Final preparation includes details of dress and appearance. search by company name. Question your recruitment agent with regards to company culture and possible future prospects. newspapers and any reference materials. • Use your business network to the best advantage: Use searchable online databases. a re-assessment and updating of one's resume. Learning that takes place during the preparation and actual interview process is useful for future interviews. knowledge of the location of the interview. Access books. Contact any acquaintances who may work for that company. • Re-assessing your resume: Even if you have sent your best-yet resume. Be able to answer the "Basic 3:” • • • • Why are you interested in this field? Why are you interested in this company? Why are you interested in this position? Why do you want to leave your current employer? . Be prepared to discuss supplemental experiences that might be important to this employer. The first should be an abbreviated version outlining your career. Initial preparation requires assessment of skills.• CV – Keep your CV current and have two versions available. Both versions should be clear and concise without too much unnecessary information. journals. All business contacts are valuable for their insights as well their connections.

you can only improve your style and acumen with practice. as well as questions regarding the company and position. poise. Always be positive – in particular. a degree of tension is beneficial toward maintaining a level of alertness that causes you to sit up straight and forward in your seat.especially if the company has adopted corporate casual. Prepare questions to ask. mannerisms and gestures. The agents at Cinnabar Consulting will gladly assist with a role-play in order to improve interview skills and confidence levels. Final preparations: Select appropriate attire long before the interview day. leaning toward the interviewer. energy and enthusiasm in your answers as well as in your body language. facial expressions. However. How can you improve. enhance. These questions should reflect your research on the company and position and should never include questions whose answers are readily available in company literature or Web site. Do NOT chew gum during the interview. Be certain that your . You can always prevail upon family or friends to help you prepare. Keep bright colours to a minimum. develop. Scrutinize how you look and sound. During the interview. Be prepared to answer questions you really don't want to answer: • • • • your greatest weakness your lack of related experience your lack of leadership experiences your record of job-hopping Practice with a friend or in front of a mirror. it is important to maintain eye contact with your interviewer. whether male or female. ASK!!! Ask too for genuine feedback that will be helpful in working out the kinks. or revise your answers and/or delivery? Because interviewing is a skill. A business suit is always acceptable. but also the person you are meeting. Note inflection of your voice. The ideal is to strike a balance between poise/calm and energy/enthusiasm. is professional and shows confidence.Be prepared to discuss anything on your resume. Practice is important too in assuaging fears and nervousness. Navy and white are traditional corporate colours and always look professional. Do NOT ask about salary or benefits! First impressions are crucial – a firm handshake. Know the culture of the organization for which you are interviewing and dress accordingly -perhaps a notch above that -. This shows that you are interested not only in the position. avoid negative comments about your past employers.

Know the location of your interview.Why are you looking for a new career? 12. always advise your recruitment consultant or alternatively contact reception and leave a message for your interviewer. What skills and qualifications are essential for success in the position of ______? 7. Do a drive-by if possible and if using public transport.or others -. You have been allocated a specific meeting time and it is just as unprofessional to arrive too early as it is to arrive late. You want to be memorable for the right reasons. ensure to plan your route properly. It has been our experience that candidates often dress down for their interview with a recruitment agency – remember that the consultant is the person ultimately deciding whether or not to shortlist you for the position.How would your colleagues describe you? 13. What do you know about our company? 3. Why should we hire you? 4. What do you look for in a job? 6. contact your recruitment consultant to provide relevant feedback whilst still fresh in your memory. Plan to arrive at the designated office 10 minutes in advance in case any forms need to be completed. Important information would include the duration of your interview.What do you believe is the most difficult part of being a supervisor of people? 11. Do a test run to determine comfort level. It is therefore just as important to dress the part for this preliminary interview. 10. Allow ample time for traffic. What can you do for us that someone else can't? 5. In the event of unforeseen circumstances making you late. the possibility of getting lost. who you met is clean and well pressed. Minimize accessories and avoid strong perfumes. Describe your management style. How does this assignment fit into your overall career plan? 9. important issues discussed and if the next step was explained to you. Below are questions you may be asked in the interview 1. and parking difficulties.How would your boss describe you? . A professional approach would be to freshen up before entering the interview – take deodorant with to hide nervous sweat. Follow-up: Once you have finished your interview. How long would it take for you to make a meaningful contribution? be distracted or uncomfortable. Tell me about yourself? (try to hold your response to 2 minutes) 2. Too short or too tight may cause you -. Remember: less is more. Do not be tempted to go in if you have arrived an hour early.

How often has it been filled in the past five years? What were the main reasons? 3.How would you describe yourself? 15. What are some of the objectives you would like to see accomplished in this job? 5. What type of support does this position receive in terms of people. What are some of the long term objectives you would like to see completed? 7. What would you like done differently by the next person who fills this position? 4.What are your career goals? 24. What are some of the more difficult problems one would have to face in this position? 8.Can you work well under deadlines or pressure? 19.If you took the job what would you accomplish in the first year? 29.? 10.Have you kept up in your field with additional training? 23. How do you think these could best be handled? 9. Below are questions you may want to ask the Interviewer 1.Why do you want to work for us? 21.What do you think of your present or past boss? 16.How much do you expect if we offer you this position? 20. etc.How did you do in school? 27.What position do you expect to have in 2 to 5 years? 28. 32.What was wrong with your current or last position? 30.What were the five most significant accomplishments in your career so far? 18. Why is this position open? 2.Can you explain your salary history? 33. 6.Do you have any question for me? (See Questions for the Interviewer that you might want to ask below). and methods of measurement? .What were the five most significant accomplishments in your last assignment? 17.What kind of hours are you used to working or would like to work? 31. deadlines.14. What is most pressing? What would you like to have done in the next 3 months. finances.Do you have your reference list with you? (Remember don't give it out unless it is asked for).What other positions are you considering? 22.What freedom would I have in determining my own work objectives.What are your weak points? 26.What are your strong points? 25.What questions didn't I ask that you expected? 34.

What significant changes do you foresee in the near future? 14. go with the flow.How is one evaluated in this position? 15. and before you know it. By practicing your responses to some of these questions. Some questions may or may not be appropriate for your interviewing situation. you'll be in your next job.What accounts for success within the company? These questions are presented only as interviewing guidelines.11. Most importantly. They are meant to help you prepare for the interview.In what ways has this organization been most successful in terms of products and services over the years? 13.What advancement opportunities are available for the person who is successful in this position. hopefully you will not be taken off guard if asked one of them. and within what time frame? 12. . relax.

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