Going for a job interview can be a harrowing experience. The reasons are varied: A job applicant may not have the necessary relevant working experience or may be worried about the inability to answer difficult questions. Even the pressure of needing a job to pay for the living expenses can cause a job applicant to "freeze" or go numb with anxiety during the interview.
Being appropriately attired and well groomed is a definite must. Punctuality is also an important criterion. Here are some more pointers to help make your job interview a relaxing and effective experience.
The interview is going to be a useless exercise if the interviewer cannot make out what you are talking about. Thus if you are nervous, take a deep breath and focus on the interview questions. Don't rush through your answers or make unqualified statements. Most interviewers take down answers just in case a group of job applicants are short-listed.
Bring Supporting Documents:
Remember to bring supporting documents that you did not include in your initial resume. This can be a letter of commendation, ECA achievement or even the journal of an overseas field trip. These documents can supplement your strengths and provide a positive impression to the interviewer that you can provide intrinsic benefits to the workplace.
Don't Rebut the Interviewer's Questions:
It is rude to rebut the interviewer's questions. Here is a case in point: The interviewer asks you about your achievements in school ECA and your curt reply is that the information can be found in your resume. The interviewer may have the intention of hiring you and wanted you to elaborate more on your other achievements to confirm that his decision is sound.
Give Consistent Answers:
When answering the interview questions, you must remember to be consistent. Do not make unsubstantiated statements because you will have a high chance of singing to a different tune in another related interview question. This may reflect that you are not serious about getting the job, which may not be your intention.
Do not get too caught up with your achievements and forget that you are working in a team. The "team player" concept is important. Thus your strengths must be relevant to helping your department excel in what it has set out to achieve.
Show That You have Researched About The Company:
You must do some groundwork before your interview. It is essential that you find out about your job specifications and about the industry competitors. This will put you in a good position when you are asked about how your strengths can benefit the organization and department.
Importance Of Skills Upgrading:
During the interview, you should also convey the message that skills upgrading is important to you. This gives the interviewer the positive impression that you will continually improve yourself, which will provide direct rewards to your organization. On the other hand, the interviewer is also reminded of your expectation for his organization.
Your Salary Expectations:
During the interview, you may be asked about your salary expectations. It is good practice not to reveal a figure but provide a range. You can justify by saying that you are willing to accept the lower end of your salary expectation if there are other fringe benefits or training programme.
Ask For Clarification If Necessary:
Do not feel ashamed to ask for clarification if you do not comprehend the interviewer's questions. You can politely ask him to re-phrase the question. This is much better than providing an inappropriate answer. It also shows that you have initiative.
Thank The Interviewer:
No matter how the interview turns out, remember to thank the interviewer for providing you with the interview opportunity. It does not take too much effort to be courteous. Who knows? Your paths may meet again.
About The Author
Colin Ong TS is the Managing Director of MR=MC Consulting (http://www.mrmc.com.sg) and the Founder of the 12n Online Professional Networking Community (http://www.mrmc.com.sg/12n)