The interview is a meeting between an employer and an applicant to talk about a job. We need to consider this from both points of view

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The Interview

The interview is a meeting between an employer and an applicant to talk about a job. We need to consider this from both points of view.

1. Being Interviewed

A job interview is your opportunity to present your talents to a prospective employer. During the interview, an employer judges qualifications, appearance, and general fitness for the job opening. It is your opportunity to convince the employer that you ca make a real contribution. Equally important, the interview gives you a chance to evaluate the job, the employer, and the company. The interview helps you decide if the job meets your career needs and interests and whether the employer is the kind you want to work for.

Most people are aware of the initial considerations in any interview situation (e.g. appropriate dress, punctuality, personal presentation, etc.), but it is often difficult to get guidance on what happens after this, because every interview is different, and every interviewer will take a different approach. All of us can answer questions about our interests, our family background, our work-experience, and demonstrate our general awareness of current affairs, particularly relating to industry and commerce, but many people are never sure what questions they can or are expected to ask, or what general investigative questions they might be asked. To cope with this, plan your approach very carefully, and do your homework. To present your qualifications most advantageously, you have to prepare. You should have the needed papers ready and the necessary information about yourself memorised. And you should know how to act at the interview to make it an opportunity to "sell" your skills.

1.   Research the company. Be sure you are fully aware of what they do. Are they a subsidiary of a parent company? Are they part of a group" What links are there with other subsidiaries or outside companies? What sort of customers do they have? What do they produce?

2.   Clarify details of the job, and be prepared to ask questions about it. Obviously you don't walk into the interview and immediately start questioning the panel, but you should choose your moment carefully and don't be afraid to raise points, particularly if you feel you haven't understood something that have been said. The questions you ask will demonstrate your overall attitude, so don't concentrate on holidays and the length of the working week! However, don't be afraid to query these when all more important topics have been dealt with.

•   Some questions you might want to ask

Why is the vacancy arisen? Is it because of promotion?

What opportunities are there for advancement?

Will you be given any training?

Is there an induction programme?

Will you be encouraged to improve your qualifications, or go on in

company training courses?

Who will you be working with? How many people?

To whom will you be directly responsible?

Where will you be based?

When does the job commence? When will you be notified?

3.  Be prepared to answer open or leading questions/instructions such as:

Why do you want this job?

What qualities do you think you have to offer which will help you in

this post?

Tell me about yourself.

What makes you think you will be good at the job?

What is your ultimate ambition? Where do you want to be in five years


What do you do in spare time?

Have you read any particular books lately? (Be prepared to talk in some

detail about this and explain why you enjoyed them, outline the story,

and comment on the 'quality' of the author.)

What newspapers do you read? (Be prepared to be questioned on some

aspect of current affairs if you claim to read any newspaper regularly.)

What are the most satisfying aspects of your present job?

Is there anything that particularly frustrates you in your present job? Can you tell us about your present bosses. What kind of people are they? (Be careful not to tricked into making sweeping criticisms or appearing to gripe about previous colleagues.)

4. Know what you can contribute to the employer: your education and training, your work experience, and what you know how to do.

5.  Practice your part in an employment interview with someone who can give you advice on your performance. Practice talking about yourself, your background, why you want the job, and what you have to offer. Do this alone a few times.

6. Learn the normal salary scale for the kind of job you are seeking.

7. Dress correctly for the interview. Women should not wear bright, tight, or revealing (sexy) clothing. Women should also not wear too much jewellery, perfumes, or makeup. Men should avoid bright or tight clothing; too much jewellery or cologne; T-shirts, blue jeans, or tennis shoes. Colours and designs should be conservative and co-ordinated. Women should wear skirts or skirt suites. It is better for women not to wear pants. For both women and men, shirts should not be unbuttoned more than one button. Clothes should be clean, ironed, well fitting, and comfortable. Do not be too informal, but do not be too formal, either. Dress a little better than you would for the job. Try not to dress better then employer.

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