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Preparing for a job interview

MEMORY NGUWI

This article will take you through all the steps you need to take as you prepare for a job interview.

Research about the company

It is embarrassing for you to go for a job interview without sufficient knowledge about what your target employer does and how they are doing generally on the market. Go on the internet and research about your target employer.

Know the job being interviewed for

Make sure you have a very clear understanding of the role you are being interviewed for. In the majority of cases, you respond to a detailed job advert with details on the job. Read and understand that job profile. Make your interpretation of what the duties mean.

Rehearse the job interview questions

You must rehearse the likely questions you may be asked in the job interview. You already know there are standard questions you are likely to be asked, start with those. Examples of job interview questions you are likely to be asked include; tell us about yourself. As you answer this question give your profile experience but focus specifically on why each of your career experiences is important for this role. This question can be rephrased to read “Why should we hire you?”

Read your CV and understand it

Sometimes I see very confident men and women being embarrassed when they are asked about things on their CVs that they are not aware of. Your CV is you, you must know it inside out. Read your CV and understand what each sentence and statement there means.

Dress properly for the job interview

Dress formally for the job interview unless you have been given a specific dress code. Poor dress sense tends to put interviewers off. You must remember that interviewers are human beings with lots of biases. You may fall victim to this if you do not pay attention to how you dress when you go for a job interview. Whatever outfit you decide to put on must be very clean and presentable.

Go early to the interview venue

There is nothing as distracting as arriving for a job interview late for whatever reason. Never allow such a scenario to happen in your career. This is something that you can avoid with good preparation. Get to the interview venue on time preferably 30 to 40 minutes before your turn.
If you do not want to be waiting at the reception for too long, be within walking distance of the interview venue. If you are within this range you can then move to the interview venue so that you arrive at least 20 minutes before your time for the interview. This will give you enough time to relax before your turn.

Switch off your phone

Please switch off your phone when you are ready to go into the job interview. You must switch off your phone the moment you get to the interview venue. I have observed people get marked down for being disorganised because their phone rings during a job interview.

Job interviewvenue etiquette

Maintain professional conduct while you are waiting for your turn. Most of the time when you get to the interview venue you are asked to wait in a reception area or you are given a separate room. While you are waiting for your turn make sure you converse in a lower voice should there need to talk to anyone at the interview venue. These could be fellow job interview candidates or employees at the company you are interviewing for.

In the job interview

Walk with energy as you go into the room. I have heard interviewers giving comments such as “This person cannot handle this job when they walked in they showed no energy. This job requires someone with lots of energy’’. This comment may not have anything to do with how the candidate will do the job, but it matters when the panel gets concerned to this extent.

The actual job interview

You are now in the job interview responding to questions. There are a few tips you need to master. The best way to answer interview questions is to be factual and support every answer with an example of how you have handled similar assignments or challenges before. That way I can almost guarantee that you will get the job.
Nguwi is an occupational psychologist, data scientist, speaker and managing consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and HR consulting firm. https://www.linkedin.com/in/memorynguwi/ Phone +263 24 248 1 946-48/ 2290 0276, cell number +263 772 356 361 or e-mail: mnguwi@ipcconsultants.com or visit ipcconsultants.com.

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