Before the Interview - What you need to know and do!

“Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.“ Marcus Tullius Cicero

You have sent in your resume, had that month long wait; given the required tests if any and now you have an interview in your hand. So where do you go from here? There are many little things that we tend to forget while preparing for an interview. As important as it is to know what job you are interviewing for, it is also important to know not only the company but also yourself.
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Knowing yourself is very important before you even think of applying for a job. When you are unsure of what you want, it comes across very clearly while you are interviewing. There are no set rules to interviews but yes, there are a few dos and don’ts you may want to keep in mind while going for that all important ‘make or break’ interview.

Here are some tips that can help you perform better.

Before Applying:

Make sure that you want the job. If you have any doubt about what it is that the job requires, rethink and then make your decision. Remember you will be working in this position for some time and it will also save the company some time, if they have to look for someone to fill in your position later.

1. Don’t apply for a job you have no clue about. Just because you think its ‘cool’ does not mean that you are cut out for it.
2. Make sure you read up about the company and the job description before applying.
3. Research magazines and newspapers for articles related to the job you are applying for and brush up your general knowledge. It always helps to know more about the field you are applying to.
4. Send in a cover letter along with your resume. It really helps your interviewer and also helps the selection process. Your cover letter should contain brief information about how you learnt about the job, about yourself and why you would be a good candidate and also why you want to work with the organization. Make sure that your cover letter is short yet covers all important information.
5. Your resumes should not be too lengthy. Make sure that your resume has the important details mentioned in it. Also make sure that the most recent achievements and job experiences are mentioned first followed by the rest.
6. Don’t be verbose in your resume. Do not describe your achievements in detail. Be brief. Make sure you follow a format while writing your resume. Your details, work experience, achievements, other skills should be mentioned in an orderly manner.

Before the Interview:

Once you have cleared all the rounds you have to begin preparing for the big interview. What do you need to keep in mind when getting ready for a one on one interview session?

Here are some pointers.

1. Be Prepared: In the words of Confucius, “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” Make sure you have researched the company thoroughly before going for the interview. You should also know what the job is all about. Go through the job description. Call the organization for more details if required. You can tell them that you have been called for an interview and would like to know more about the position. Research the newspapers for relevant material on the organization and the kind of work they are into. Research, Research and
Research, until you are sure you know the company and the job inside out.

2. Carry these with you: Make sure you have extra copies of your resume, your cover letter and also originals of certificates of awards you have won. Always ensure that the certificates are of either the first or second position winning arenas. Having copies of important documents helps in case your interviewer is not able to locate your resume or asks you to leave behind an extra copy.

3. Do not carry these with you: Make up, unnecessary baggage, CD players, etc. should be left at home or outside the interviewing area. If you have a bag put them inside it. If you are traveling to a different city and cannot help but carry
your bags to the interview, then leave it outside the interview room. This only acts like a distraction and you do not want the interviewer’s attention to waver.

4. Switch off your mobile: One common mistake that occurs is that people tend to take calls during interviews or fail to switch off their phone. This is considered rude. Switch off you phone when you enter the interviewer’s office, or put it in
the silent mode. Whatever happens try not to take a call during the thirty minutes you have in there.

5. Dress Appropriately: According to , “The best dressed candidate is the one least noticed for his or her appearance.” Do not wear informal clothing to an interview. It is very important to remember that first impressions are DEFINETLY lasting impressions. It is best to dress in formal attire for an interview. Men can resort to a suit or shirt, pant and tie in conservative colors. Women can wear Indian attire or trousers and a shirt or a business suit, as long as it is conservative and not revealing. A conservative hairstyle is also something to keep in mind. Make sure you wear good formal shoes that are clean. DO NOT wear slippers to an interview.

Your clothes need not be expensive to make an impression. What matters is that they are clean and ironed. Most important of all DO NOT forget to wear your best smile and carry your confidence.

All the above mentioned tips are important to keep in mind but it is more important to believe in yourself. It is important to be confident and you can do this only if you have confidence in what you do. Be Confident. Be Sure.