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How to prepare yourself for an interview

Given below are the important tips for preparing yourself to prepare for an interview in a way that will cover all your bases and allow you to walk out of there with a job offer.

Research the industry and company

Invest time in knowing about the company, its product portfolio, client base and also about its competitors. Such preparation would send the positive signal to interviewer as this shows that you have genuine interest in the job opening and have come well prepared. Gathering such information would also give you an idea whether it matches your skill sets and your liking.

Follow the proper dress code

For Females: Choose a solid-colour pant suit with conservatively-coloured shoes and shirt or blouse to match. Avoid wearing heels and too much makeup, jewellery, and perfume.

For Males:A suit of a solid colour is also recommended, especially in the most formal interviews. A suit with matching tie and shirts or a blazer would also be the right dress code. As with females, keep the jewellery and cologne to a minimum.

Note:Professional attire will help make a great first impression. Wear well ironed dress and remember to polish your shoes before leaving home. Trim your fingernails.

Arrive Early

Don’t target for getting there just on time. There are so many things that could go wrong for e.g. you might need to use the restroom. Being late would surely sabotage your interview success so it always better to plan your travel such that you reach 15 to 20 minutes early.

Carry your Resume and your notes

Always remember to carry 2 to 3 extra copies of your resume to have on hand as there might be more than one interviewer. They would be having your resume with them but it always better to keep it. Carrying a note book is always good as you might need it to note some points during interview.

Keep your mobile on silent mode

As a basic etiquette, always put your mobile on silent mode before the start of the interview. It would be a big distraction if your mobile rings during interview and would send negative vibes to interviewer. However, on the contrary if interviewer’s receives a call during your interview then it gives you extra time to prepare for your answer.

Wear a confident smile

A friendly, confident smile is one of the most important things to wear to an interview. While it won’t get them to overlook your other clothing, it will work wonders in making you look like a perfect addition to their team.

Control Your Body Language

Body language plays a major role during an interview. Use a firm hand shake with eye contact and sit straight with your head held high. While you are talking with your mouth during your interview, but your gestures, posture, and body language speak inaudible volumes. Do not fidget and play with something in your hands, and don’t chew on your lips. Good Communication skills mean being able to speak with both verbal and non-verbal signs.

Be prepared with your questions for the interviewer

Make ready some intelligent questions for the interviewer that demonstrate your knowledge of the company as well as your serious intent to get the job. It is customary for the interviewers to ask the candidate if they have anything to ask you should be well prepared for it. Saying that I don’t have anything to ask would send negative signals to the interviewer. Based on your research of the company you can devise few question which would demonstrate both your interest and knowledge about the company and its industry.

Practice hard before attending interview

Most of the "how to attend interview" resources would have a list of a hundred or more "common interview questions." Pick any list and think about which questions you're most likely to encounter, given your age and status. Being mentally prepared to answer a question like, "Why should we hire you?" is one thing but it’s another challenge entirely to say it out loud in a confident and convincing way. So practice, practice and practice. Practice the probable questions and answers multiple times so that you sound a lot smoother and more articulate. You can record such practice session and use it improve your performance OR you can also take help of your friends for practicing it.

Focus on your key strength and project it as a selling point

“Why should you be hired” is crux of the entire interview and all the questions are directed toward this goal to find out if you are the right fit for the job. Based on your skill set, domain knowledge and your key strength you should be ready with 4 to 5 points which you must stress upon during the course of interview. Substantiating these points with practical and real life personal or professional experience would further enhance the probability of your selection.

Be assertive and take responsibility for the interview

It has been observed that in an effort to be polite with an interviewer some normally assertive candidates become overly passive during job interviews. They forget that politeness doesn't equal passivity. An interview is like any other conversation where both the parties need to respond to one another. Don't make the mistake of just sitting there waiting for the interviewer to ask you about your achievements. It is your responsibility to make sure he is aware of your achievements.

Be honest

Display honesty during interview while answering questions asked by the interviewer. If you don't know the answer then accept it humbly instead of lying and telling fake stories to interviewer.

Think positive

You should remain positive before, during and after the interview. Positive minds creates positive energy and changes your outlook towards a problem. It affects your attitude and makes it positive. Instead of finding reasons or problems in a situation you start to look for solutions. No one likes a person who only complains or is always making excuses. Every situation has a positive and negative side to it and the winner is one who has the ability to see the positive side.

Make the best use of the first customary question.

In most of the interviews the first question that is asked is “Tell me about yourself”. One way to answer this is that you can go into a story about where you were born, what your parents do, how many brothers and sisters you have, about your education and your work experience.

The other way for responding to this question could be something like: "Well, obviously I could tell you about lots of things, and if I'm missing what you want, please let me know. This question is a golden opportunity to strike a good rapport with the interviewer so prepare it well and take this opportunity further into the interview by highlighting your key strengths and achievements.