astar

Interview Advice

You can never be too prepared for an interview.  For that reason we have provided some basic steps you need to take in order to effectively prepare for an interview.

Step 1 – Do your homework!

The first step in preparing for an interview is to research the company and the interviewer if possible.

The information you research could include the following:

  • Growth Trends
  • Products and Services
  • Profits
  • Dress Code etc.

Step 2 – Think of Strengths that are Compatible with the Company

Now that you have the pertinent company information, transmit what you can do and demonstrate how you will be an asset for the company.

The best way to do this is by demonstrating how you have previously solved similar problems and completed similar work.  Based on your research, select the accomplishments you want to highlight and decide on how you would like to present them.  To effectively match your strengths to the company, avoid using ambiguous terms and clichés.  For example, if the job criteria ask about your communication skills, instead of saying “I get along with everybody” say something that has more details and shows the results of good communication such as “By visiting the Purchasing and Finance Departments several times a week and exchanging ideas and suggestions, we were able to work together in saving the company thousands of dollars every quarter”.

Step 3 – Prepare Questions to Ask

Researching the company beforehand also helps to prepare intelligent questions to ask at the interview.  This gives you the opportunity to learn more about the company and the position you have applied for.  It also communicates that you are reliable and take initiative.

It can sometimes be a bit difficult deciding what questions to ask, so we have provided some below to help get you started:

  • Is this a new position or are you replacing someone who is leaving?
  • If I were successful, who would I report to?
  • Can you explain the organisational structure?
  • What type of training and induction will be provided?
  • What attributes would you hope the successful person will bring to this position?
  • Why do you enjoy working for this company?

You can find more questions to ask under the Resources tab within the Job Interview Tools section.

Step 4 – Prepare Answers to Difficult Questions

Apart from asking discerning questions, you’ll need to prepare yourself to answer difficult questions.  You can’t predict every question you will be asked during the interview but by preparing answers to the most common difficult questions you will be better equipped for the interview.

Below are some difficult questions employers may ask during an interview:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • What do you know about our organisation?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Why did you leave your previous job?
  • Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

You can find more examples of difficult questions and how to answer them under the Resources tab within the Job Interview Tools section.

Step 5 – Practice Out Loud

Start this process by writing a few notes on how you want to introduce yourself, ask your questions and answer the interviewer’s questions.

If possible, record yourself.  This way you can review your practice interview, pay attention to what you say and how you say it and modify it where necessary.