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Preparations for effective interview

Job seekers will often find interviews nerve-racking and tough to manage even the experienced ones. However, if you have done the preparation and planning properly, you will overcome these concerns. You will have confidence in tackling the interviewer's questions when you have done your homework. You will impress the interviewer that you have keen interest in their organization. Your knowledge about the Company will demonstrate your respect for the interview thus enhancing your chance of getting through the selection process.

It is essential for you to pay attention to the following simple but effective steps in preparation for the interview.

Look up information relating to:

The Company

Ensure you have a comprehensive overview of the company structure, vision and market positioning. The organisation's website is always a good place to start. Watch out also for press releases, annual reports, mission statements and news articles. Familiarise yourself with the products and/or services the company offers. It will also be useful to find out about the company culture and the people who are interviewing you. You can discuss this with the responsible consultant in our Company who can assist you in understanding the organization and culture.

The Industry

Conduct a quick search on the industry that the Company belongs to have a general knowledge of the industry. You should also be aware of industry specific issues and news. These can help you demonstrate your knowledge and build rapport with your interviewers. It is advisable for you to be familiar with potential competitors and visit their websites too.

The Position

Be familiar with the job description stated in the advertisement or provided to you as well as your own application. Think about the relevance of your skills/competencies/experience to the position and you will need to demonstrate these to the interviewer during the interview. Be prepare to quote specific examples with quantitative results to support your statements.

Your contribution

Think about the contribution you can make to the Company to show your value added to the Company. This again is to build your case to why the interviewers should choose you.


Prepare a list of Questions

It is advisable to prepare some questions relevant to the organisation or position and raise them at the interview as appropriate or when being asked by the interviewer. These questions will show your knowledge and engage your interviewers in conversation. Care should be exercised in asking these questions. Avoid asking basic questions that you should know the answer to. Leave qestions about remuneration to the final interviews or only when being asked.

You may consider the standard questions like:

  •  - Why is the job available?
  •  - What goals and objectives are defined for the role?
       (Tie this in with how you can help your prospective manager achieve their objectives)
  •  - What are the key initiatives for the first 6 months of the role?
  •  - Who are the key stakeholder groups for the role?
  •  - Where do you see the role in 1, 3, or 5 years?
  •  - How would you describe the company culture?
  •  - What makes a person a success at the company?
  •  - What motivates you at the company?
  •  - How is loyalty and hard work rewarded at the company?

    Check out the Venue and Interviewer

    Map out the route to travel to the venue of interview – time and means of transport. Be prepared for some contingency in case something unpredicted occurs. The interviewer will not be pleased with candidates who show up late for the interview.

    Make sure you have the details of the interviewer – name, position, contact phone number. In case of unexpected late, you should give the interviewer a call immediately to explain the situation as a matter of courtesy..

    Your presentation

    You should prepare for a good impression to the interviewer. Therefore appropriate dressing is also important after all the other preparations. It is not advisable for you to dress up in the latest hot fashion or excessively elegant. Best to be conservative if in doubt.

    What are the Do's and Don'ts

    •  Do prepare and research prior to interview.
    •  Do show up a bit early than schedule at the venue to avoid being stressed out.
    •  Do dress up appropriately 
    •  Do bring extra copies of your resume, just in case it has been misplaced.
    •  Do bring relevant examples of your work if appropriate. Make sure they are neatly organised in a folio, compendium of presentation folder


    • Don't take any interview for granted even though it may be an informal interview
    • Don't turn up too early! If you are early, find a quiet place and review your preparation