In an uncertain situation, it is a natural phenomenon for us
to feel nervous and apprehensive. Interviews are similar and
they share a lot of common features, but, however, no two experiences
of being interviewed are likely to be the same. Therefore, you
should gather information at your earliest possible opportunity.
doing so, you
- demonstrate to the interviewer your interest in the job
- feel more confident knowing that you are well prepared
Through research, you reduce the risk of feeling that you could
have done better or failing to do yourself justice. It also
gives yourself an edge in the competition.
The crucial starting point for success is to know as much as
you can about the job for which you have applied. There are
several potential sources of information; you should use as
many as possible. These include preliminary discussions as well
as personal contacts.
Supposed you have received some information about the job which
attracted you enough to make the initial contact. You may want
to know more about
- Extent of duties and responsibilities
- Desirable and essential qualities required
- Skill levels, academic qualifications
- Reporting relationships
- Opportunities for training and development
- Working hours
- Salary scale and conditions
Through preliminary discussions, you can obtain a whole bunch
of information not stated on paper.
You may decide to gather information about the job by talking
to someone involved in the recruitment process. If you remain
unsure about any particular aspects of the job of the organization,
you can save everyone's time by research. This is your opportunity
to check fit and suitability - yours and theirs.
By talking to insiders you can get an 'inside' view. Remember
that you will be hearing a subjective perception. Their views
may be affected by personal circumstances or prejudices. So
concentrate on facts rather than opinions.
The interviewer will expect you to have some knowledge of the
organization. It is unlikely that it will be either comprehensive
or complete. You need to show your interest not only in what
you know but in filling in the gaps.
sufficient information is not already supplied you should try
to find out
- What the organization does
- Product details
- Ownership (public, private, group , independent)
- Management style
- Staff turnover
- Present degree of prosperity
- Market position
- Annual reports
The organization itself and, if it is large enough, its public
relations or customer services departments, are excellent starting
Other potential sources of information
are directories and the Internet. Do check the organization's
website and look for the latest news about it.
Final piece of advice
Do the following things to prepare yourself for an interview:
- Record the exact time,
place and directions to the interview (don't be late!)
- Record the correct name and
address of the company.
- Record the interviewer's
name and know how to pronounce it.
- Do research on the company
to show your knowledge
- Prepare questions for the
Make sure you know the answers
to the following questions:
- How old is the company ?
- Where are its offices, stores,
plants, facilities located?
- What are its most successful
products and/or services?
- Who are its competitors?
- What share of the market
does it possess?
- How has its growth within
its industry been?
- What is the industry's outlook?
- What sort of training programs
does it provide?
- If I am hired, what type
of and/or size dept. would I likely be managing/supervising
or working in?