Job Interview Strategies

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The strategies below show you what to do before, during, and after a job interview.

Before the Interview

Research the company.

Use the company website and the Internet to find information about the company. You need to be ready for a few specific questions about the company:

  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?

Your research will also help you ask questions at the end of the interview. A question like this could impress the hiring manager:

  • I saw you are opening office in China. Is this a major part of your global expansion?

Practice questions.

You should have a list of mock questions you believe they will ask you. Practice these as authentically as possible.

  • Have someone else ask you.
  • Use a mirror.
  • Record yourself.
  • Speak aloud.

It is not enough to think about the answers. You have to practice!

Another tip: don’t rehearse exact answers. Memorize bullet points or it will sound rehearsed and boring like a robot.

Be on time.

You will never get a job if you show up late to an interview. Make sure you arrive 10-15 minutes before the meeting. But be careful! Don’t show up too early. It sis very annoying for company staff when a candidate shows up more than 15 minutes early. The person giving the interview feels pressured to begin early, and the receptionist may be bothered you are waiting in the office for so long.

The best strategy is to arrive in the area an hour before (to avoid any traffic or directions issues) and wait in a café or somewhere outside the company.           

Come prepared.

You should have all the documents you may need, such as:

  • Multiple copies of your resume
  • Copies of any relevant certificates of degrees
  • List of references

This impresses people and eliminates the extra step to hire you. If they already have a list of references, or the copies of documents they will need, they are already one step closer to hiring you. Psychologically this can make a difference. 

During the Interview

Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something.

Don’t be afraid to ask when you are not clear on the question. It is a mistake to answer when you don’t fully understand.

Use proper body language.

You are judged on your body language just as much as what you say. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Make eye contact.
  • Use good posture.
  • Shake hands.
  • Don’t point or stare.
  • Don’t yawn or look at watch.

Stay on topic.

It is easy to get off topic when you are talking about yourself. Stay focused on the question.

Don’t interrupt.

Let the interviewer finish the question before you start talking.

Show interest in the company.

You can do this by asking questions about the company or mentioning information you saw in your research.

Use the interviewer’s name.

People like to hear their names. 

After the Interview

Follow up with a thank you.

A thank you email is a polite way to follow up after the interview.

Send any requested documents.

Don’t forget to promptly send anything the interviewer needed form you, like references or samples of your work.

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