Career Tips

Are You Ready For Your Interview?

Date Posted: 08/25/2014

Congratulations!  You have been invited to an interview with your prospective employer! This is one step closer to getting that overseas job you want.  To make the most out of your face-to-face interview, you must be prepared.  Here are 7 tips to help you on your way:

1.  Know the company. Who are you going to work for abroad?  What do you know about this company?  Do your homework and research on this company.  Also, if possible, find out the interviewer’s name and use it during the job interview.  If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview.  Try to relate what you know about the company when are answering questions.  When discussing your career accomplishments match them to what the company is looking for.  Don’t answer with vague terms like “hard worker” and “successful” without explanations of why and how.

2.  Prepare.  Don’t come unprepared. Be ready to speak about yourself and your qualifications without rambling.  Don’t read your resume to your interviewer.  Be able to speak confidently about your education, former jobs and experience without a “cheat sheet.”  Use appropriate terms and examples that match your abilities to the specific job for which you are interviewing.

3.  Practice.  Practice makes perfect.  You can role-play with a friend who can act as your interviewer and record your conversation and then review.  Do you talk too fast or too loud?  Listen to the questions and do not interrupt the interviewer.  Practice your responses to the typical job interview questions most interviewers will ask (more about this in future columns).  Think of actual examples you can use to describe your skills.  Providing evidence of your successes is a great way to promote yourself.  To be an interesting OFW candidate, you have to be genuinely interested in the role you are applying for and in the company you are interviewing with.

4.  Ask questions.  Do not be afraid to ask questions.  You aren’t simply trying to get this job – you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you. For example, “How does the company measure success for this role?” or “Does the company promote continuous learning program for its employees?” or “How would you describe the ideal candidate for this position?”

5.  Stay Calm.  During the job interview try to relax and stay as calm as possible.  Take a moment to regroup.  Don’t show body language where you seem cold, nervous or uninterested.  Use a firm handshake, make eye contact and avoid fidgeting.  Listen to the entire question before you answer and pay attention – you will be embarrassed if you forget the question!

6.  Don’t be late.  First impressions last.  Coming in late means you are not keen on making a good impression and reflects poorly on your time management.  Allow for time to eat, travel and freshen up before your interview.  It helps to know exactly where the interview venue is to ensure you do not get lost on your way.  You should be at the waiting area at least 10 minutes before the interview time.

7.  Dress appropriately.  Choosing what to wear to a job interview can make a great impact in how your prospective employer sees you the first time you meet.  Your interviewer will evaluate you also based on your personal appearance.  The right image helps your future employer easily visualize you as one of their team members and tells them you could represent the company appropriately as a member of their staff (more on appearance in future columns).

©2014 Ikon Solutions Asia, Inc.

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