Filed in Guides by on January 12, 2010 38 Comments

Prepare for a Job Interview – Be Your Best

Your time has finally come! You’ve been called for an interview. Now what? Don’t sweat it! Prepare yourself to win. You know you’re ready for the job, now you have to convince the employer!

Getting ready is a big part of your interview. You will likely, and you should, spend more time preparing yourself than you will in the interview. Preparing includes getting to know more about the company and the job, and being able to explain how and why you’re the best person to hire. To help you study, be sure you have a Statement of Qualifications, or a basic job description. If you do not have one from when you first applied for the job, be sure to ask the person who is arranging your interview for a copy.

Preparing for the Interview… know the job, and the organization

When you wrote your r?sum?, you did some research about the company and the job. Review it now. Answer these questions in your research:

* What does the employer or company do?
* What’s involved in the position you’re applying for?
* What qualifications do you need for the position?
* What skills might the employer be looking for?
* Who are the customers or clients?
* What kind of reputation does the employer have?
You’ll be more comfortable in the interview if you know a bit about the company and the position you’re applying for.

Think Ahead – Pre-Planning is Essential

When you are called, confirm the interview time! Ask if there will be any test or written assignment you will be asked to do. Find out how many people will be there.

Plan and rehearse your answers to the questions you expect to be asked. Memorize the training, skills and experience you have, and be ready to answer questions on what you did, and how you did it.

Choose your clothes a day or two ahead, and make sure they’re neat and clean.

Be on time. Find out ahead where you’re going and how long it will take to get there. Drive or travel the route a day or two ahead, at the same time of day as you will on the day of the interview. Confirm how often the buses run. Have a back-up plan.

Set aside at least an hour for the interview.

Survive the Interview – and Win!

What to Wear to an Interview

What you wear can be as important as what you say. Make sure your clothes are neat, clean, and ironed, if they are meant to be! Don’t turn up rumpled and untidy. Try to find out how people dress at the place you want to work, and dress the same or slightly better. Skip the perfume, cologne, or aftershave. You want to smell clean and nice, but not overpower the interviewer, or worse, upset someone with allergies.

What to Take to the Interview

Carry a folder or envelope containing:

* A copy of your r?sum? for each interviewer (This is why you asked ahead how many people would be present)

* Copies of your reference list

* Paper and a pen, so you can jot down the interviewer’s name, the time of any future interview, or other information you might need later

* Copies of letters of recommendation, if you have any

You’re On Your Way

You’re at your job interview. Stay relaxed and make a good impression. Here are some suggestions to help you make sure this step of your journey gets off on the right foot.

* Greet the interviewer or panel members. Introduce yourself, and shake hands firmly, without crushing anyone’s fingers. Smile. A sincere smile will help to put you, and the interviewer, at ease. Stand until you’re invited to sit down.

* Let the employer or panel members take the lead and set the tone. Make eye contact, and answer the questions in a firm, clear, confident voice. Relax and sit naturally, but don’t slouch in your chair or lean on the interviewer’s desk. Be prepared to tell the interviewer more about your education, training and skills, work experience, and the personality traits that make you right for the job.

* It’s okay to ask for more explanation if you don’t understand a question. In fact, it’s better to ask for clarification if you are unsure than to answer inappropriately. Keep a positive attitude.

* At some point in the interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. This is where your research and preparation pays off. Have a couple of questions prepared that show you are interested and informed about the company, or ask for more detailed information about the position you’re applying for.

Quick Tips for the interview

* Be on time. Five or ten minutes early is about right!
* Dress appropriately.
* Don’t chew gum or smoke.
* Be neat, clean and well groomed.
* Never bring a friend to an interview.
* Don’t discuss personal or financial problems.
* After the interview, don’t linger. Smile, shake hands, thank the interviewer(s) for their time, and make a graceful exit.

Remember: You never get a second chance to make a first impression


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Comments (38)

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  1. Opeodu Olutayo says:

    That was a good piece.

  2. odili charles udokatamma says:

    like that

  3. Olusegun olawole says:

    I like it, i think others should read it

  4. Olajire Olaide says:

    It is good and nice, more power to your elbow.

    Sent on a phone using

  5. Clinton Agunloye says:

    Thanks for d enlightenment

  6. Adegbola segun.E says:

    Infact,i gain alot 4rm ur editiön.i knw it wil help me 4 d incoming interview i av wit a micro finance dis week.thks a lot

  7. mayowa oni says:

    i like dat, nice one.

  8. Ababio a says:


  9. bamise says:

    I love those information about job interview. Keep it up, God bless Nigeria

  10. valentine says:

    Very comforting and encouraging,keep it up

  11. Cozy says:


  12. Wanje T. says:

    short and precise. CHEERS.

  13. Bukola oyebanji says:

    Am exiting 4 wat ave read.Q.C Manager Dala Foods

  14. Bukola oyebanji says:

    I 4got 2 drop my pone no,u guyz can reach me on 07037880350.

  15. Lukmon Busari says:

    This is very good. Am happy to read this before my interview.

  16. Nasiru Mukhtar says:

    It is good and quiet helpful to prospective job seekers.

  17. smart_boy says:

    Nice guidance before some 1 being fired by the panel at the interview, be blessed on this brothers and sisters.

  18. Peace Adejoh says:


  19. Emmanuel says:

    It’s a nice tips.

  20. Ojoye says:

    It’s very good advice.

  21. Habibu Abdulmumuni Salami says:

    I have never being touth like this, i truely appreciate it.

  22. theresa says:

    Thanks so much

  23. Is a nice one,by intelligent pple lyk u,God wil crown ur effort and make u a problem solver.

  24. olujoke oyinkansola says:

    That’s was a nice one, quite educative, God bless!

  25. Ada jane says:

    Dis article came in handy @ d rite time cos very soon i will facing my 1st interview. Thanks alot

  26. st michael says:

    Thanks i like the tips.its came in handy at the appropriate time as i prepare for my second interview stage tomorrow

  27. OLOPADE BOLAJI says:

    Well done for your great concern for Nigerian graduates…….May God bless you

  28. ifeanyi udoye says:

    good advice, nice work.

  29. Sabo yaranchi says:

    You deserve commendations as G & C thanks alot

  30. olumide says:

    I really appreciate dat God bless you bro…

  31. abijo kemi says:

    nice one tanx alot.

  32. Mayowa says:

    What an inexhaustible facts

  33. Arome says:

    Actualy is good for a graduate to be economically active,creative and innovative. Thanks for ur creativity & innovation.

  34. kola says:

    timely for me

  35. Tayo ogungbenro says:

    Nice one, it’s very encouraging, how I wished had read this before my interview, bt tanx be to God I presented my self exacly

  36. lilian onyeka says:

    Wow, love dat… Really encouraging….

  37. JobInnerView says:

    And to add to it,
    • Let your resume tell your work story in a simple, coherent way. This means that you list where you worked, the dates you worked, and your job title for each position.
    • A good way to get your resume more time on the recruiter’s desk is to make it easy to read. This means use bullets. Please don’t be afraid of these. They really are easy on the eyes.
    • Since you only have 2 pages to list all of your experience, make sure that you only include five key responsibilities (in bullets) for each position.
    • When you list your responsibilities, use adjectives and adverbs to describe them. Instead of: “managed a team of five people” say: “efficiently managed and organized a team of five people.”
    • When you walk in for an interview, you are already being judged. It might seem like nobody notices you but everyone is checking you out and making an instant assessment. Therefore, smile and be nice. To everyone!

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