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Interview Basics

A job interview is an opportunity to showcase your abilities, to offer the employer an idea of what type of employee you would be and to discuss the added value you would provide. It allows you to gain information to determine if you think you would enjoy working there as well as demonstrate how you will fit in with the organization or business. Preparing for an interview is not always easy but a task that must be thoroughly carried out in order to be successful. Below are some interview tips that may help when preparing for and interviewing at a company or organization.

Be Prepared
Know yourself and know the employer. It is vital to understand your values, interests and abilities to better customize your job search. Getting clear on who you are and what you value will help you make better decisions and create more satisfaction in your life. Be familiar with your work experience and know how to talk about it. Be sure to cite several examples through jobs and activities and learn how to tie it back into the impact you can make on the company. Be clear on your career goals and objectives because most likely you will be asked about them and it will help the interview understand your aspirations as well.
Know the employer. Researching the employer will show your sincere interest and impress interviewers. In today’s day and age with technology at our fingertips there is really no excuse for being unprepared for an interview. Researching the employer can also help you demonstrate your skills and learn what you have to offer. It can give you some insight into how you could work within the culture and overall increase you self-confidence. Some areas that you could research is: size of the firm, organizational structure, percentage of annual sales growth in the last five years, locations/home office, competition, organizational goals and of course their products and services. Demonstrating your knowledge of the company and their products and services can help you stand out from the crowd.
Dress for Success
Dressing appropriately for an interview is critical when making a lasting impression. Some tips to keep in mind are:
· Error on the conservative side
· Dress as others in the same occupation
· For men, appropriate attire may include a solid color dark suit with tailored slacks and a conservative tie.
· Women's attire may include a navy, black, brown, gray or beige suit color avoiding bright colors and patterns.
· Avoid excessive make-up and jewelry
· Keep facial hair trimmed and fingernails clean
· Avoid strong perfumes/fragrances
· Conservative hair styles
· Avoid unpolished shoes
· Avoid visible tattoos
Interview Process
Be familiar with the interview process especially if you are new to interviewing. Knowing what to expect will make you feel more comfortable and allow you to concentrate on your content rather than your nerves. First, the interviewer may ask basic questions from your resume so be familiar with your resume. They may then go into more thought provoking questions. This is where knowing yourself will come into play. Know your reason for interviewing and determine your style of operating. Back up what you say by using examples and assess your motivation for certain actions or activities. This is your opportunity to shine and to showcase how you are a good fit. Be prepared to ask questions at the end of the interview. From your thorough research you should have several questions to ask. Some topics may include:
· Job duties
· Career paths
· Training programs
· Organizational structure
Some areas to avoid in the first interview may be:
· Salary
· Specific benefits
· Vacation or leave time
It is important to appropriately wrap up and close the interview. Ask for the interviewer’s business card and find out when you should expect to hear from them and from what means. Do not forget to reemphasize your interest in the position and thank them for their consideration.
Please feel free to share any interviewing tips you may have or inquiry about other interviewing basics.