22 August 2008

Tips for Attending an Interview

These days, many fresh graduates are attracted by job advertisements that promise high paying jobs with a short list of responsibilities. Yet, most were shocked when they tended the interview. The interviewer asked them so many questions, (some are rather personal too) and they were dumbfounded. Some of the responsibilities asked during the interview were not even listed in the advertisement!

If you are one of these fresh graduates, what should you do? What have you learned from the interviews you have attended so far?

Are you really interested in that job? What can you do to prepare yourself for the interview?


The first step is find out all you can about that job. Check again if the vacancy matches your experience. You must be specific in this part. Think and reconsider if you are able to do what are listed. Don’t ever think that just because you can learn something new at the job, you ignore the need to update your skills. Most companies want their employees to contribute and not to learn!

Of course, the next step is to find out about the company. This is an easy job. With the advance of modern communication technology, most companies are listed in the directory of many search engines. So, unless the company is a new start-up, chances it is listed too is great. Read to understand the background and the activities of the company.

You can accept advice from others on how to prepare yourself physical before an interview. However, only you can prepare yourself mentally. This is never an easy task.

Many people may have told you how to hold yourself up during an interview. However, many did not expect the questions the interviewer would ask during an interview.

Just be careful how you answer those questions.

  • What is your expected ROI (Return of Investment)?
  • So far, what was your ROI?
  • Why did you leave the last job?
  • From your resume we could see that you only worked a few moths in that company, can I trust that you would not leave us after a few months?
  • Can you trust people?
  • Can people trust you?
  • Are you a people’s person? (Are you able to work with people?)
  • Can you communicate with co-workers who are generally younger than you?
  • Can you do management work?
  • Are you an honest person?
  • Do you believe in socializing with your colleagues as a way to enhance working relationship?
  • Why didn’t your parents push you to do better?
  • Your past experiences show that you are an opportunist, can you explain?
  • Can you lead a team of energetic young achievers?
  • Do you consider yourself a loyal person?
  • Can you justify why we should hire you?

If you have some years of working experience, you may be able to answer some of the questions; however, if you are a fresh graduate, you will be dumbfounded.

My experience taught me that the best person to do any interview is the superior officer of the department. He or she is the person who knows what type of person matches the job. A superior officer is looking for someone who can do the job, find the solutions to all the problems the department is facing; not someone with a ‘super track record’, who knows his ROI.

All right, you may not be the suitable candidate, so what? There are so many other smaller companies waiting for you. Just walk out politely from the company, and remember that you are still the best despite that you failed the interview.

If you are qualified, and chosen for the job, congratulations! Don’t forget that your journey does not end there.

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