What Happens During a Job Interview?

During the interview you should be confident, enthusiastic and prepared.  Listen carefully to what the interview has to say and ask questions about the company. 

The interviewer will try to determine if you have the following traits by asking you a series of interview questions:

(1)  Achiever                                             (6)  Easy Going
(2)  Productive                                                  (7)  Dependable
(3)  Self-starter                                  (8)  Stable
(4)  Contributor            (9)  Responsible
(5)  Quick Learner


Job Interviews   >   What Happens During the Job Interview?
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Preparing for the Job Interview

Memorizing good answers to typical job interview questions isn't enough preparation for the job interview.  Why?  Imagine three people sitting in a lobby waiting to interview for the same job. One of the applicants has spent several hours researching the company and its industry.  The other two have not done any research at all.   Who stands the best chance of getting the job?  The person who lets the interviewer know he has done his research.

Spending three, four or even more hours to prepare for a job interview is recommended by career experts. You should become familiar with the company, its products or services, its competitors, the industry in which it operates, and decide how your skills will benefit the company so you can answer interview questions, such as "Why do you want to work for us?"  "What do you know about our company?"  "How can you benefit our company?"  If you do this, your odds of beating out your competition increase dramatically.
Do Research Before the Job Interview

The best way to start researching a company is simply to type "Name of Company" in to the search form at a major search engine, such as Google.com or, if it is a big company go right to the website:  www.nameofcompany.com.  Once you know more about the company and its industry, you can better match your skills and qualifications to that company's needs.  Now you are ready to prepare for those tough job interview questions.  Click here for a list of websites to do company and industry research.

If the company is small and doesn't have a website, try to learn more about the industry in which it is situated so that you can speak intelligently about current trends and problems in that industry.  Although even small companies usually have a website these days, if you need to go to the public library and find out more about the company then do so.

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The interviewer will also assess you on the following:

Personal appearance: Usually, it is a good idea to dress in proper business attire for a job interview if you would not look ridiculous showing up in a suit and tie.  For example, there is no need for someone applying for a job as a sacker in a grocery store to show up in a suit.  However, if the job is in an office environment, wear proper business attire even if the company has relaxed standards and allows employees to wear jeans.  If the job is a blue collar type job, then be well-groomed but you are not required to wear a suit and tie -- a nice pair of slacks and a shirt or blouse would be appropriate.  Your shoes should always be polished beforehand.  It is always better to be conservative in your personal appearance.  Conservative means modest attire, an understated hairstyle, little make-up, short and well-manicured fingernails with no polish, and very little jewelry. Avoid using cologne or perfume as it might offend the interviewer when you walk in the room and there is a cloud of scent arriving with you.

Demeanor:  Confidence is of utmost important because if you do not convey to the interviewer that you like yourself and believe in yourself then there is no reason to hire you.  Stand straight and tall, look the interviewer in the eyes, and smile when you shake his or her hand.  If you are offered a refreshment, such as coffee, you can accept it if you want, but it would be better if you did not (you might spill it down your front or knock it over with your briefcase).  Never smoke or chew gum!  Do not sit down in a chair until the interviewer has asked you to do so and when you do sit, do not slouch or try to dominate the interview. Let the interviewer conduct the interview and maintain eye contact. 

Your ability to answer the question: "Why should you be hired?" No interviewer is going to ask you all of the questions discussed in our guide, but all interview questions revolve around one basic question:  "Why should you be hired?"  In order to answer that question find out what skills you have that are pertinent to the position for which you are interviewing.  Be able to identify two or three of your top selling points and determine how you can illustrate them during the interview and provide the interviewer with examples of how you have applied particular skills or knowledge while performing past jobs.  
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