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The big interview demystified…….the consolidation of thoughts

We have been tackling interview advice in pieces but today we want to consolidate all those thoughts into one brief article. As you know job interviews represent some of the most important and also nerve-wracking moments in people's professional lives. ‘Decrease the anxiety and increase your success’ is the basic rule of the game. Interviews seem a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be unduly stressful or scary. The better prepared you are for an interview, the better you will feel and perform, and the better your chance of being hired.
Good communication is the key to a good interview; you need to know what you want and why you are there, and be able to convey that to the employer. You are trying to convince the employer that you would be a positive and beneficial addition to their company or business.
Preparing for the Interview
Know yourself. Know what your personal and career goals are, and how they fit with the company’s goals. It can be a good idea to do some research on the company beforehand, to get an idea of what it does what it believes in and even who the company works with or competes against.

You should also study the job description carefully, and be able to talk about the skills you have that are listed in that description, as well as other skills that may apply to the position. Be able to discuss where or how you acquired these skills, and how you might best put them to use for the company.
Practice answering questions. While this may seem silly, it will go a long way to preparing you for an interview. Nerves and adrenaline make people inclined to rush or babble, two things that should be avoided during an interview. Practicing beforehand will help to combat this.
Most interviews will consist of fairly similar questions. Some will, of course, be specific to the job and company, but you will likely always be asked about past jobs, past projects, hobbies and interests, your ability to work as part of a team and/or to be a leader. Keep your answers brief and to the point, without leaving out any important information. Always focus on the positive.
Dress well. Regardless of a winning personality or stunning intelligence, much of a first impression is based on physical appearance. Follow the old adage to “dress for success” and demonstrate by your attire and how you carry yourself that you are professional, organized and confident.
During the Interview
The first few minutes are crucial; studies have shown that interviewers form their overall impression of applicants within the first four minutes of the interview. Be sure to keep in mind the following basic things:
1.    Stand tall.
2.    Make eye contact.
3.    Shake hands firmly.
4.    Be polite; use the formal address of Mr., Ms., unless invited to do otherwise.
5.    Wait for invitation; do not sit until invited to do so. Sit straight and tall and look attentive and enthusiastic.
All of these things indicate that you want to be there and that you are calm, confident and professional.
What to Expect
All interviews have certain basic elements in common. When you first arrive, the interviewer will likely try to put you at your ease with some small talk. This may include discussion of the weather or current events, or questions about your interests and hobbies.
Respond appropriately. Be warm and conversational, but don’t ramble. Remember that your hobbies, your life in general, will reflect to the employer who you are and what kind of employee you might be.
The body of the interview will likely begin with the interviewer giving a detailed description of the job. This is an opportunity for you to ask intelligent questions and demonstrate what you know about the position and the company.
The main portion of the interview is all about you, the applicant. You will be asked to answer questions about yourself: your skills, applicable studies and training, past work experience, etc.
Remember to make eye contact, keep your answers succinct but thorough, and focus on the positive. Be enthusiastic and use good grammar; do your best to avoid too many “um”s, “ah”s, “you know”s and other such fillers.
Don’t fidget or exhibit other distracting nervous mannerisms, and don’t offer any negative information about yourself or criticize previous employers.
Remember, this is your chance to make a great impression in person and get the job you want. Make sure you are well prepared and practice answering questions before the interview. During the interview be sure to make eye contact, shake hands firmly, sit up straight and show enthusiasm. Be confident and give it your best.

We at HCC wish you all the best in your career

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