Monday, 26 November 2012

Best Practices during First Job Interview

Having your first job is an exciting preposition for all fresher candidates, but as soon as they face the HR or the management of the company they are faced with various dilemmas which can make or break their career. This is because except for some good colleges or training institutes they are not taught how to approach the HR team or management of a company.

Most training is provided only in On Campus interviews where the big companies come and select candidates as per their needs. This is where the trouble starts, Most big companies only select candidates who are best in their class and have an outstanding academic record, but what about the hundreds of other students who have not been selected?

They will try to search out for jobs in thousands of small and medium enterprises spread across length and breadth of the country. The candidates are influenced by their colleagues  already placed in big organizations about the Pay Package they are getting and other benefits and expect the same treatment to be given to them by their employers as well.

But here is the catch:
1.You are not going in some big organization expecting a big pay because if you were that capable then you should have qualified for campus interviews as well.
2.Currently global economy is in a mess, and thus even experienced people are sometimes forced to negotiate on their pay package, in such a scenario you are just a fresher with no knowledge of how things work in real industry.

To get out of this mess remember one golden rule:

Lower your expectation and try to get as much experience as possible.

Here are some tips which will help you to get an advantage over others looking for the same job as you

1.Give yourself the edge – do your research
Researching the company before the interview will give you an edge in understanding the company’s needs. The more you know about a company the stronger your chance of succeeding at interview.

Reference libraries, the internet (Companies Website) and trade press are good sources of information. Where discretion allows, contact people you know in the industry that have experience of the prospective employer. 

Hiring Managers and HR personnel frown upon interviewees who fail to prepare well for interviews. They expect you to have a reasonable understanding not only of their products and services but also of the history and future direction of the business. More importantly, an interviewer will be impressed by your interest and motivation.

Potential employer
  • Study their web-site
  • Understand their history
  • Understand their territory coverage (office locations and presence)
  • Analyse their financials and performance (company accounts where available)
  • Appreciate their philosophy, corporate messages, brand values, and key competencies
  • Appreciate their organisational structure
  • Understand their business direction and growth aspirations
  • Understand the product and service range
  • Find out who the competitors are
  • Identify USPs and potential barriers to sale
  • Who is the key demographic the product/service is aimed at?
  • Who will be the end users?
  • Who are the key competitors?
  • What are the routes to market?
  • How is the brand received in the market?
  • Is there any upcoming legislation that will affect performance?
The role
  • Gain a full and proper understanding of the job description
  • Understand the main responsibilities involved 
  • Prepare a plan of action ( you would run your territory/manage your workload)
  • Find out specific examples of duties and how your experience relates
The interview
  • Find out who is conducting the interview? Their names, titles, and history
  • Try to understand their key drivers and what qualities they seek in potential applicants
  • Enquire whether there will there be a practical or skills test
  • Enquire about the specific format of the interview

2. Confirm the contact detailsMake sure you have all the details you need, directions to your venue, the name of the interviewer, a contact number should you need to call them en route and the correct time.
If you require parking, check that there is space available and if it needs to be allocated.

3.On arrivalIf driving – make sure you park in the correct place so as not to be interrupted during the interview or worse still, get a shock when you leave.
Always make sure you switch your mobile phone off; there is nothing more distracting than a mobile ringing or vibrating during the interview.

4. Interview attire
  • You should always dress professionally for interviews, and gentlemen, unless you're told otherwise, we recommend you wear a tie.
  • Even if the company has a casual dress code, interviewees should dress in a smart business suit. It is always better to be too smart than too casual.
  • Dress appropriately to the role applied for; the vary nature of the Finance, Leasing and Banking world implies smart business attire as a pre-requisite. Remember, rightly or wrongly, interviewers may let your appearance influence their judgement
5. Time keeping .
  • Good timekeeping provides your interviewer with evidence of commitment, dependability and professionalism.
  • Leave for your interview in good time - always allowing for unforeseen delays.
  • If you think you are likely to be late, call us immediately so we can advise the interviewer accordingly.
  • Try to arrive at the interview location 15 minutes early.
  • This should leave you with adequate time to report into reception and collect your thoughts in preparation for the interview.


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