What the secret to having a successful job interview? The key is knowing about the company, its practices and its mission. A little information can go a long way in fostering a positive first impression with the hiring manger. While interviewing, the fact that you have researched the company tells the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the position. Hiring managers prefer employees who are truly drawn to the business, because workers who enjoy their positions tend to work harder and produce better end products.

Additionally, you can get a good gauge of what kind of questions will be asked during the interview. This allows for you to prepare appropriate responses ahead of time. For instance, a computer programmer can expect to be asked about how he or she would resolve a problem. However, if he or she is working for a government agency, the programmer might be more likely to see inquiries regarding anti-hacking methods. Conversely, a small information systems company might want to focus more on having data readily available and debugging the current system.

Regardless of what industry you are in, there are certain staple interviewing questions that you can expect to encounter:

  • What can you tell me about our company?
  • Why do you want to work with this enterprise over another?

  • What are your expectations of the work environment?

    • What kind of schedule do you wish to keep?

    If you know what the company’s overall mission is, you can give satisfactory answers that align with the enterprise’s normal business practices.

    Practice Your Interviewing Skills

    How do you become the best interviewee you could possibly be? Find a friend or mentor and practice interviewing. If you can find an industry professional to help you, that is the most advantageous option, because he or she can give you valuable insider knowledge about the hiring process. Here are some tips to help you gain more experience and knowledge regarding professional interviews:

  • Research and learn everything you can about professional job interviews. If you’ve never had a “real” job interview, consider looking at tutorials or contacting a mentor for advice.

  • Prepare responses to typical or expected interview questions. Do not memorize your answers, but remember key points to mention.

  • Host a mock interview with an industry professional or panel of trusted friends and mentors.

  • If you are about to graduate from college, see if you can sit in on interviews conducted on campus. You may be able to apply to be a student representative on an interviewing panel.

  • If you can, find a frequently asked question list for your industry. In many cases, these lists will come with good examples of appropriate responses.

  • Head into the interview with a list of questions you want to ask your prospective employer. Remember, you need to make sure the company is a good fit for you and your professional goals.

    Practice makes perfect. If you aren’t great with being put on the spot, take some time before your interview to think of great responses to expected questions. Even try a few odd or random questions to get a feel for how you might turn something nonsensical into an opportunity to sell your professional merit.

    Remember Confidence and Enthusiasm When Interviewing

    Hiring managers are drawn to positive attitudes and enthusiastic individuals. Why? Simply put, if you are happy with your job, you will work harder and want to produce better results. As such, make an effort to smile and never answer negatively. Even if you are asked about your weaknesses, focus more on how you overcome those obstacles as opposed to any resulting ineffectiveness. Resilient employees will continue trying to solve a problem no matter how difficult it is, so make it seem like you are ready to take on any challenge.

    Consequently, you also need to present a calm and confident persona. Don’t mumble or whisper. Project your voice and make sure everyone in the room can hear you. Even when you encounter a strange or unexpected question, keep your professional composure and make eye contact with the entire interviewing panel. If you know that you tend to fidget or have a nervous tick, be extra conscious of your body language. Ultimately, do not over think the interview. Remember, you are a professional and you are prepared to take this next step in your successful career.

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