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Attitude: The key element to successful interviewing is not your experience, your grades, what classes you took, your extracurricular activities, or any of the other basic necessities. Those skills are what got you the interview. The key element to successful interviewing can be summed up in one word: attitude. If you want to rise above others with better experience, better grades, or better anything, you will need to work on developing a highly positive work attitude.
Your attitude determines whether you will "make the cut" or be discarded. Remember, there are plenty of competitors with the ability to do almost any given job-- especially at the entry level. The way most employers differentiate at the entry level is by candidates' attitudes toward the job. Your attitude is often what recruiters will remember when the dust has settled after reviewing ten, twenty, or even one hundred candidates--the one who was sincerely willing to put forth their very best effort. If you have the attitude of wanting to do your very best for the company, of being focused on the company's needs, of putting yourself forth as the person who will be committed and dedicated to fulfilling their needs, you will likely be the one chosen.
Why is attitude so important? Because most companies already have their full share of multi-talented superstars who care about no one but themselves. Ask any manager who the most valuable member of his team is, and he will point not to the overrated superstar, but to the person who has the "can do" attitude, the person who can be counted on in any situation, the person who truly strives for excellence.

 

Dressing: The resume was a hit, you been called for an interview. You're summoned to the personnel director's office at such-and-such a time. You scan the closet for the perfect outfit, one that says, "hire me," and it's just not there. You panic.
Perhaps this is that terrifying interview for a first job, or maybe it's a return to the work force after a long hiatus. In a business world that, sadly, doesn't come with an instruction manual, how do you dress for success? First impressions are the key to interviewing success, says Susan More, author of "How to Gain the Professional Edge." That first impression, she says, takes only 10 seconds. Dress the part.
"You're packaging yourself, you're taking everything they've read about you and saying "Here I am!."
Stick to the basics. First things first- you can't go wrong with a suit. For Men: A matching two-or three- piece suit, pressed shirt and maybe a vest. An interesting tie (but not a flashy one) shows personality. For Women: a matching shalwar suit and proper dopatta is safest. light lipstick adds personality.
Does that go for all jobs? Of course, there is no simple answer for everything. Every job interview presents a different situation. Do your homework, says Jan Haxton, a personal shopper at Nordstrom in Costa Mesa, CA. "If you have friends that are familiar with that environment, ask them. Ask the human resource person and don't be shy. If you're going to err, I'd dot it on the side of being too conservative."
Some absolute color rules: A man's belt should match his shoes. Red, striped ties are overused- go with something more original. A clean, neat, personal appearance is just as important as the clothes on your body.
"Make sure you hair is in a current style, your skin is in good shape and your make-up is appropriate to the job," Roxanne Doumani of the Jacques Doumani Image Institute says. "Men's facial hair should be very well groomed." The clean-shaven look is usually the best bet.
Other tips: nails should be clean, manicured and not too long. Hair should be no longer than shoulder length if it's down, and women should avoid girlish hair bows. Some make-up is better than none, but it should be understated. Don't forget the inside. Image consultants stress a well-groomed, classy exterior, but their last word is always the same: You have to feel comfortable with the clothes to make them work for you.
Shoes- the condition of your shoes is important; make sure they are well-polished and clean. For women, no sandals or open-toed shoes. A medium heeled pump is safest.
Jewelry- less is more. Wear only one ring per hand, and it's a good idea to wear a classy, business-like watch. Nothing big or clunky.
 

Common Questions Asked During Interview

 

Q- How you抣l describe yourself?
Keep your answer to one or two minutes; don't ramble. Use your resume summary as a base to start. 
 
Q- What do you know about our company?
Do your homework before the interview! Spend some time to collect information including products, size, reputation, image, skills, history and philosophy of the company. Project an informed interest; let the interviewer tell you about the company. 

Q- Why do you want to join our company? 
Don't talk about what you want; first, talk about their needs: You would like to be part of a specific company project; you would like to solve a company problem; you can make a definite contribution to specific company goals. 

Q- What can you do for us that someone else can't?
Relate past experiences that show you've had success in solving previous employer problem(s) that may be similar to those of the prospective employer. 

Q- Why should we hire you? 
Because of your knowledge, experience, abilities and skills. 

Q- What do you look for in a job?
An opportunity to use your skills, to perform and be recognized. 

Q- How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our firm?
Not long at all -- you expect only a brief period of adjustment to the learning curve. 

Q- How long would you stay with us?
As long as we both feel I'm contributing, achieving, growing, etc. 

Q- Why are you leaving your present job?
Refine your answer based on your comfort level and honesty. Give a "group" answer if possible, e.g. our department was consolidated or eliminated. 

Q- How do you feel about leaving all of your benefits?
Concerned but not panicked. 

Q- Describe what you feel to be an ideal working environment. 
One in which people are treated as fairly as possible. 

Q- How would you evaluate your present firm?
An excellent company that afforded me many fine experiences. 
 
Q- You may be overqualified for the position we have to offer.
Strong companies need strong people. A growing, energetic company is rarely unable to use its people talents. Emphasize your interest in a long-term association, pointing out that the employer will get a faster return on investment because you have more experience than required. 

Q- If you could start your career again, what would you do differently?
Nothing ... I am happy today, so I don't want to change my past. 

Q- What career options do you have at the moment?
"I see three areas of interest..." Relate those to the position and industry. 

Q- How would you describe the essence of success? According to your definition of success, how successful have you been so far? 
Think carefully about your answer and relate it to your career accomplishments

Q- How much are you looking for?
Answer with a question, i.e., "What is the salary range for similar jobs in your company?" If they don't answer, then give a range of what you understand you are worth in the marketplace. 

Q- How much do you expect, if we offer this position to you?
Be careful; the market value of the job may be the key answer, e.g., "My understanding is that a job like the one you're describing may be in the range of Rs.______." 

Q- What kind of salary are you worth?
Have a specific figure in mind ... don't be hesitant.

Q- If I spoke with your previous boss, what would he say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Emphasize skills -- don't be overly negative about your weaknesses; it's always safer to identify a lack of a skill as an area for improvement rather than a shortcoming. 

Q- Can you work under pressures, deadlines, etc.?
Yes, it's a way of life in business. 

Q- How have you changed the nature of your job?
Improved it ... of course. 

Q- Do you prefer staff or line work? Why?
Depends on the job and its challenges. 

Q- In your present position, what problems have you identified that had previously been overlooked?
Keep it brief and don't brag. 

Q- Don't you feel you might be better off in a different size company? Different type company?
Depends on the job -- elaborate slightly. 

Q- How do you resolve conflict on a project team?
First you discuss the issues privately. 

Q- What was the most difficult decision you ever had to make?
Try to relate your response to the prospective employment situation.

Suggestions During Interview

Shake hands firmly. Radiate confidence. Smile. Dress conservatively. Be on time. Be natural. Be well groomed. Remember the interviewer抯 name.


Look alert. Sit up erect. Look into your interviewer抯 eyes at all times. Speak with force and assurance. Interviewers like candidates who are enthusiastic and responsive.


Don抰 be anxious, even if you want and need the job. (The company wants someone who is a winner and in demand.) Ask questions about the position -- show your serious interests in the duties and responsibilities of the position.


Answer questions openly without holding back. Yet be direct and to the point, avoiding long, drawn-out explanations.


If put on the defensive (e.g. "Why did you changed jobs?" Why are you looking now?") answer as simply and briefly as possible. Keep smiling. (An involved answer looks like trouble.)


Don抰 dwell on criticism of your present or previous employers. (The prospective employer will expect similar treatment, which means trouble.)


Treat the interviewer with respect. He may be under business pressures and unable to give you the time and attention you should have.


Do not smoke during the interview, and NEVER chew gum. Do not ask direct questions about salary or fringe benefits at the beginning of the interview.


Prepare for these two questions: Why are you interested in this position and this company? What can you contribute?


Answer concisely and effectively, rehearse answers. Do your homework and learn all you can about the company.


Stress achievements. For example: Processes developed, sales records achieved, systems installed, absenteeism reduced, product or production improved, etc. Don抰 exaggerate your skills or accomplishments.

 
Prepare for the following questions: What was the nature of your job? What special skills did you acquire?


Did you achieve special goals? What was the typical day like on your job? What were your supervisor抯 strengths? Weaknesses? Why are you considering leaving your present job?


Beware of open-ended questions like, "Tell me about yourself", etc. Give one example of an achievement and ask, "Is that what you had in mind?"


Beware of slouching in chair, tapping feet, playing with eyeglasses, pencil, or nervous laughter. LOOK INTERVIEWER IN EYE.


Never tell anyone you are not interested in the job. Leave the door open. The first interview is not the place to turn down an offer. Do not tell about interviews you have had or plan to have.


If you are favorably impressed and know all the details of the position, then ask for the job. This is very effective - yet few ask.


In concluding, thank the interviewer for the time and consideration given you.


Ask when you should meet again to discuss the position further. It often takes several interviews to obtain the job offer.


Following the interview, send a note of thanks ASAP. Five or six sentences should be sufficient. This will set you apart from most other applicants. Write a separate note to each interviewer; obtain correct name and title spelling from receptionist or secretary. Or ask for a business card and give yours in return.
 

 

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