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Congratulations. You have been selected for an interview which means you meet all, or most, of the qualifications being sought for the position. To help you get this exciting job or contract, your interview performance in person is the critical next step; use these tips to ensure your interview goes smoothly.

Preparing for Your Interview

Having an interview is like taking a test; the more prepared you are, the better it will go. And, as with any test, cramming isn't nearly as effective as taking the time over a number of days to ensure you know your stuff. Here's how to spend your time leading up to the day of the interview.

Confirm location, date, time and contacts:
When you schedule your interview, make sure you accurately record the date, time, location and name(s) of the people who will be meeting with you.

Research your prospective employer:
Having some background knowledge about the company will really benefit you in your interview. Not only will your knowledge show that you have an interest in the company and demonstrate that you take the initiative to conduct research. You should have a good understanding of the following:

  • The company's corporate history, structure and philosophy - when and how was the company founded; what is the reporting structure; what is the corporate vision; etc.
  • The company's core business - what products or services does the company sell. 
  • Recent performance trends - is the company expanding or downsizing; what trends are expected in future.

Review the position details:
In addition to an overall knowledge of the company, you should have a solid understanding of the position you are being interviewed for. Reread the job description so that you have a clear understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the position; what qualifications are being sought; what personality traits will benefit the position, etc. 

Review your Résumé:
Your resume was key in getting you the interview and there's a good chance the interview will revolve around it as the basis to the questions. You should know your résumé inside-out - after all, it's based on your experience! There's nothing more embarrassing than not remembering the details to some of the points listed on your resume. Be prepared to discuss both personal and business accomplishments, and always attempt to relate these accomplishments to the needs of the position and the company interview you.

Prepare some questions:
An interview is a two-way knowledge-sharing meeting. It's as much an opportunity for you to learn about your potential employer as it is for them to learn about you. Furthermore, the questions you ask say a lot about your research skills and effort, your understanding of the position, and your level of interest in the company. Ask questions about the functions of the position, goals and challenges of the job, and overall values and direction of the company. Avoid questions about salary, holidays, benefit packages, and other perks offered by the company. 

Anticipate their questions:
Anticipate the questions they will ask you, and how you can best answer them to convey your qualifications as they relate to the company's needs. They will likely ask you questions about your specific qualifications for the job (experience and education), your technical knowledge, your own expectations for the position and your personality traits as they relate to the job. This is where your research of the position will be invaluable. Think about how your skills and experiences correspond with the traits they are looking for in a candidate. Be prepared to discuss your strengths, and to identify areas where you know you can make improvements.

The Interview

Professionalism is key: 
Appearances do count as they contribute to the first impression you make on your prospective employer. You should be rested, well groomed and dressed in a professional, business manner even if they have a 
casual environment. 

Great Attitude:
You should arrive at the interview with a positive attitude. Approach the meeting with the attitude that you want the job. You should be enthusiastic without appearing overzealous - confident but not boastful. It is impossible to stress the importance of your attitude in the interview. 

Bring what you need:
Be sure to bring a couple of extra copies of your résumé, a couple of working pens or pencils, and a notepad. If you have a portfolio of relevant work, it may be beneficial to bring this along too. 

Body language is important:
As with your appearance and attitude, your body language tells an interviewer a lot about you. Greet everyone in the room by looking them in the eyes and giving them a firm handshake. Repeat peoples' names as you are introduced to them. Maintain an enthusiastic and alert demeanor, positioning your body toward the person addressing you and do not cross your arms. Sit upright, maintain eye contact, and by all means don't yawn during your interview!

After Your Interview

Call your Pinnacle IT Force Representative Immediately:
Call us right away. We need your feedback so that we can contact your prospective employer to convey your level of interest. It's also important that we discuss your interest in the position and the company, your comments on the people who interviewed you, the next step, and inform us of any critical points you may have omitted during your interview. 

We will then contact your prospective employer to get their feedback on you! We want to be able to give you quick feedback but we need yours first!