Pre-interview preparations

Run a detailed research on the company.

It is important to understand correctly the company and its goals in order to be succesfull in an interview. The more you know about a company,the more in accord with the company’s vision, mission and objectives will be your answers. Moreover, since this way you will also know the details of the position you have applied to, the better you will be able to judge which qualities are sought for in and expected from the person who will be given that position.  

Please prepare your answers in advance to the classical interview questions which you will undoubtably face. Which are your strongest and weakest attribute? What is your career objective? If we ask your friends about you, what will they say? Why should we choose you? and so on. 


" A first impression is a lasting impression " never forget this quotation!

The first impression about you, which is mainly determined by your appearance is rather important and it will have a substantial impact on wether you will or will not be offered the position. Since it is not easy to introduce yourself to full extent during the course of a one hour interview to people you have just met, your appearance has to do some of the talking. The author of the best-seller book "Image Dynamics" Kim Zoller has underlined the importance of appearence with these words " 55% of the impression of someone on you is comprised of your appearance". Harry Bechwith, the author of "Selling the Invisible" has supported this view by stating that the over-occupied person of the modern age does not spend time meticuluously examining a person but rather takes a snapshot picture in his mind and decides upon a person referring to this picture.  In other words, how you look is what you are. The clothes you wear, how you wear them and  the clean, neat appearance of your wardrobe tell others where you come from, your status, your mood, your tastes and your cultural background. It is not difficult to tell how seriously you have taken an interview, and how long you have spent preparing for it by looking at what you are wearing. Therefore it is important to be dressed appropriately and convey the correct image when you go to an interview. Moreover it is not uncommon for an employer to decide upon how much responsibility you can be handed and how well you would perform your duties by judging how much importance you gave to that particular interview.  

It is generally advised to wear a dark colored suit, white or non-patterned shirt, tie, polished shoes with a close shave and non-exaggerated and preferably without gel or mousse hair-style for gentlemen and a skirt or trouser suit, shirt, closed toe plain shoes, clean, tidy, unexagerrated hair-style with a simple make up for ladies. 

In any case, you should keep in mind the corporate identity and culture of the employer and make sure that your image is in accord with their values.


An interview is the most effective  means of exchanging needs and expectations between the employer and the candidate. The desired impression could be excelled with a convincing performance by positive attitude, pre-preparation to the interview and following simple communication rules. These rules present certain features that are common and indispensable in any interview.  

Interviews do follow the general pattern of introduction, formation and conclusion. In the introduction step the interviewer usually prefers to listen to you and concentrate on your professional assests and experiences. In the formative phase by directing questions the interviewer tries to further and better evaluate you and your professional achievements, values and goals. In the final phase the interviewer introduces the company and gives details on the position. If till htat point your performance had been sufficient or convincing, the financial aspects of the postion are also metioned in this step. However, some companies prefer to discuss financial matters in a antoher sitting.

Your attitude during an interview is as much important as your professional assests and work experience. Your behaviour will be an important clue for the interviewer on your personality. Besides your attiude will also be evaluated for whether you as a person will  match with the existing personel and the corporate culture. If during the interviewed you have developed doubts about the company and or the company executives, keep these to yourself. Any such negative statement may end your possible chance of passing an interview. However, if suring the interview you have any questions regarding the position being offered to you, you should direct these questions right away. In order to create a positive impression, be kind at ecery step of the interview and show your interest in the position and the work as much as you can- but do not exgerate.

Watch out in an interview

For a positive start, give a short, firm, reassuring handshake and a natural smile.

  • Switch off your mobile phone during an interview.
  • Do not check the time.
  • Do not bring up any financial issue until the interviewer refers to the subject
  • Always maintain eye contact
  • Do not smoke during an interview, even if you are offered
  • Be honest. Do not hesitate to say "I don’t know" if you do not have the answer
  • Exhibit your interest in the offered position as much as you can but do not act over-enthusiastic
  • Try to avoid refraining any type of information on your career or providing misinformation
  • Be respectful to the interviewer but do not treat him or her  as superior to you or let them patronise you
  • Should you assume that your body language may be mis-informative about you at certain points, watch your mimics and gestures, posture and your tone of voice. Try to convey a self-confident but modest image.

Secrets to a succesfull interview
  • Exhibit an assertive, determined attitude
  • Express yourself correctly and clearly, use the language at full capacity
  • If you are not convinced with the offered position, turn it down in a polite, professional manner, with solid, non-emotional arguments
  • Be clear and certain with your career objectives and the steps you will need to take to reach your goals

Frequently asked questions in an interview

- Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Re-emphasise those assests which also dominate your CV and be completely honest.

- Could you tell us shortly about your education?

Specifically emphasize those achievements that are related to the offered position. Do not forget to mention any training ,seminar, etc that you have participated in.

- Could you tell us about your work experiences?

Again, specifically emphasize those achievements that are related to the offered position, pinpointing the added value you would thus bring. When explaining your reason to leave any job, do not use any negative prepositions. Do not defame the company. Sometimes the interviewer may encourage you to do so but always speak positive after people and companies

- Why have you chosen to study this field?

It will be to your advantage if you will state a conscious decision to study your profession, ofcourse backed up with solid reasoning and explanations. As mentioned earlier though, always be honest.

- Why have you chosen this sector/ position?

Come up with explanations that are in relation with your education and your personal values. In addition, do not forget to metion about your personal career objectives in the field.

- What were your duties/responsibilities in your previous position?

Give particular details of your job, also mention about who you were reporting to and the status of your position

- Why do you prefer to work with us ?

Before going to the interview run a research on the company. Be informed on details like the corporate structure and sectoral position of the company. State these as your reason to want to join "this familiy". Also pinpoint to aspects that coincide with your personal career objectives.

- Why should we choose to work with you instead of somebody else?

Express your sincere desire to work with them and belief in your suitability as a candidate by telling about your academic and professional background, your achievements so far  and how you can add value to the company. Exemplify if necessary.

- What are your strongest and weakest sides in your opinion?

Concentrate on the work rather than on your personality. You may define a characteristic such as perfectionism or being over meticuluous as tiresome for you however these might be perceived as positive or desirable by the company. Never mention any inexistent characteristic, especially in the name of appearing positive.At the end of the day, you are who you are.

- Could you tell us about your short term/ long term career goals?

Do not be precise about any time line. Use expressions that imply focus on self development and a possible learning process.

- What is your salary expectation?

If this is going to be your fisrt job, it will be more appropriate to say you will be ready to follow the company’s payment regime. However, if you have a certain amount of working experience, it might be wiser to research on the payment conditions for similar positions in the same sector and state a figure accordingly. In any case, do not use any sharp statements like I will never work for less than "this much" amount.

- Can you perform under stress?

A correct attitude will be to state that "stress" is not a condition limited only to work bu rather a every day fact thus one has to learn to manage it anyway.

- Do you prefer to work on your own or in a group?

According to the offered position, either of these might be preferential thus it would be good to state that you can take initiatives when necessary and you are a contributive team member to imply that you could do both. However, if you know you have certain limitations, do not misintroduce yourself.

If the interview outcome is negative
Keep in mind that getting a job requires a perfect match between the qualifications of the candidate and the needs of the employer.The fact that you were not chosen is not entirely becaue of you. Every interview is a valuable experience. Analyse the interview you had, if you had expressed yourself coreectly and completely, try to see your mistakes, if you had done any, and improve yourself for the next interview you will have.  

Always think positive. We move unconsciously toward things that we think of- even when it is something we do not want. Keep your mind occupied with thoughts, hopes, dreams and visions of things you want to happen!