How Do You Really Prepare for a Job Interview?


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Almost everyone I know fear job interviews. They get excited being called up for one, and when it finally happens, they get stiff scared and don’t know what to do. I never feared job interviews when I still ran after jobs (thank God I don’t anymore).

I was always excited being interviewed by a company officer because that way I get to gauge the company and see what type of folks get promoted to position there. Get excited–that’s how I prepare for a job interview.

In interviews, I gauged the interviewer, not the other way around. I weighed what he or she had to say. So, to prepare for it, I readied some questions I’d ask the HR officer. Of course, at first, the interviewer asked the questions which I politely answered. No sweat. I really enjoyed answering such questions and shocking them with some unexpected answers, to see how they’d react and then ask them why the reaction.

“If hired, how do you see yourself in the company after 5 years?” That’s how they’d often put it. “I see myself being a real company asset after 5 years and probably becoming a major contributor to its further progress,” is how I’d probably put it, but in a polite though a bit assertive way. I may back that up with, “I’m positive about it because it often happens whenever I put myself a hundred percent in a work effort–which I think would be the case if I get hired by this company.”

Then I’d probably add: “Mam, if you don’t mind me asking, did you end up in your present position after a year or 5 years in this company?”

The interviewer would either just smile or ask me why I asked. Then I’d say, “I just want to have an idea how fast the company appreciates talent and dedication. Is it aggressive in promoting worthy employees?”

The point is, don’t let an interview start and end with you as the interviewee alone. Interview the interviewer, too, and make him or her feel that you’re equals in terms of intellect. Some interviewers have the tendency to act superior to you and that puts you under his or her mental control. So you begin to fear more and act too subservient, which is totally unnecessary. It’s just a job interview, after all.

Will that put your application in danger of being rejected? Won’t they think you’re too arrogantly confident about yourself? Not really. I was always hired for managerial or supervisory positions even without a diploma or any school credentials. This was because interviewers saw me really enjoying my talks with them, like a professional. Most times, they were the ones who felt insecure, not me, though I was younger. Interview is like a game of poker.

One of the few vital things you should do to prepare for a job interview is not to fear rejection. So what if you get rejected? There are other companies out there. I’d rather know what the company is all about at the outset than guess all along and end up guessing wrong. And I’d rather make them see that I’m not there to waste my time. And definitely, I don’t want to appear subservient in interviews, acting like a slave trying to please company folks, only to be rejected in the end.

Be business-like. After all, applying for work is really selling yourself to the company. It’s business.

Some wonder if it’s okay to ask their chances of being hired or what the salary at stake is. Ask what you want. Don’t be afraid as long as you’re not going to rob the company or kill someone there. I mean, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, go ahead, ask what you want to ask. And ask with enough confidence and dignity. You may be surprised, but some companies hire folks who have enough confidence and dignity than those who look too servile.

But always remember to speak politely, though loud and confident enough. Don’t whisper just to appear kind. Look at the interviewer–or even the CEO–straight in the eye, speak straight and direct, and on equal footing, though with the right deference. Remember to have a good posture with head held up high.

Don’t fear interviews. No one dies of interviews.

Finally, while you’re dying to have an income (it’s why you’re applying for a job anyway, right?), I strongly advice you to look for a small business instead, and later on a small investment. Jobs suck. It looks exciting at first but it gets deathly boring later on. I wish someone had told me about this when I was in my 20s. I would have aimed determinedly for a business.

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