Preparing for The Interview- An Employee Guide

The phone rings, you answer it. It’s the Recruiter calling about the job you phoned screened for. Good news, you’ve made it past the short list! Congratulations! Now it’s time to prepare for the interview. Prepare you say? What’s the need? I already work here all I have to do is meet the Hiring Manager.


Recruiting is still an inherently social process. The interviewer is qualifying your experience and skills, and assessingoverall “fit”. For the Interviewee, it’s your opportunity to sell yourself to the Hiring Manager by showcasing your professional portfolio and accomplishments. You may be competing with other employees and external candidates, so it’s important to spend some time preparing for the interview to create a good impression. Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have made it easier for your competition to research and prepare for the interview.

Here are a few tips you should keep in mind to help gain a competitive edge:

  • Be on Time– Both you and the Hiring Manager are taking time out of your busy schedules to interview.  Tardiness conveys the other person’s time is not as important as yours. Show up 5-10 minutes early for your interview. It sets a professional tone and demonstrates you value the other persons time.
  • Dress for Success– Recruiter’s meet many external candidates who are eager to make a great first impression.  The way you carry yourself tells a lot about how you see yourself and how you want others to see you.  Take the time to dress to impress.  A neat and tidy appearance with professional ensemble goes a long way to help you stand out.
  • Treat this as a professional meeting– An interview is your chance to sell your professional portfolio and accomplishments. Block time off in your calendar where you are unavailable for meetings or phone calls. Checking your blackberry or answering a call during your interview signals you don’t take the meeting seriously. It also prevents you from concentrating on the questions being asked. Turn off your technology devices and give the Hiring Manager your full attention.
  • Find out about the business area and Hiring Manager– One of the most important things you can do prepare for an interview is learn about the Hiring Manager and business area. Many external candidates take the time to research   the company, business area and Manager before they arrive at the interview. As an employee you have a number of internal and external tools at your disposal to help you learn about the business and the Manager:
    • Your Intranet– Look up the business area to find out news items, organization structure, key initiatives, etc.
    • Collaboration Tools– Some business leaders have blogs. Research to see if the leadership team has a blog and see what they are writing about.
    • LinkedIn– Many people have LinkedIn profiles that showcase their professional persona. Take a few minutes to look up your Hiring Manager and learn about them.
    • Practice, Practice, Practice– An interview is a formal meeting. Even if you know the Hiring Manager, it is important to take some time and practice the interview. This can help alleviate nervousness and make the interview run smoothly. Candidates who answer questions with “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” may be construed as inexperienced. You want to exude confidence in your responses. A good resource to help you is the Global Learning Centre- Course: Preparing for an Internal Interview course.
    • Be prepared to answer the question: “Why should you be chosen for this position?” – It’s amazing how often people stumble when they are asked this question. Yet it’s a question that is almost sure to be asked by every Hiring Manager to every candidate who is in the interview process. So, put some thought into your answer. Remember, you are competing with other employees and external candidates. What really sets you apart from the rest?

What are some tips you want to share?


   by Ann Barrett


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