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Preparing for the Interview

Preparation is extremely important when searching for a job and interviewing with potential employers. Sometimes great candidates with great skills fail in interviews because they do not know how to prepare and present themselves. Here are some basic points from The Bridge Group that you should consider before an interview:

Find out as much information about the company as possible. The company's website is a great place to start. However, also try to find more information from other, more independent sources such as Wikipedia. Do a web-search on a news site for recent news about the company. Sometimes the company's feedback was negative because the interviewee knew nothing about their company. Prepare thoroughly before each meeting.

Dress conservatively and preferably in dark colors. For both men and women, always wear a suit if possible, even if it won't be necessary to wear a suit once you start the position. Do not wear jeans. Even smart-casual jeans are considered inappropriate. If your regular work dress code is smart-casual and you are interviewing immediately after work for example, please inform your Bridge Group consultant who will advise the interviewer (in advance). Also, make sure that your clothes are freshly pressed; shoes are polished; and your hair is well groomed. "Dress for Success".

Question Preparation
Think about questions that you would like to ask the interviewer and questions that he might ask you. See the "Questions for You to Ask" and "Questions for You to Answer" sections on this website for more information.

The Interview
Site Ensure that you know where the interview is to take place. Get a location map with the address if possible and find out whom you will meet and who to ask for when you arrive at reception. Your Bridge Group consultant will provide you with these details.

When to Arrive
Arrive at the interview site as early as possible, perhaps 30 minutes or so beforehand would be good. If you do arrive early enough, visit a quiet place such as a coffee shop so that you can relax, focus and get your mind prepared for the meeting. Go to the actual reception area where the meeting will take place approximately 4-5 minutes before the meeting. Never arrive at reception more than 5 minutes before the meeting. Being too early is about as bad as being late.

When the interviewer is a foreigner, greet the interviewer with a "Firm Handshake" and give your full name (first name and then last name) clearly, and perhaps a little more slowly than usual, to ensure he understands. If you are seated before meeting the interviewer, stand when he enters the room in order to shake hands and give your name. And SMILE: this goes a very long way to a good start to a meeting.

The Handshake
There is nothing worse than a limp, weak handshake. Make sure that the handshake is firm and lasts for a few seconds. Practice your handshake with foreign friends or your consultant to master this critical business communication custom. Westerners feel that a strong handshake means that the person is confident and capable.

Show Enthusiasm, Passion and Interest in the position:
This is critical in obtaining the job. We hear many times from the client that the person showed no interest in their company or position, even though the person might have been strongly interested. Show your passion and enthusiasm. Would you hire someone who showed no interest in joining your company?

After the Interview
Go to a quiet place such as a coffee shop, relax and think about how the meeting went. Were there questions that you could have answered better or is there something extra that you would like to tell the interviewer? If required, your recruiter can contact the company and pass on the extra information that you may have. Also, while everything is still fresh in your mind, telephone your Bridge Group consultant with feedback on the meeting. Feedback usually includes things such as your thoughts and feelings about the position, the company and the people that you met, as well as any concerns or questions that you may have.

After getting your feedback, your consultant will contact the client and get feedback from the interviewer and will then advise you accordingly.

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