Top Interview Tips

First of all, don't view interviews as an ordeal to be endured, but as a meeting of mutual interests!

1. Dress Formally:

  • Appearances do matter – and more than perhaps we would like to think. By dressing in a suit and tie, or smart skirt and jacket, you show genuine interest in the position, preparation and a professional approach.

2. What to take to interview:

  • A copy of your resume (both Russian and English). A good tip for aiding people in remembering you is to include a photograph on the resume. Also, having a back-up in electronic form, on a disc or flash-card can be useful in case electronic versions have been miss-delivered by email or lost.
  •  Supplementary information about yourself: letters of recommendation, certificates, awards, previous job descriptions – all of these help to set you out from your competitors and give a competitive edge.
  • For the truly motivated, consider making a 5 minute power-point presentation about yourself showing how you are compatible for the position. The more preparation you do, the higher your chances for success.
  •  Bring a business card and, if you don’t have one from work, it would even be beneficial to make some yourself.

3. Come to the Interview on Time:

  • Be sure to arrive on time or 5 minutes early. If you are going to be delayed, if even only by 5 minutes, give a call to inform that you will come a little later.

4. Be Interested in the Position:

Show enthusiasm for the position! Without a drive and real interest for the position, no amount of qualifications, experience or even salary-competitiveness will help.

5. Be communicative, smile:

  • A good interview is about being communicative and open - It is not an inquisition. It is not a good idea to appear silent, hostile, apathetic, disinterested or confrontational. So be as natural as possible, as sincere as possible. A smile can make as much difference in an interview as an earlier studied 4-5 year long degree!

6. Research the Company:

  • Certainly research the company prior to interview (website, news articles …). Showing during the interview that you know about the firm which may employ you for the next few years will be no doubt a significant plus.

7. Accept a Work-Day Interview Time:

  • If you can not take an hour or two from work during the day for the position, for example at lunch time, then the position is probably not so important for you and it is better to not apply to it.

8. Don’t Blackmail or Pressurize Potential or Existing Employers!:

  • Never play games with companies as regards offers and counter-offers, your own company included. By showing offers from one to another, you demonstrate disloyalty, lack of commitment and are most likely to have no offers made or existing ones withdrawn. In the same way, showing offers to your existing employer in the hope of a pay raise is a dangerous strategy and, even if successful for a few months afterwards, most often results in a eventual termination of employment once a replacement can be found.

9. Prepare for the Interview with a Friend or Relative:

  • Prepare for the interview. A good idea is to even role play the interview with a friend or relative. Think about what questions will probably be asked and, also, make it clear to yourself what your real motivations and answers will be. Why do you really want this position? What really do you have to offer? Why are you best for this company? Practice will greatly improve your chances and decrease any nervousness at the interview itself.

10. Never Say you Only Want More Money:

  • Never say that your main motivation for a new job is a higher salary – even if it is. Also be aware that in naming which salary you want you have to not only be realistic, in pricing yourself at the market level for somebody of your skills and experience, but also to name a salary you would actually be happy to work for. The higher the salary you quote, the lower your chances of getting the position and vice versa. Lastly, also note that if you state a salary expectation at the beginning, it is a very bad idea to increase it later.

11. Be Patient, but Stay in Contact with the Interviewer:

  • Some companies may take weeks before deciding to interview you, while others may do so within days. After an interview, some companies may take weeks more to make an offer or a rejection. Be patient, but stay in contact with your interviewer at Brainpower (by email). In all cases, we inform candidates of rejections in writing; so, sooner or later you will be informed of a decision. It is also a good idea after interviews, in the event of rejection, to find out the reason why - so don’t be afraid to ask since this can assist you in improving interview weaknesses for future positions.

12. If an Offer is Made, Take it Quickly:

  • If you are lucky enough to be made an offer from a client, decide what to do quickly. If you wish to accept, do so in writing and confirm by a call as soon as possible. By being slow, an offer can be withdrawn within a few days in some cases. If you are not content with the offer and wish to renegotiate, you may do so but also be aware of the risks of this. If you choose this option, be sure to consult your interviewer first and, again, do so quickly. Usually a week to make a decision is too long and may easily result in an offer being withdrawn.

13. Be Stable in your New Employment:

  • If your resume demonstrates that you have been employed at several firms for short periods of time, it does not reassure future employers that you will stay for long with them either. If you do take a new position, do your best to stay with it for at least a couple of years. Note also, that if you have on your resume one or two recent positions of under 12-18 months, it may become extremely difficult to get new employment with professional firms again.

14. Stay in Contact with your Recruiter:

  • Recruiters are always glad to hear from candidates interviewed or candidates placed in new positions. If you are not successful for one position, by keeping in contact with the recruiter, you may be offered others in future. If you are placed in a position, it is also useful to stay in contact (for advice, recommendations etc.) and always very pleasant for recruiters to hear how the new employment is going.

Good luck with your interviews - but remember that 90% of your luck depends on you!

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