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Interviews in Israel can be both formal and casual and depending on the size of your prospective employer the first stage interview may be with a personnel/human resources representative of that employer.
Put yourself in the employer's shoes - Why should I hire you?
There is an enormous wealth of material on the subject of interview planning and technique and what is provided here is by no means a comprehensive overview; rather, a brief insight.
The informational interview can be particularly useful for the immigrant job hunter and for those on Pilot Trips. It involves gathering information from people in the field, about the field.
Your objective is turning interviews into job offers.
Practice, Practice, PracticeThere is no substitute for practice both through constant interview experience and using role-play exercises.
Be preparedMany interviews are lost well in advance by the applicants' failure to do sufficient research to understand the employers' needs.
Research your potential employer: ask friends, check the internet, what type of business does the employer conduct.
You will need to demonstrate that you have done your homework: think about competitors, industry trends, the day to day tasks associated with the job, common problems in the industry and recent changes or developments in the organization.
Match your knowledge, skills and abilities ahead of the interview.
Getting there Do you have the right address? Don't be late. Check the route in advance, assess the time you need, anticipate delays and the best advice - do a dummy run.
Anticipate questionsIf you are lucky, you will be interviewed by an experienced interviewer who will make you feel at ease. The best interviews are an equal and bi-directional exchange of information. The really experienced interviewer will be looking for a reason not to hire you.
Typically you may be asked:
- Tell me about yourself? - This tests your ability to communicate - it is not an invitation to go through your life history
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What were your duties and responsibilities?
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you want to be three years from now?
- What motivates you at work?
- Why did you choose this field?
This list is endless - be prepared.
Make sure your answers are clear and communicate your qualities. Ask questions:
- You should have at least 10 questions prepared - no need to ask them all
- Show you have done you homework
- Demonstrate your ability to question/analyze
- Where are the main customers of this organization
What are the competitive factors facing the work group in the organization
Get feedback during the interview - ask
- Do you believe I have got the kind of experience you are looking for?
- How do you feel my experience matches your needs?
- Present yourself as the solution - what can you offer?
Here are some ideas - list what you can do
- Cut costs
- Use old things in new ways
- Cut down time
- Turn around a bad situation
- Meet deadlines
- Improve customer support
- Talk about possibilities
Most people's jobs change as the needs of their employer change.
In general, the people who really succeed are the ones who have actually created their own jobs by putting forward new ideas, expanding their scope and opening up new possibilities.
Dress like a winnerThe way you present yourself - your clothes, posture and grooming communicates a great deal. Even though there is a degree of informality in the Israel dress code at work - for the interview it is best to dress in conservative fashion.
Express your qualities
Cite a past work related situation or accomplishment that demonstrate some or all of the following qualities you have:
- Self Assured
- Able to think on feet
- Eye for detail
Close with actionDon't sound desperate but also - don't leave the interview on vague terms
- What else do you need to know about me to make a decision?
- Do you have any reservations about my ability to perform this job?
- What is the timescale for this appointment?
Repair mistakesCompose a letter addressed to the employer with the purpose of conveying and clarifying those ideas you neglected to state or emphasize enough in the interview.
Nothing ventured is nothing gained - tell the employer that you think you performed poorly in the interview and that you would like to meet again.
More interview practice and role-play will prevent you repeating the same mistakes.
Debrief thoroughlyEndorse your success and recognize your failures.
- Did you become comfortable in the interview?
- Which questions could you have better answered?
- Where did you succeed? Where did you fail?
- Which topics led to awkward silences?
- Did you emphasize your understanding of the connection between the organization's needs and your skills and experiences?
- Did you create a conversational atmosphere?
- Did the interviewer ask questions for which you were not prepared?
- Did you understand and address the interviewer's concerns about your candidacy?
- Did you forget to ask any questions about the job or organization that would help your decision should the job be offered to you?
- What would you do differently next time?