You may have sent out several applications to different job vacancies abroad in the hope of swinging interviews in your favor. However you should not attend any interviews without a lot of preparation, because the outcome of an interview has much to do with how organized and well prepared you are. Parang exam lang yan sa school, hindi ka papasok na hindi ka nag review…Kailangan prepared ka! This will strengthen your self-confidence and enable you to leave a lasting impression that can move you up to a 2nd interview or even a job offer abroad.
Interviews can take many different forms such as: telephone interviews; video interviews; Skype interviews; face to face or panel interviews; group discussions; functional assessments (presentations, written tests, role-play); etc. It is therefore advisable not to make too many assumptions about how you will be interviewed but make sure you are prepared and ready for any type of interview you may be asked to attend. So, handa ka na ba?
To make sure you are ready, you should observe the following final checks:
- Have you established who they are? Conduct research on the company on their website, look out for any current news that will enable you to get to know your future employer better. I-Google mo na yan…Understand their products, services and market in order to be able to respond with confidence to questions. The extent of your research will set you apart from other job seekers who do not research as much. This will also help you to frame your own questions about their corporate culture and future plans.
- Do you have the required skills? Medyo awkward naman mag-apply na hindi ka naman pala qualified. Make doubly sure, as much as possible, that you match the job description desired. Carefully compare the knowledge level, skills and competencies being sought against your own profile. Check out where the position fits within the organization.
- Try to find out what the interview method will be? Wala naman masama kung magtanong sa Ikon recruiter mo if they can give you more information about when, where, the length of time and the type of interview. The more information you gather, the more prepared you will be in being ready for the interview.
- Do you know who will interview you? If possible, enquire about the names or positions of the interviewers and do some research on them via the internet to make them more familiar to you.This will help control any stress you may have about meeting unknown strangers. Use this information intelligently at a good moment to build rapport if there happens to be any common relationship with any of them.
- Have you practiced how to handle the ‘Tell Us About Yourself’ question? Your interview will most likely be a mix of questions based on your resume, your behavioral aptitude and your specific experience to reveal your strengths and weaknesses. So, make a list of the major areas of your past work and prepare a simple story with examples of your success at work. Refer to this list mentally and elaborate on each point when asked to speak on your past performance.
- Have you controlled nervousness? Pag may interview, madalas talaga nauuna ang kaba, sometimes mahirap talaga i-control but just relax and don’t let your nerves ruin your performance and chances. Practice how to answer each question calmly. Pause to think before blurting something out and miss the question altogether. Think positively to overcome the fear of rejection and learn to face reality because the worst that can happen will be that you may have to continue a little longer to seek and find another job abroad that is waiting and more suitable for you.
Have you planned your wardrobe? Sabi nila, don’t dress to attract but to impress. Present yourself in a formal manner in all respects. Make sure formal in a corporate setting at hindi yung poporma ka for a gimik night. Dress conservatively in professional attire, making sure that your clothes are clean, properly ironed and wrinkle-free.
- Have you play acted the interview to polish your style? Write your answers to all likely questions and edit for brevity and accuracy. Then play out your answers before someone, or in front of a mirror or video camera to make sure that your overall manner is credible and mature. Remember, practice makes perfect!
- Have you framed your own questions? Make out a list of some important questions to ask about the job, the organization (beyond the internet), the team, etc. that you want answered. Practice body language and look out for non-verbal cues from the interviewers. Avoid actually asking about salary and benefits at the initial or first interview stage.
- Have you organized what to carry? Of course, hindi ka naman pupunta sa interview mo na walang dalang basic requirements. Don’t forget to take along copies of your CV, application letter, invitation for interview and names of interviewers (if you have them). Carry your certificates, highlights of your earlier work and successes, necessary documentary evidence certifying that you are indeed what you claim to be, and a list of references, if possible. Carry a street map, money, notepad. photo ID, and your mobile phone (which should be switched off during the interview).
And last but not least is the most important question that you need to ask to yourself, before and after, the interview: “do I feel that this job is right for me and can I deliver what is required.” If your answer is “yes”, make sure that you comply with all that is mentioned above in order to succeed in your interview ahead. Good luck!
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About the Author:
Paolo Martel is the Managing Director of Ikon Solutions Asia, Inc., a POEA-licensed agency.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for future columns, please email Paolo Martel at [email protected] (Replies will not be addressed individually.)
For available jobs from the agency, visit their WorkAbroad.ph profile.