Interviews can be stressful, especially when interviewing for a position in a country other than your own. As with any other culture, there are expectations and norms that apply to U.S. business culture. Having worked in that environment for many years in management and corporate positions, I've put together a list of five things you can do to help prepare you for your next interview.
1. Research the company Spend some time reviewing the company’s website to become familiar with its product offerings, mission and vision statements, and core values. Keep these things in mind when responding to questions. If you have an opportunity to refer to that company's core values or mention a quote from their vision statement, do it. It shows you have a genuine interest in the company and its goals.
2. Prepare your resume
If necessary, have your resume written by a professional. There are many aspects to resume writing that escape the knowledge and understanding of the average applicant. Professional resume writers are trained to stay abreast of industry standards and expectations and know how to infuse appropriate keywords into your document.
3. Assemble a list of obvious questions
There are countless websites that list common interview questions for free. These are the questions like, Why do you want to work here? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? These questions may be maddening, but many people still use them. Review them anyway and prepare answers for them. As English language learners, this step will go a long way towards boosting your confidence in being able to reply appropriately.
4. Prepare questions for the interviewer
Take some time to think of a few questions you can ask about the position or the company. For example, What are any growth or advancement opportunities? How do you measure success in this role? Would you describe the culture in the company? What's your favorite thing about working for this company? Again, your goal is to show interest and how you can be an integral part of the company.
This is important. There is no such thing as practicing too much. There's a saying in English, "practice makes perfect." As a former music student, I've heard this most of my life. As an adult, I've come learn that it's not true. I understand the sentiment behind the statement, but perfection is hardly, if ever, achieved. While practice may not make perfect, it does make better.
Read part two, Interviewing Skills: During the Interview.
norms (n.) - standards of proper or acceptable behavior
corporate culture (or business culture) (n.) - a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a business or corporation
core value (n.) - a strongly held belief about what is valuable, important, or acceptable
aspect (n.) - a part of something
applicant (n.) - someone who formally asks for something (such as a job or admission to a college) : someone who applies for something
abreast of (adv.) - aware of or informed about new occurrences, facts, etc.
infuse (v.) - to cause (something, such as a quality) to be added or introduced into a person or thing
maddening (adj.) - very annoying
boost (n.) - to increase the force, power, or amount of (something)
integral (adj.) - very important and necessary
sentiment (n.) - an attitude or opinion
perfect (adj.) - having no mistakes or flaws; completely correct or accurate