prepare for an interview

We assume that the question specifically relates to preparing and applying for a job through referral or applying directly on a company’s website when job description is not known.

Preparing for a job interview when job description is not known:

Concentrate on what you are looking for:  List at least 3 to 5 aspects that you want in a job. Whether you are looking for your first job or if you are looking to switch.  If you are searching for your first job – list things that made you choose the line of studies you majored in and why you chose to be in this line, that should help you come up with your list.  If you are switching then just think about what you are expecting in a new place that you are not getting in current place, for example, size of company, opportunities, horizons, markets etc.,

Concentrate on what you can bring to the table: IF you are a fresher, think about the perspective and education you bring to the table.  If you are experienced, think about what you have done (can do) that can add value to an organization.  If you can show stats (from previous experience or future markets) – even better.  It is very important to list the qualities you bring to the table that can benefit the EMPLOYER.

Now, explain that to an imaginary interviewer: We don’t think you are crazy and nor are we in suggesting to you to ‘explain what you are looking for and what you can bring to the table can benefit the employer’ to an imaginary interviewer.  There is a real value in this type of exercise. Let the dialogue go back and forth in your mind, if you think there can be a question that you don’t have an immediate answer for, check our questions section, if you don’t find the answer, ask us on the ‘blog’. This kind of preparation will help you feel comfortable with yourself and also help you prepare for the ‘short notice’ interviews.

After that, conquer the ‘most common questions’: The only way you can prepare for any surprise questions is by –

i) knowing what you are looking for and what you bring to the table and

ii) by preparing for the most common questions (including trick questions).  As such, it is important that you go to our ‘questions’ section and go through those before attending the interview.

While applying for a job without job description, keep the below points in mind:

1.  Highlight your skills in the cover letter:  refer to our cover letter section.  We have discussed how to address the cover letter when the job description is not known.  Follow those guidelines.

2. Specify the department you would like to be associated with: If you are being referred by your friend or acquaintance, it is easy to spot the department you are going to be working for. If you are just applying on the company’s website then you want to specify the department your skills can be put to right use.

3. Leave open ended:  Your cover letter should always contain some clause as to say “Even though my experience has been in XXX, I have also worked closely with XXXX and XXXX departments which gives me great insight to how these departments coordinate.  My skills are versatile.”  Not verbatim, but you get the idea.

4. Don’t knock the wrong door:  It is good idea to submit your resume on the company website but ensure that the company does need people with your skills.

Ensure you have done your research:  Whether you are applying through referral or directly on the website, you should always do your search.  Go to company’s career section, if they have one, and see what positions are on there.  If your profile matches with any of the existing openings, you CANNOT send your profile without specifying the position. That shows that you have not done your home work.


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