Before the interview:
- Find out as much as you can about the company, research the company via their website and where applicable also their staff, culture, clients and competitors.
- Ask your consultant for a job spec / job description, go over this thoroughly and try to work out what sort of person is required and match that to your own strengths and skills.
- Plan your travel route and allow time to arrive 15 minutes early.
- Make sure that you look smart and professional as first impressions are really important. For most businesses a suit is the best option when attending an interview.
- Prepare for possible questions and make sure you practise answering them.
The interview process: A few do’s and don’ts
- Upon arrival, treat the personnel at Reception with the same respect as if they are the interviewer; you never know how important their input may be.
- Know the time and place of the interview and the interviewer’s full name and title.
- Ensure that you fully understand the job description of the position for which you are being interviewed
- Dress professionally (i.e. proper business attire).
- Speak slowly and clearly. Don’t rush your answers.
- Stress accomplishments.
- Ensure to answer every question fully and honestly.
- Ensure you are consistent in your answers throughout all interviews.
- Answer questions truthfully and as to the point as possible.
- Ask questions to show interest in the Company and the position.
- Ensure they know you are interested in the position; never close the door on an opportunity.
- Look alert and interested at all times and look the interviewer in the eye.
- Relax, smile and have a positive attitude.
- Don’t answer questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Explain whenever possible.
- Avoid saying anything negative about present or previous employers or co-workers.
- Never lie!
- Take care not to over answer questions. Answer honestly and if you are unsure of the answer, try not to say more than is necessary.
- Don’t enquire about SALARY, HOLIDAYS, and BONUSES at the initial interview unless the interviewer raises the issues first.
- However, you should be aware of your market value and be prepared to state your required salary range.
- Don’t be frightened of silence; at times the interviewer may be just trying to test you.
- Don’t jump ahead or give more information than is required. Pay attention to “cutoff” cues.
Prepare yourself for questions like these:
- Why are you interested in this particular role?
- What do you really want from your next career move?
- Why would you like to work for our organisation?
- Where do you see yourself, career-wise, five years from now and why?
- Under which style of management do you work best?
- What interests you about our company?
- What would your previous employers say about you?
- What have you learned from previous jobs?
- Which jobs have you enjoyed most and why?
- What are your strengths / weaknesses?
- What do you think are the necessary assets for progression within a company?
- How would you describe ‘teamwork’?
- Give an example of a problem or conflict that you have resolved recently.
- Sometimes an interviewer will ask a competency-based question, in which case, pause and then answer as comprehensively and concisely as possible – this will explain what you do well, and how you do it, as thoroughly as possible to sell yourself to them! Some questions can be competency-based e.g. ‘Give me an example of when you have disagreed with something that a colleague has done’ – be prepared with an example including what the situation was, what your action was, and what the outcome was.
Closing the interview:
- If you are interested in the position, say so.
- Ask about second interview schedule if you feel it is appropriate.
- If you are offered the position and you want it, accept it there and then, if you feel you need time to think about it, be courteous and tactful in asking for time to think it over. Set a definite date as to when you will get back to them.
- Do not be too discouraged if no definite offer is made or specific salary discussed.
- If you have the feeling that the interview has not gone well and you have already been rejected, do not let your discouragement show. The interviewer may just be testing your reactions.
- Ask questions back – this will show your enthusiasm about the position.
- Don’t be afraid of asking if you have covered everything that they need and if there is anything else that you can say.
- Thank the interviewer for his/her time.
Make sure you inform your consultant and give them feedback after your interview. They are there to help so you should let them know of anything you feel uncertain about. They should also be able to negotiate offers on your behalf.