An interview offers a forum for both parties involved to find out more about each other. An interviewer’s main objectives are:
· To find the right candidate for the job
· To convince them that this is the right job for them
· To effectively fill the job vacancy
For an interviewee, you want to learn more about the job vacancy and whether it is the best for you and persuade the employer that you are the right candidate for the job. Make sure you are clear about your aims for the interview and prepare very well in advance with all the answers you believe they may ask on the day. Note that the keys to success are good planning and good preparation.
As soon as you have made it through to the interview stage while job hunting, you are likely to feel pleased or even a bit excited. You will want to put in all your efforts so that you impress your interviewers and also make them believe that you are the best candidate for the job. There may be so much to worry about; here are some handy tips to set you on the right path towards interview success:
Read your CV and the job advert again and again just before entering the interview room. Conduct your research properly. Check the company’s website or obtain literature for any relevant information. You may be asked about the salary you expect, so be sure you research that too. Taking your time in preparation for your upcoming interview will for sure increase your level of confidence, enable you tailor your queries and show your to-be employer that you are not only keen but also know your stuff.
Write down the location, time and name of your interviewer
Be sure to take them along with your reference. You would be surprised to find out how many job seekers turn up late, arrive at a wrong location or even miss the interview altogether because they did not note the details properly. Be sure to carry a detailed map and turn up early. If you’ve planned to arrive on time, you’ll arrive late.
A wider research on the internet, university or local library will be a useful way to access relevant trade journals and news articles to have an idea of the current critical issues that are facing the sector.
Network – make use of your contacts to find out if they have any knowledge about the interviewer and the company.
Practice interviews – make good use of career service at your local university- they normally conduct interview workshops and will share interview tips. You can also request your friend to conduct practice interview and be sure he asks challenging questions.
Study the section on personal qualities as well as core competencies- how you can use this interview to prove that you have the right skills.
Be familiar with your CV, the application form and covering letter – do not risk getting caught by queries about your experience or personal background.
Invest in time so as to strengthen your weakness, remember that it’s easy to be average, but to be above average requires some efforts.
Take some deep breaths just before the interview:
Stand up when answering, shoulder back (this will make you feel more confident). Note down a few main points you want to ensure you tell the panel. If you need time to collect your thoughts, tell them so that they don’t wonder why the silence is growing louder.
Review Common Questions and Prepare Responses
Another key to success during an interview is preparing responses to the expected questions. First, you need to find out the type of job interview to expect (this information can be obtained from the person who arranged the interview) your objective is to compose detailed yet brief responses, focusing on accomplishments and specific examples. The best tool for recalling your responses is putting them into story form that you can tell during the interview. Do not memorise responses, instead, develop talking points.
First impressions count
Greet the interview panel with a smile and a firm handshake. Give eye contact. Try to initiate a brief conversation during the walk from reception to the interview room. You need to see yourself before seeing anything else. The interviewer will make subconscious decisions whether they like you or not during the first thirty seconds. This is the time they will decide if you can fit into the team or not.
For telephone interviews, it’s very important that you behave, speak the same way you would during a face-to-face interview and get dressed: your main goal is to portray a confident image of yourself in spite of the underlying nerves. Have writing material with you and take notes of questions you are being asked to be able to refer just in case you forgot. Be sure to have your CV right in front of you since during telephone interviews, they normally ask general questions on your history career overall. Most importantly, make them believe that you are a likable figure and smile just like you would have done in a face-to-face interview.
Answer your questions properly – even if you need time to think about your answer. It’s good to mention to the interview panel that you need a moment to think about the answer rather than speaking instantly and regretting later.
Why should they hire you?
The majority of job adverts normally list the qualities they are looking for- a good communicator, a team player- so it is up to you to figure out ways you will demonstrate these skills. Be ready to talk about your experience, skills, knowledge and abilities. Arm yourself with at least three strong points about yourself that you may relate to the company as well as the job on offer.
The interviewer will be wondering what it would be like working with you, so they will not expect to hear you speak about your current colleagues or boss behind their back. Any interviewer likes to see an interviewee who not only enjoys a challenge but who is also enthusiastic.
Remember your body language
It isn’t what you say, but the way you say it. During the interview, don’t fold your arms and stare at the floor or lean back! Sit upright and try to maintain proper eye contact. Make use of your hands and lean forward when giving a point. Many people are unable to think and control their body language at the same time, which is the reason you should prepare adequately.
Dress for Success
The wardrobe you plan should fit the organisation and its culture, striving for an appearance that is most professional. Note that it is always better to be overdressed rather than under- and to put on clothing that fits you and is very clean and pressed. Keep jewelry and accessories to a minimum. Avoid smoking or eating anything before the interview. If possible, clean your teeth or use mouthwash.
Arrive on Time for your Interview — and Prepared for Success
There isn’t excuse for arriving for the interview late – other than a disaster. Make sure you arrive a quarter an hour before your interview to finish extra paperwork and give yourself enough time to settle. Arriving early will also give you an opportunity to observe dynamics of the workplace.
On the eve of the interview, make sure you pack up additional copies of your CV or resume and a reference list. If you’ve got examples of your work or a portfolio, carry them as well. Lastly, make sure you pack several pens as well a notepad to jot notes. As you head to the offices, switch off your cell phone. And if you were chewing gum, spit it out.
Be upbeat, focused, authentic, concise, confident and candid
As soon as the interview commences, the quality and delivery of your responses are critical to your success. Your aim should always be authenticity, responding openly to the interview questions. You should always aim at progressing to the next step, so you will want to give focused responses that will showcase your experience, skills and fit- with the employer and the job. Give solid examples of accomplishments and solutions – however, keep your responses precise and to the point.
Advance preparation of responses to the common interview questions will help you avoid rambling answers that are long, and that may be boring. Regardless of how much the interviewer may attempt to bait you, do not badmouth your previous boss, co-worker or even your employer. This interview is about you – and your goal is to persuade the panel that you are the ideal person for the job.
Expect the unexpected
The interviewer may attempt to catch you unawares: a survey conducted revealed that more than 90% of interviewers ask ‘killer’ questions during interviews. It’s almost impossible to plan for each and every killer question like ?how would your co-workers describe you?’ However try to be relaxed and take full control. Request your interviewers to repeat the question but don’t try to evade it. Hopefully, you won’t befall the fate of candidates for a job at B and Q who were told to dance to “Blame it on the Boogie”!
Show a sense of humour, energy and smile. It is infectious, being enthusiastic and positive. Ask your interviewers questions about themselves and any issues the business is currently facing.
Ask Insightful Questions
Research shows that interviewers make judgments about your interest in the post by whether you ask questions or not; this is even if the interviewers were thorough in their discussion about the job opening and what’s expected of you. Find a couple of questions to ask regardless. A smart job-hunter will prepare questions to ask a day prior to the interview and include any additional questions that may arise during the interview.
Remember your manners
It’s better to be the one to choose than wait to be chosen. Tell the panel why you need the job and why you are interested in the company. Request for a business card and follow it up by sending an appreciation message like “thank you” letter or email. In the latter say how you enjoyed the meeting and reaffirm your interests. Take this chance to detail the key benefits you are bringing to the table.
Advertise yourself throughout and then close the deal. There is an adage in interviewing that says “the most qualified applicant isn’t always the one who gets hired”. This means the candidate who gets hired is always the job-hunter who does his/her best in responding to the questions posted during the interview and who showcases his/her fit with the department, job and the organisation at large.
Some people have likened an interview to a sales call. You are the salesman or woman- and the commodity you are selling to the employer is your ability to solve the organisation’s problems, fill its needs and catapult it to success.
Lastly, as the interview comes to an end, be sure to inquire about the next stage in the process and the timetable your to-be employer expects to use to reach a final decision about the job. In case you are pursuing a sales job – or a position that requires equivalent aggressiveness – do not be afraid to ask for the job at the tail end of the interview.
Job hunting technique keeps on changing, the labour market, as well as job descriptions, keeps on changing too. However, what more or less remains the same is the interview for the job. It is your perfect opportunity to advertise yourself. The first half a minute of an interview is the most significant – so if you wish to be a cut above others, you should be on the ball. “An interview is all about the three P’s” this is according to Rob Yeung, who is a psychologist in business. He says, “you should prepare, you should practice, and then on the big day, you should perform. If you stick to the 3P’s- prepare, practice and perform, you will no doubt turn yourself into the right candidate for the job”. If you are busy counting down days till your next interview, the above great tips and hints will be a great help you get the correct frame of mind so that you leave a positive, lasting impression on your interviewers.