- Research the company, its products and services - understand what they do.
- Make sure you have the correct address (some companies have several sites). Know who you are meeting, their position and the interview format i.e are tests or a presentation involved etc.
- Arrive a few minutes early, but not too early. Do a dry run if necessary and check there is car parking.
- Dress smartly, preferably in dark colours. Ensure your shoes are clean, make-up is minimal and you smell fresh.
- Greet them with a smile, a firm handshake and a confident introduction. They are assessing not only your skills and experience but how you come across and if you will fit into their team so be polite and friendly to all staff on site too – you never know who they may be.
- Maintain good eye contact with the interviewer.
- Be concise, give clear answers and avoid waffling or straying from the point.
- Be friendly, positive and enthusiastic in your approach.
- Be confident and try to stay calm. Take a few deep breaths if you’re feeling nervous and gather your thoughts.
- Ensure you get your good points across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner. Keep in mind that you alone can sell yourself to an interviewer - make them realise the need for you in their organisation.
- Memorise a short brief to highlight your best selling points.
- If you don’t understand a question ask the interviewer to repeat it or be more specific.
- Take a copy of your CV and know it inside out as you will be asked questions based on it.
- Take time to think about your reply to the questions being asked. Give clear answers that are well thought out.
- Think about typical questions that you may be asked so you can be prepared.
- Thank the interviewer for their time.
Before the interview ends, make sure that you have mentioned all of your relevant experience. Your interviewer may not have covered everything in their questioning. If appropriate, summarise your understanding of what's needed and get their agreement or clarification where necessary. If you are still keen on the position at the end of the interview, reinforce this before you leave. Ask the interviewer what happens next and when a decision is likely to be made.
- DON’T be late – it is never excusable!
- DON’T ramble or answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no”, explain whenever possible.
- DON’T ask questions about salary, bonuses, holidays, office Christmas parties etc. on your first interview unless they raise these points first.
- DON’T “over-answer” questions - you can talk yourself out of a job this way!
- DON’T use slang or jargon or use bad language
- DON’T lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and as much to the point as possible.
TYPICAL QUESTIONS YOU MAY BE ASKED:
- What kind of job are you looking for?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses and what are you doing about addressing them?
- What do you know about the company?
- Why are you interested in working for this company?
- Why did you choose your particular career?
- Why are you leaving your present job?
- Why do you want this job?
- What motivates you?
- Tell me about your day-to-day tasks?
- How do you motivate your team?
- How would your colleagues describe you?
- What do you think of your current employer?
- What do you do outside of work?
- Which position have you enjoyed the most?
- Where do you see yourself in five year's time?
- What have been your major achievements in life?
- What can you offer and can you do the job?
- What questions do you have for us?
- Note: It is common practice for interviewers to ask for specific examples of achievements – it is advisable to have a few good examples in mind before the interview
SOME QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT ASK:
- A detailed description of the position
- Reason the position is available
- Culture of the company
- Anticipated induction and training programme
- Advanced training programmes available for those who demonstrate outstanding ability
- Company growth plans
- The next step
NEGATIVE FACTORS TO WATCH FOR:
During the course of an interview the employer will be evaluating your negative factors as well as your positive attributes. Listed below are negative factors to be aware of;
- Untidy appearance and poor personal hygiene
- Overbearing, aggressive, conceited; superiority complex; know-it-all
- Inability to express thoughts clearly; poor diction or grammar
- Being “vague” when responding to questions
- Lack of career planning, no purpose or goals
- Lack of interest and enthusiasm - passive and indifferent
- Lack of confidence, nervousness
- Over-emphasis on money, interested only in remuneration
- Evasive - making excuses for unfavourable parts of your CV
- Lack of tact/maturity/courtesy
- Being negative or critical of a previous employer or colleague
- Failure to look the interviewer in the eye
- Lack of appreciation of the value of experience
- Failure to ask good questions about the job and company (this is most important!)
- Persistent attitude of “What can you do for me?”
- Lack of preparation for interview. Failure to get information about the company, resulting in inability to ask intelligent questions
Final Interview Checklist.....