Maximise your interview
Following our few handy hints on job interview techniques, you could stand out from the crowd
Preparation for an interview is an absolutely key process and will often be the difference between your success and failure. Good preparation not only gives you an insight into the organisation, it can also give you some all important confidence.
Interviewers will expect you to have a good grasp of what their organisation does, who their customers are, how big it is and if possible who its competitors are. Doing independent research on the company will enable you to hold a meaningful conversation and show you really want the job.
Make sure you understand the job description fully and know how it fits into the overall structure of the company. Ask yourself what the key skills for the job are and think of examples which enable you to demonstrate those skills. Consider your skills, qualifications and experience and be prepared to expand on the information you have provided in your application form or CV. Take some time to consider those skills in order that you can talk about which are relevant for the role.
On the day of the interview
Take special care to dress appropriately, smart business wear is most fitting. Plan your journey and ensure you have plenty of time. Make certain you are organised by ensuring you have all the information you require (address, name of person you are meeting). Also, be aware of the approximate length of the interview, the number of people interviewing and the format the interview will take.
Prepare a few lines about your current situation – candidates who are succinct in the explanation of their work experience and provide concrete reasons for seeking a new challenge create confidence in the interviewer. Applying this principle to your previous roles will ensure your poise when faced with questions regarding your experience. Consider what the interviewer wants to know – think of yourself as a product with features and benefits you want to sell. What are your features?
Some companies utilise competency based interviews. These focus on specific skills required to fulfil the role, for example team work or customer service skills. To be successful you need to cite a specific example of a work based scenario.
There will be appropriate times in the interview to ask questions about the company and department, desired qualities and challenges and shows your interest and background work. This enables you to gain more information about the company, its culture and development ensuring it is the right role for you. It is not advisable to ask questions regarding salary/benefits at first interview stage. Instead, stick to questions regarding the company, your role and how you would fit into the environment.
Here are some questions you may like to consider:
- What is the evaluation process for this position eg. Monthly review?
- Are there performance targets to achieve?
- What would be the first challenges?
- Does my role encompass long term objectives?
- How does this role contribute to the efficiency and success of the company?
Not only vital to the success of your interview but also nearly impossible to change. Here's a list of body language do's and don'ts.
- Walk in confidently – it's important you look as professional as possible from the outset
- Deliver a firm handshake – too weak and you'll seem submissive, too strong and you could be seen to be trying too hard
- Sit up straight – avoid being too stiff. It's OK to lean forward slightly every so often, as it shows the interviewer you're listening
- Keep eye contact – maintaining eye contact shows you're not intimidated and that you're taking everything in
- Smile – don't underestimate a smile, it will give you confidence and expresses enthusiasm
- Be overconfident
- Play with your pen/hair
Interviews can take many forms, stages and evaluations. Your consultant will advise and support you through each stage. Use this opportunity to ask questions such as their observations of the company.
Remember – we meet all of our clients!
- Do your homework – research the company and prepare questions
- Travel – arrange your journey in good time
- Timing – arrive a few minutes early
- Dress – as though you are ready and enthusiastic to go to work
- Smile – expresses sincerity
- Be polite – to all the staff you meet
- Sell yourself – the product you are selling is you
- Thank you – at the conclusion thank the interviewer
Tell us here at The Business Connection how the interview went – your feedback is important. Equally, we will always endeavour to gain feedback from our clients for you.