The key to a successful interview is preparation… your success may depend on how you conduct yourself in an interview situation – so it is well worth spending time getting organised. The following guidelines may help you:
- APPEARANCE : Making a good first impression is vital – you never get a second chance to make a first good impression, make sure you look smart and business like for your interview!
- RESEARCH : Conduct relevant research and find out about the company (company websites are an excellent source of information)
- PREPARATION : Make sure you know the name of the person interviewing you and their position in the company. This will be given to you prior to the interview by your Recruitment Consultant.
Conduct relevant research and find out about the company (company websites are an excellent source of information).
Things such as:
- What the company does?
- How long has the company been established?
- How many people do they employ?
- Do they have other sites & if so, where are they?
- Products and services, recent performance, target market, client base, competitors and brand values.
Ensure you have gone through the full job description in detail. This will keep what the company are requiring fresh in your mind and will help when relaying your answers and keep the details relevant in what you have to offer to what they are after.
Make notes of your skills/experience relevant to the job. This will help with memorising key points and facts for the interview.
Prepare a list of questions you may want to ask at the interview.
If you are unsure of the location (time it takes to get there or the exact location of the premises), take some time to check it out and if you have time, perform a ‘dummy run’ prior to the day of the interview. This way you will know exactly where it is and how long it takes to get there, ensuring you won’t be late.
Ensure all these things are ready before the day of the interview instead of rushing around in the morning of the big day. Have a folder containing your CV, references and certificates.
Interviews generally follow a set pattern. You will be:
- Told about the job & the company.
- Asked questions to check your skills & to assess your abilities, personality & suitability for the job.
- Asked if you have any questions.
- Told what the next stage will be (i.e. if there will be a second interview & when you’re likely to be notified of a final decision).
AT THE INTERVIEW
- Arrive 15 minutes early to give yourself time to relax, go to the toilet and check your appearance – also run through any interview notes you may have.
- Make sure your mobile phone is turned off!
- Greet the interviewer with a smile, maintain eye contact & give a firm handshake. Greet them by name (this shows your attention to detail and enthusiasm to be part of the team).
- Be aware of your posture & body language. If you find yourself fidgeting with your hands, rest them on your lap.
- Speak clearly, slowly & confidently. Never swear!
- Do not be afraid to ask for something to be repeated or for a question to be rephrased if you do not understand.
- Your answers should be truthful & brief but informative.
- Try and avoid ‘Yes/No’ answers, try and elaborate where possible.
- Take a list of possible questions to ask, so not to forget any questions during the interview. Make sure you ask all the questions you need to. This will also show the interviewer that you have put thought and preparation into the interview.
- Ensure you have mentioned all your relevant experience, as it may not have been covered during the interview.
* Remember; it is perfectly acceptable to take notes in with you at an interview as an interview is a test of your knowledge, skills and experience – not a memory test!
When the interview comes to a natural end. You should always:
- Thank the interviewer for their time
- Smile & shake hands again.
- Do not be afraid to tell the interviewer you are interested in the job.
- Ask what the next stage of the recruitment process is and when they will be making a final decision.
- The interview does not end until you have left the premises…be professional and in an interview frame of mind until then.
* Remember; the interview is a two-way process – you should be interviewing your prospective employer as much as they are interviewing you!
For a list of example questions that may be asked by your potential employer and a list of questions you could ask them; please refer to the “Interview Example Questions”