Make your first impression count.
Much of this is “state the obvious”, but you would be surprised at how many people fail to secure the job of their dreams because they have not prepared themselves properly.
BE ON TIME!
- Know how long it will take you to get there
- Leave additional time to make sure you arrive slightly early
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT!
- Wear conservative, clean and ironed clothing.
- Women – avoid anything too skimpy such as very short skirts or cropped, strappy tops.
- Men – wear a tie, and avoid white socks with a suit.
SWITCH THEM OFF BEFORE INTERVIEW!
- If you accidentally leave the phone switched on and it rings – switch it off immediately. NEVER TAKE A CALL DURING AN INTERVIEW.
BE POSITIVE & ENTHUSIASTIC!
- Make regular eye contact.
- Shake the interviewer’s hand firmly.
- Appear positive about what you do – lean forward, nod and smile to express interest in what they are saying.
CLEAR, CONCISE & KEEN!
- Make sure that you speak clearly and concisely. You need to sound interested, enthusiastic and confident.
- Research the company on the web site – print the pages and take them with you.
- During the Interview – GAIN CLEAR INFORMATION ABOUT THE ROLE & COMPANY
- Interviews are a two way process – don’t be afraid to ask them questions (but don’t grill them!).
- Identify the company’s requirements (ask them about the profile of the ideal candidate, and what the roleinvolves).
- Match yourself to that profile (talk about your experience and skills that are RELEVANT to the needs that you have just identified).
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU MAY GET ASKED BY THEM!
You may also be asked things like:
- Reasons for leaving jobs, gaps in employment
- Why do you think you are suited to this job?
- What do you know about our company?
- What are your strengths & weaknesses?
- Why did you choose to study those subjects/Courses/Degree?
- What was the most enjoyable part of your studies?
- How did your result fit in line with your expectations?
- Why did you decide to leave education at that point?
- What game plan have you set yourself since leaving education?
- Why did you pursue that position of employment?
- What did the role entail and what responsibilities did you have?
- What aspirations do you have for the next two years?
- What motivates you?
- Who do you see as the Company’s main competitors?
- What do you understand about this position?
- What qualities do you feel a successful candidate should possess? How do you measure up to that?
- Why does this position interest you? What challenges do you feel this job will offer?
- Why should we give you this job?
The questions are likely to be asked in a format like this:
Give me an example of a time when you have …….
- It’s important that you provided a specific and detailed answer – tell the interviewer about the specific situation, what you did, and the outcome.
- Use the term “I”, rather than “we”. If an interviewer hears you saying “we” too often, they will think that it was your team rather than you that undertook the task.
It is very possible that you will now be asked “competency based” questions at interview. These questions ask you to provide specific examples of when you have done something or experienced something and you are expected to provide the interviewer with DETAILED EVIDENCE to prove your experience.
Competency based questions are often asked about:
- Customer service
- Communication / interpersonal skills
- Organisational skills
- Meeting and exceeding targets and deadlines
- Project management
- Overcoming objections/difficult situations.
- Leadership and management
- These questions put you on the spot so prepare by thinking through examples of where you can provide specific and detailed examples in these areas.
PREPARE SOME & TAKE THEM WITH YOU!
Your questions may include things like:
- What qualities do you look for in people who work for you?
- How will you measure my performance?
- What training is provided?
- How big is the team?
- Are there opportunities for career progression?
- Avoid questions relating to money, holiday and “what’s in it for me information” during the first interview.
These topics should be treated with sensitivity during the interview process.