Preparation is the first step for a successful interview!
Ensure that you have the correct time, address and contact person to ask for. It is wise to research transport options to the client site if you do not have access to a car. Ensure that you allow yourself more than enough time to arrive calm and relaxed and to find parking if needed. If you find that you are running late, contact your consultant immediately so that they can contact the client.
Do some company research
It is important to research the position and the company. Your consultant will provide you with current information about the position, company, type of interview you will be attending and people conducting the interview. Make sure you read over the job specification and anything else given to you by your consultant, so you are fully aware of what the position requires and to gain an understanding of the types of questions the interviewer may ask.
Visit the company’s website if they have one and find out as much information as you can. You can then demonstrate this knowledge and interest during the interview. Seek additional information that will provide you with a well rounded appreciation of the company and include information from online sources such as recent news, media mentions, press releases and social network sites including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Acquire information about the company’s performance and future objectives through annual reports where they are available and relevant industry publications. Researching the industry in which the company operates and key competitors. This level of knowledge will enhance your level of understanding of the company’s business as well as demonstrate your eagerness to gain employment with them.
Dress for success! Your first impression will be critical and you will only get one chance to make the first impression. Ensure you are dressed appropriately and feel comfortable. For more presentation tips, please refer to our Interview Tips – Presentation guide.
It is important during an interview that your non verbal communication mirrors your verbal communication to reflect your interest and enthusiasm.
Always maintain good eye contact with the interviewer. Gazing around the room may convey to the interviewer that you are not interested in the position.
Sit up straight facing the interviewer, be attentive and interested. Always have a firm hand-shake as this is further confirmation of your professionalism and confidence. You should shake hands at the beginning and the end of an interview, and with all interviewers.
Finally, don’t forget to smile!
Be prepared for questions
The aim of an interview is to obtain as much information from you as possible in an allocated time frame. The employer will base the decision on a number of areas including skills, knowledge and abilities, personality and cultural fit, attitude, presentation, availability and references. A range of questions will be asked of you to assess as many of these things as possible and as such a typical interview will contain many standard questions, for which you can be prepared.
These questions may include:
Tell me about yourself
What kind of position are you looking for?
Why do you want to work in this industry/ company?
Why did you leave your last position?
What did you like least / most about your last position?
Can you give me some examples of the most difficult problems you encountered in your previous position? How did you resolve them?
Why should we hire you instead of other applicants?
What can you offer this company?
What do you know about the company?
Why did you apply for this position?
What skills / qualities do you think would be important to this job?
How long do you expect to stay in this role / company?
What are your strengths / weaknesses?
Where do you see yourself being in 2 / 5 year’s time?
Whilst you may not be asked all of these questions, you can expect to be asked some of them, or a variation on them. Think about what your response may be and rehearse how it may sound.
Prepare some questions of your own
This is your opportunity to learn more about the role and the organisation and show how interested you are in the position. It is wise to prepare some questions before hand. You may also think of questions as the interview progresses. Some more common questions may be:
Could you tell me a little bit more about the company?
Could you tell me about the training program?
What is the process following this interview?
Being well prepared before attending an interview will assist you in presenting to the employer as a confident, assured and interested candidate, worthy of definite consideration for the role.