An interview gives you the opportunity to convince a potential employer you are the best person for the job, and to make sure the job and company are right for you.
Follow these steps to guide you through the basics of interviewing:
- Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to find out as much as possible about the company e.g. products or services, mission, history and clients.
- Study the job description and try to anticipate questions you are likely to be asked and practise answers in advance.
- Find out if the interview format includes any technical or psychometric tests, and whom you will meet.
- Obtain clear directions for the location of the interview and plan your journey allowing time for unexpected delays.
- If you are unavoidably delayed notify the company or your consultant immediately giving the reason and your estimated time of arrival.
- Arrive at least 10 minutes early.
- Dress appropriately for the occasion.
- Introduce yourself clearly and offer a confident handshake with a smile.
- Maintain regular eye contact, listen, and give nonverbal feedback to the interviewer.
- At all times during the interview, be confident, polite and honest.
- Take your time to think about your answers and then express yourself concisely.
- The impression you want to give is that you are motivated, you will fit in with their culture, and your experience will contribute to the company’s success.
Prepare some interesting questions of your own, for example:
- What are your brand values?
- How do you invest in training and career development?
- How does the company anticipate growing or expanding?
- Is this a new role, or replacing a previous incumbent?
- If the latter, why did that person move on?
- Why do you like working here?
Questions you may be asked generally fall into one of the following categories, and can be phrased in various ways:
- Your current or previous job and company
- Your professional working experience
- Your capabilities and competencies
- Your achievements – personal and professional
- How you dealt with certain situations
- Your goals and aspirations
- Your likes and dislikes, motivations and so on
- Your view on their industry, company or competitors
- Check if the interviewer has any last questions or reservations that you can address before you leave.
- If not, ask what the next steps might be and thank them for their time, leaving on a positive note.
- And finally, take your time to think about the interview before contacting your consultant to give them feedback.