Interviews are an integral part of your job search; it is the ultimate opportunity to sell yourself on a face-to-face basis.
They should not be viewed as a one-sided interrogation with relentless questioning; rather they should be experienced as an open forum for two-way information flow.
Preparation is the first essential step towards a successful interview.
There is no excuse for a candidate possessing little or no information about the company with whom they are interviewing.
Make the time to get yourself fully prepared for this vital part of the job search process and remember the five ‘P’s’;
Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
- Dress conservatively in smart business attire, first impressions last. Think about the image you wish to portray.
- Do your homework on the company, understand its products and services, its recent business growth, plant or office locations and future growth opportunities. This information is usually accessible from documents and publications such as the company’s annual report, corporate website or business publications.
- Assemble relevant personal documentation, such as resumes and qualification certificates. Understand how your own annual remuneration is packaged. Rather than exaggerate your package explain why you feel you are worth more, as you may well be asked to prove your remuneration.
- Prepare examples of previous successes or achievements in your career, as interviewers will often ask for substantiation of specific claims.
- Arrive on time, having previously checked the address and exact location of the interview.
- Know the interviewer’s correct title and the pronunciation of their name.
- Make and maintain eye contact, smile and have a firm handshake.
- Use small talk to establish rapport, but let the interviewer initiate and lead this, as being over familiar at this stage could set the wrong tone.
No two interviewers have the same style, let them take control of the flow but ensure that you display honesty, enthusiasm and warmth.
- During the interview, you will be assessed on your strengths and weaknesses. In addition to this, specific personal characteristics will be probed, such as attitude, aptitude, stability, motivation and maturity.
- After the interviewer has asked about your previous experience, specific skills and competencies and delved into your strengths and weaknesses, it is then opportune to talk about the specific role.
- Ensure that you have a number of well thought out and relevant questions to ask about the role.
- Is this a newly created position?
- Why has the position become available?
- How would you describe the corporate culture?
- What are the company’s plans for future development?
- Is there an induction or training programme for new recruits?
- What is the next step?
- Do not initiate discussions on remuneration at the first interview stage, however be open and honest if asked.
- When dealing with interview panels maintain eye contact with all equally, even if one individual is doing the majority of the talking.
- This is a good time to reiterate any strengths/experience that you feel would add to your candidature for the role.
- If you are interested in the position enquire about the next interview stage.
- If the interviewer offers the position to you and you want it, be prepared to accept it there and then, although this is more typical for contract and temporary roles. If you wish for some time to think it over, be tactful and courteous in asking for that time.
- Leave the interviewer with a good final impression, smile and give a firm handshake. Do not make the mistake of relaxing too early and undoing all your previous hard work
AFTER THE INTERVIEW…
- Immediately after the interview call the ROC Human Resources to discuss how you feel it went, what you did well, what you wish you had done differently and how interested you are in the role. This is a chance for the us to provide extra feedback to the client to further establish your suitability for the role.
- Write a follow up letter or email, regardless of how you feel it went. It is an opportunity to thank the interviewer for their time, recap on salient points, add points not covered, express your level of interest and to leave a good final impression.