The interview is your chance to impress the employer with your professionalism, enthusiasm and personality. The following tips from us at Joprp will help you to complete a successful interview. Please note that this section is intended only as a guide and each interview will be different and unique in its own way. We do however feel that we have covered this section in the greatest possible depth and we would strongly recommend that you spend some time on this section. It will only increase your chances at the interview if nothing else.
Preparation for the Interview:
Make sure you have researched the organization that you are going to and the position you have applied for - being prepared to ask intelligent questions will always look as though you are genuinely interested in the organization. Company reports, the internet, brochures, the media, the stock exchange and the library are great sources of information. Areas of research should include the company's mission statement, their key staff members e.g. CEO, the market in which it operates, their competitors, their history and future path, their products and services etc. Know who you are seeing and exactly where the interview is being held to avoid being late. We recommend being at least 10 minutes early. Take along a spare resume, and a note book and pen to take notes with. Written references are also advantageous. Practice typical interview questions and prepare honest persuasive answers that you are likely to encounter. Most importantly be prepared to know yourself. Truthfully assess your employment history and background and devise explanations for your strengths, weaknesses, skills and experience, career aspirations etc and the relevance to the position. This will help you answer those dreaded questions honestly and concisely.
Initial Impressions: Dress to impress. Make sure you are wearing smart business wears, and that you are looking neat and tidy. First impressions are lasting, but don't overdo it. Look the interviewer(s) in the eye when you are greeting them, making sure to use formal language. A good personal manner is important in any business. Make sure to be confident, courteous, smile and to have a firm handshake. It shows confidence and a pleasant nature. Eye contact is crucial, as is good posture. Sit up straight, smile and convey enthusiasm. Slouching in the interview conveys a sense of disinterest and laziness. Research suggests that men should wear a navy blue or dark suit, with a clean well pressed white or pale shirt. Your shoes should be well polished and you should have the minimum amount of jeweler. You should also limit the amount of fragrance you wear. Research suggests that women should wear a suit or a tailored dress in navy or dark colors. Blouses should be color coordinated and shoes should be closed toe. If you choose to wear stockings, natural colors are recommended. You should also limit the amount of fragrance you wear. Women should also note that they should cross their legs at the ankles and not at the knees for good appearance.
The Interview: Be confident with a warm smile and a firm handshake when meeting the interviewer. Sit when ask to be seated. Be positive and pay particular attention to your body language. For example crossed arms indicate barriers between you and the interviewer, and leaning forward implies interest. Make sure to listen to the questions carefully without interrupting, in order to answer them as concisely as possible. Before you respond to a question, make sure you think about your answer. This will help you to speak more confidently. Do not waffle - answer the question that has been asked and do not be or try to be evasive. If you cannot answer a question, be up front about it. Honesty is the best policy. If it's a technical question that you really should know the answer to, explain that you will get back to them after you have carefully researched the question. As mentioned previously eye contact cannot be stressed enough when answering questions. It implies confidence and honesty. Also look at who you are talking to but do not exclude the other interviewers present. By having practiced difficult interview questions, answers will come more fluently, and some of the questions will not be as hard as they seem. Drawing on past experiences is often necessary to answer interview questions. These answers don't necessarily have to be contained to the workplace e.g. being a team player in a sporting team, sharing a flat etc. The important thing is not to make up an experience; it is highly likely that you will be caught out. If you feel that an interview question is inappropriate, a tactful approach needs to be taken. An example for a response may be "I'm a bit confused, can you please explain why that may be of relevance to the position?" In most cases the employer will realise they are in the wrong and back off. Although you may be justified in refusing to answer such a question, this might cost you the job. The question that needs to be asked in such a circumstance is that whether you really want to work for a company that places emphasis on such things that you find inappropriate.
Some general guidelines to follow at the end of the interview:
Be sure to enquire about the next interview stage; If the interviewer offers you the position and if you feel that the interviewer has answered your questions to your complete satisfaction, and you are truly interested in the position, accept the job offer on the spot as this will secure you the position and you will no longer be competing with others; If he does not offer the position but you are truly interested you should ask something along the lines of "I am very interested in being part of your team, what is the next step". However do not be too discouraged if no offer is made. It may be that he wants to discuss with his colleagues or interview other candidates before reaching a final decision; Ensure they know how to reach you when they conclude the next step; Thank the interviewer(s) for their time and shake their hand firmly at the end; Remember that everyone will give feedback so be polite to receptionists and secretaries you never know how much influence they will have. It could be the interviewer's wife.
All these points are there to give you the final chance of leaving a lasting impression. It may be just what gets you over the final hurdle.
After the Interview:
Immediately after the interview jot down all your thoughts and important information that was uncovered in the interview. It is amazing how much one forgets and this may help you if you are called for a second interview. Call your consultant to inform them about how it went, and if you have any queries that may need to be addressed. They are there to help you so use their expertise. If you are sincerely interested it may be a good idea to write a formal letter to the interviewer expressing your interest. This shows you to be enthusiastic and proactive and may secure that role.
There are many questions that you could be asked at an interview. But the essence of all the questions generally falls into these three categories:
Do you have the skills and the ability to do the job? How enthusiastic are you to land this job and are you willing to do the job? Are you going to fit in with the company and the present staff? Your personality is probably the most important factor that will secure the position. The interviewer wants reassurance that he can work with you and you are manageable.
Generally all the questions the interviewer asks throughout will be based on finding out the above. For further detailed questions that you could possibly be asked please click the following: Interview Questions.
The interview is a two-way process and the interviewer will probably ask at the end if you have any questions. It is crucial to your success to have a few prepared, to show your enthusiasm and interest for the position. This is also your chance to clear any lingering doubts that you may possess. How you respond will affect their evaluation of you.
General questions you should maybe ask or cover include:
Why the position is vacant? How many people have been in this position in the last five years? What would be the main responsibilities? What training is given? What are the other people in the department like and how would they impact me if I were successful in the position? What is the company's plan over the next few years and how would this impact the position? What opportunities are there to progress? What are the most difficult aspects to the position and can you give examples of the best results from previous candidates in this position.
Other good topics to touch on include:
The competitive environment in which the organization operates. Executive management styles. What obstacles the organization anticipates in meeting its goals. How the organization's goals have changed over the past three to five years.
Remember and stick to questions about the company, its staff, its products and its services. Remember and stick to questions about the company, its staff, its products and its services.
Interview Dos and Don'ts
Do ask job related questions. Focus on the job, the company, products, services and people. This is much easier done if you have conducted research previous to the interview - this will show an acute interest in the position and the organization.Do ask about your potential peers, subordinates and superiors.Do try to relate your answers to the organization that you are applying to. This will emphasize your suitability for the job.Take notes prior to the interview, write your list of 'Interest Questions' and take them with you.Do pay attention to the style of your interviewer and the surroundings. This will help you tailor your answers to the style of the company, showing your ability to fit in.Do project enthusiasm throughout, and make sure to smile!Do not cross examine the employer.Do not ask about the salary, benefits or holidays during the interview. This can be discussed at a later date, or your consultant will liaise. We strongly recommend for you to encourage the interviewer to correspond with the consultant with all these issues. Our consultants are experts in salary negotiations so it is in your best interest to use them.Do not give a range if you are asked what salary you are looking for - they will more than likely to offer you the lowest end.Do not criticize your old employer. Negativity never makes a good impression.Do not be discouraged if you are not successful. Take it as a learning experience for future interviews. Analyse your interview and look at ways that you could improve your technique.Do be enthusiastic, but make sure you don't constantly interrupt. If you do, your enthusiasm could be misinterpreted as rudeness.Do practice your fluency of answering questions with a family member or a friend and talking out aloud. Remember - practice makes perfect!Do make sure to use strong language instead of being tentative. Phrases such as "I think I can" or "I feel I could" would weaken your case for the job.Do expand your vocabulary in the interview from monosyllabic yes and no's. These can make the interview more like an interrogation, and also waste your chance to show your proficiency of speech.Do be polite to all other employees at the company, including secretaries and receptionists. Everyone gives feedback, and anything negative they might say about your actions may start you off on a bad foot when it comes to decision making time.