Remember, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. However, good preparation takes the pain out of the process.
Remember: Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Preparation is essential and greatly enhances your chances of performing well, So:
- know your CV
- know your potential employer
- understand commonly used interview styles
- Ensure your consultant has provided you with a detailed understanding of the position description, the team environment and the organisation.
- Conduct additional research on the organisation by reading annual reports and researching on the internet. Understand the organisation’s products and services, size, locations, financial situation and growth potential.
- Make sure you know exactly where you’re going and always be on time.
- Dress conservatively and pay attention to all aspects of your dress and grooming.
- Know the exact place and time of the interview, the interviewer’s full name and the correct pronunciation of their title.
- Spend time reviewing your resume and experience and its relevance to the position. Identify the specific examples in your background that are directly relevant to the position description and demonstrate your ability to do the job.
- Refresh your memory on the details of present and past employers and your work history for each. You will be expected to know a lot about a company for which you have previously worked. Pay particular attention to how you will describe your most important achievements.
- Be prepared to communicate why this role appeals to you, why you should be considered for this role and what sets you apart from other candidates.
- Prepare the questions you will ask during the interview. Remember that an interview is a two-way street. The employer will try to determine if you have the qualifications necessary to do the job. You must decide whether the company will give you the opportunity for the growth and development you seek.
Here are a few more do’s and don’ts for being at your best during a job interview
Preparing for a job interview is essential to making a good impression. Employ these handy job interview techniques to win over your interviewer:
- Plan to arrive on time or a few minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable.
- Greet the interviewer by their first name.
- Wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright and always look alert and interested. Be a good listener as well as a good talker. Smile!
- Maintain eye contact.
- Follow the interviewer’s leads but try to get them to describe the position and duties early in the interview so you can relate your background and skills to the position.
- Make sure you convey your good points factually and sincerely. Keep in mind that you alone can sell yourself to an interviewer. Make them realise why they need you in their organisation.
- Always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job. Never close the door on an opportunity. It is better to be free to choose from a number of jobs rather than only one.
- Answer questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Use the (Context, Action, Result) wherever possible. Share things about yourself relating to the position.
- Lie. Always answer questions truthfully, frankly and as concisely as possible.
- Ever make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers, colleagues or companies.
- ‘Over-answer’ questions. The interviewer may steer the conversation into politics or economics. It is best to answer the questions honestly, saying no more than is necessary.
- Let your discouragement show. If you get the impression the interview is not going well and you have already been rejected, don’t show discouragement or alarm. Occasionally an interviewer who is genuinely interested in you may seem to discourage you in order to test your reaction.
- Ask about salary, bonuses or holidays at the first interview – unless you are positive the employer is interested in hiring you and raises the issue first. However, know your market value and be prepared to specify your required salary or range.