You need to convince the interviewer that you are the best possible person for the job and you do this by giving a good job interview.
Before you enter the job interview room, you are just another name on the list. Make sure that by the time you come out, yours is the only name on it. Stay calm, think clearly and don’t let tricky questions and being under pressure put you off your stride.
Make sure you know exactly where the interview will take place, and the name and position of the person you are due to meet. Work out your route in advance and allow a generous margin of error in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Have the telephone number of the company handy so that you can let them know if you are running late as this is generally forgiven whereas unannounced lateness generally isn’t.
Find out approximately how long the interview will take and arrange other appointments accordingly – don’t leave your car on a meter and end up worrying more about being clamped than getting the job.
Where we can, we include company information to help you prepare for your interview and give you a better understanding of the company and the work it produces. However, you may find that digging a little deeper also boosts your confidence at the interview.
Being even a little knowledgeable demonstrates to the interviewer that you have gone to the trouble to see whether you’d fit into the team and make a successful ‘career’ out of the ‘job’. Make sure you ask intelligent questions but not of the “how much holiday?” variety!
Time and again interviewers ask the same general questions in additions to those a more technical nature.
Common are “Why are you interested in this position” “Tell me about your current boss”. “What are the most satisfying/frustrating things about your current employment? “What are your strengths/where do you think your weaknesses lie?” Why do you think we should give you the job?” “Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?”
Learn them, prepare your answers, practice on friends and give a good job interview.
People shouldn’t judge a book by its cover during a job interview, but they do, all the same. If you look untidy that’s how you’ll be remembered and first impressions really do count. Always wear a suit and tie or neat skirt/dress and polish your shoes. Even if you are attending the second interview and you know the organisation allows less formal work dress, maintain a professional/formal approach, as you don’t know who you may happen to meet, the Managing Director perhaps!
It may sound obvious, but be civilised and remember your manners. Shake hands firmly with people you are introduced to and when you leave. If you are offered a coffee say your pleases and thank yous, but keep it natural.
Find the right tone in which to present your positive aspects. You have to talk about your achievements to show you are the right person, but do it without being boastful.
Under no circumstances should you spend a significant portion of the interview running down your current employer – this is viewed as negative.
Don’t pretend you haven’t got any weaknesses because everyone has some. On the other hand, don’t do yourself down, because you could be talking your way out of a job. Discuss your weaknesses as though you have recognised them and strive to overcome them. “I used to have bad time management so now I prioritise my workload first thing every morning.” “I like to take control and be involved in everything. I sometimes find it hard to delegate but when I have, the results have been positive”.
If you lack technical strength in a particular area don’t try and ‘smokescreen’ but admit; “no, that isn’t my strongest suit, but I’m sure it’s not going to be a problem to pick up”.
Above all, don’t wait after the event to decide that you wish you’d tried harder to get the position. Always go in with the intention of getting an offer, only then do you really have the chance to weigh up how this opportunity compares with others. Many people, with the benefit of hindsight, have regretted they didn’t take a particular interview sufficiently seriously. Don’t let yourself be in this ‘if only’ category!
Finally, if you are given the chance to ask questions during your job interview you should always take it. It’s best to ask questions that fit naturally into the context of the interview, and there is obviously no benefit in asking previously prepared question if the subject matter has been adequately covered. It simply looks like you haven’t paid attention.
However, if inspiration fails you here are some suggestions which should give you the right impression:
* What is logical progression within the position, where can I expect to be if my performance is good?
* What are the future plans for the company and department?
* What, in your opinion, are the major reasons why someone should join this company?