The job interview is the great opportunity to promote and sell yourself to a prospective employer but the process begins well before you enter the interview room. The three P’s for success are ‘You need to Prepare, you need to Practice and on the day you need to Perform’.
Re-read the job advert and job description if you have one. Be prepared to show how your education and experience match the requirements of the role. Carry out thorough research on the Company, which can be easily done on the Internet. This should include any latest news or events for the Company. Dress appropriately based on the type of job and perceived company culture.
Arrive on time
Do not be late for any reason and be relaxed and polite to meet any member of the Company before the interview. You are on show right from when you enter the premises.
First impressions count
An interviewer will start assessing you right from the first moment. You need to give a firm handshake with good eye contact.
Don’t read from CV at the interview
You should know about all aspects of your education and work record, with dates and main achievements. You should be prepared to justify anything you have put down in your CV, covering letter or application.
Be prepared for challenging questions
Listen carefully to all the questions and answer without waffling. If you don’t understand the question ask for clarification. Provide a balanced response if a question seeks your views. It’s important to show an ability or interest in being able to learn new skills; if you are asked about something that is outside your experience, describe a situation where you learned something new and suggest you can do so again.
Why should they hire you?
Most job adverts will list qualities they’re looking for – a team worker, a good communicator – so it’s up to you to think of examples of how you can demonstrate these skills. Be ready to talk about your knowledge, experience, abilities and skills. Have at least three strong points about yourself that you can relate to the company and job on offer.
Remember posture and body language
It is not just what you say, but how you say it. During the interview, do not fold your arms and lean back or look to the floor! Sit upright and try to maintain good eye contact. Use your hands and lean forward when making a point. Many people cannot think and control their body language at the same time, which is why you need to prepare.
Your interviewer will be thinking about what it would be like to work with you, so the last thing they’ll want to hear is you talking about your boss or current colleagues behind their back. Interviewers like to see someone who enjoys a challenge and is enthusiastic.
Asking questions shows you are interested in the job and it’s a good idea to have two or three prepared in advance. For example:What kind of further training would be provided?
Does the organisation have plans to develop in…?
What is the proposed start date for the role?If you have had all your prepared questions answered during the Interview and then simply explain this.
Ask the interviewer for a business card and follow it up by sending a “thank-you” e-mail or letter, saying how much you enjoyed meeting them and how interested you are. Take the opportunity to briefly detail the key advantages you bring.