The purpose of improving your interview
technique is to provide you with a powerful weapon in your career
search. Many people come out of an interview feeling that they did
not perform as well as they could have or were not provided with the
opportunity to shine. To gain interview success you must master four
be able to demonstrate your skills and expertise verbally
and within a limited time scale.
You must respond openly and
answer every question fully while attempting to cite examples in the process.
You must be able to handle
any objections that are put towards you.
You may have to justify
your salary expectations.
Some time spent preparing will benefit
you a great deal. By knowing what to expect, you will be more confident
and in control during your interview.
Always ensure you have the following
and position of the person conducting the interview.
The company name, address
and telephone number.
Directions for how to ge to the companies location!
The format of the interview
and if you will be performing any tests?
The likely length of
the interview so you can leave yourself plenty of time.
Have a good knowledge of the company
and the job. Your recruiter will provide you with the necessary information,
but personal effort will greatly benefit and enhance your credibility
as well as reinforce your interest.
There are a number of sources
through which to access client information:
Yellow pages or trade
Call the company to obtain
general company information
Business section of
the local library
Useful information to find out:
the company does
Size of the organization
Is it part of
a larger group and where does company originate
and its place in the market
Most companies will expect both men and
women to wear a suit. Also wearing a suit shows respect for
the client. Dressing smart and conservatively is the safest
Hand Shake (not too vigorous!)
5-10 minutes early - allow yourself plenty of time.
Create a good
impression with the receptionist - they are sometimes
called on for feedback.
If you are asked to
complete the company application form, do not appear irritated
and write 'resume' on sections. Instead provide a brief
Remain calm and confident
if kept waiting; there is likely to be a very good reason.
Most of all,
relax and try not to worry.
slouch or fidget with pens or business cards if you are
Maintain eye contact
with the interviewer; try to do so with all interviewers
if there is more than one.
Do not smoke
or eat, but do accept tea or coffee if you want
Always remain positive.
Do not give negative responses regarding previous employers
Think about your
key strengths and weaknesses as this is a popular
Always ask at least
one question; it is a perfect opportunity to clarify any
queries. Your previous preparation will aid you in formulating
possible questions relating to the company such as the
structure of the department and opportunities for progression.
Know what is on your
resume. If you cannot remember details, the interviewer
may have doubts regarding authenticity.
Thank them for their
time, and if you are interested in the position, do not
be afraid to say this.
If you are unsure by the end of
the interview whether the position is for you, try to
remain interested and enthusiastic. Another role within
the same company may arise at a later date, and people
who came across well at interview are often remembered.
Interview testing is becoming a
more and more popular option with employers. They tend
to come in two different forms.
These tests come in the form of a written
questionnaire asking for your views regarding different hypothetical
situations. You are asked to decide which option suits you best.
From your answers, they can formulate a profile on your likes,
dislikes, strengths & weaknesses. Due to the subjective nature
of these tests, they are seldom used as the sole criteria for
Ability and Aptitude Tests
Aptitude or intelligence tests measure
a person's potential ability after training. These can include
written verbal or numerical tests. Even though testing is becoming
popular, the majority of organizations still rely on qualifications
and previous experience to judge aptitude.
Do not be distressed if faced with a number
of people in a panel interview situation. They tend to specialize
in different areas and often include a representative from personnel.
This person may ask more general questions leaving more specialized
questions for line managers from the relevant department.
Acknowledge all members of the panel with
eye contact at some stage while focusing on the person asking
the question. If possible, try to remember the names of the
people who are interviewing you.
Second interviews are a good sign
that your performance at first interview has been impressive.
At this stage you will have the opportunity to get a more
detailed idea about the company and role.
You may be able to obtain more information
regarding the structure of the organization and more detail
regarding the project. You may also be given the opportunity
to meet the people you will be working with.
Second interviews are also an excellent
opportunity to clarify any concerns you may have by asking
For some positions, you may be asked to
give a presentation. This is a means by which the interviewer
can gauge your communication skills as well as your ability
to present your ideas.
A common fear in interview is being
asked a difficult question and your mind going blank.
If this happens, the best advice would be to keep calm.
Interviews are often structured in a particular
way in order to assess the suitability of applicants. Therefore,
some questions can often be anticipated, and if you have a general
idea of what may be asked you can prepare a few responses or
would be your ideal job? Describe it.
What do you know
about our company?
What was the
biggest challenge at your last job?
contributions can you make?
What was your
most rewarding experience? Tell me about it.
Why do you want
Tell me about yourself.
How do you motivate
What are your
Give me an example
of when you overcame adversity?
Do you work well
under pressure? Give an example.
What are your
long and short range goals?
Where do you
see yourself in 5, 10 years?
What have you
done that shows initiative?
Why are you looking
What does success
mean to you?
have you had in leadership positions?
What is your
How do you set
What type of
work environment do you work best in?
If you were recruiting
someone for this position, what would you be looking
What do you think
it takes to make progress in a good company?
How would your
references describe you?
What is the last
thing you want me to remember about you?
Following your interview, it is important
to thoroughly brief your recruiter on your thoughts regarding
how the interview went as well as on whether you are interested in the position or if you
have any specific reservations.
Your recruiter will be able to help with any queries you have.
It is also useful to have your feedback on the company for our
own records, so we can advise other people what to expect for
In conclusion, remain calm and focused.
You have already impressed us and you have impressed the company
with your resume. Your recruiter will also have briefed them
on your individual qualities and ambitions. Finding the right
position for you is our main goal, and by working together we
can do this successfully.