In landing an interview your curriculum vitae has convinced your prospective employer that you are capable of doing the job. Now it’s your turn. Here’s some interview tips to get you in shape for the big event.
Make a good ‘first impression’ at interview
The interview(s) will be your chance to close the deal. Your chance to convince them you’re the “best” person for the job.
Convincing prospective employers you’re capable gets you the interview, convincing them you’re the best gets you the offer.Vivienne Hall
The interview isn’t a ‘test’. It enables the interviewer to see if you possess the necessary skills, personal attributes and knowledge for the job. It is also a great opportunity to find out more about the company and whether it is a good fit for you.
How important is preparation?
No interview tips page is worth the name if it doesn’t emphasise preparation. It doesn’t matter whether your prospective employer does things in person or favours a virtual recruitment approach one thing remains constant: Preparation is all important.
Alway help the interviewer appreciate that you have taken the time to prepare. If you have demonstrated to them that you’ve taken the trouble to learn about their business then you’re halfway there. Nothing impresses upon them your desire to do well more than demonstrating a deep knowledge about them. Additionally it demonstrates your ability to plan, to organise, and to think ahead. Remember preparation is everything. Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail.
What should I know about the company?
Here’s one interview tip to rule them all: Before your interview find out as much background information about the company as possible. With access to so much information it is inexcusable to attend an interview, in-person or online, without being prepared. So do your research. This will help you decide if they’re the kind of company you’d like to work for, for instance:
- What is their main business/product/service?
- How many employees do they have?
- Are they part of a large group, do they own other companies?
- Who are their competitors?
- Who is their CEO, Regional Manager etc?
- Have they been in the media recently? Find out!
- What is their company mission/philosophy/turnover and profits?
Dress to impress
Your appearance can colour an interviewer’s opinion of your ability or suitability for the job. Take care to make that crucial first impression a good one. In our experience taking too much care with your appearance is a much better risk than taking too little. Here are a few things to remember:
- Unless advised otherwise, wear business attire i.e. business suit with shirt/ blouse
- Tone down make up, perfume/aftershave and jewellery
- Wear something different to any follow-up interviews
What to take to your interview
- A copy of your Curriculum Vitae
- Any references/referrals
- Take just one bag or briefcase
- Mobile phone [ensure it is turned off during the interview]
Getting to your interview
- Make sure you have clear travel directions
- Research the location
- If possible, do a ‘dummy run’ beforehand
- Allow plenty of travelling time to take account of unexpected delays
ConfuciusChoose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Things to do in the interview?
- Remember the interviewer is often as nervous as you
- When you meet your interviewer, confidently greet them
- Be polite
- Accepting hospitality in the form of a soft drink, tea or coffee is fine
- Be yourself, be honest
- Show a real interest in the job
- Demonstrate knowledge of the business
- Don’t attempt to answer a question you don’t understand, ask for clarification
- Speak clearly using positive words such as ‘enjoy’ and ‘enthusiastic’
- Maintain some direct eye contact with your interviewer and smile.
Common interview questions – prepare your answers
- What do you know about our company?
- Which of your qualifications or experience would make you a success in this company?
- Which position in our company do you most want to work towards?
- What jobs have you enjoyed most? The least? Why?
- List your own special abilities?
- Provide an example of a time you have shown initiative?
- Where do you see yourself in five years time?
- What are your strengths? [Try and think of three or four prior to entering the interview]
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why are you seeking new employment?
- Why do you want this position?
- What attracted you to this organisation?
- What is important to you in your job?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What can you offer us?
Questions to ask the Interviewer
Usually the interviewer will ask if you’ve any questions. While they may have covered all the information you need to know it’s a good tactic to get them talking. Here are some you may like to ask:
- Who will I report to?
- What are they like to work with?
- Who will I be working with?
- What training opportunities are there?
- What promotional prospects are there?
- Why has the job become available?
- When will you be making a final decision?
- You may wish to clarify the salary and benefits if you’re not sure but only if the interviewer discusses this topic first. [applies to first interview]
Leaving the interview
You want them to remember you positively so:
- Smile and thank them for seeing you and for giving you the opportunity
- Tell them how you look forward to seeing them again.
- Tell them how much you enjoyed discussing the job with them
- If you really want the job – TELL THEM SO
After the interview
- Contact your recruitment consultant, tell them what you thought about the interview as soon as possible.
- If you’re offered the job – great! We’ll make all the necessary arrangements. If you didn’t get the job don’t give up. Put it down to experience and bear in mind that this interview was a valuable exercise in itself. And then get back to us, or start researching those job boards again.
If after reading this interview primer you feel you could benefit from some expert help then check out our Career Transition Service program. It could be just the thing to give you an unfair advantage.
To learn more about Hall Recruitment and to obtain full and up-todate information how we can help you find the candidates you need call us +353 (1) 633 4040. In the business of managing your recruitment, it’s the only number you’ll ever need!