How to have a successful job interview.
August 28, 2012
A job interview can be a very stressful experience, and many people out there have had good ones and bad ones. How do you go about preparing for a job interview? Have a read of our five key stages to a successful interview here…
Stage 1 – Role & skills match
- Review the job specification in detail especially the core competencies/requirements.
- Create a list of your strengths and weaknesses against each deliverable.
- Liaise with your Head Resourcing consultant on any points you are unsure on.
- Prepare a list of questions you would like to ask the interviewer on the role.
Stage 2 – Company research
- Visit the company’s website to establish background information on the organisation. Take note of their product/service offerings.
- Check out Linked In to see if the recruiting manager(s) have a profile so you can research their background (you may find skills/experience and interests you have in common).
- Do they promote the company via social media? If so, check out Facebook, Twitter etc. as you may find valuable information on recent awards, new projects and more.
- Look on search engines to find relevant press articles and recent news about them.
- Prepare a list of questions you would like to ask the interviewer at the company.
Stage 3 – Your Social Media presence
- Ensure your social media presence is clear from embarrassing photos, comments or remarks! Employers are turning to social media more and more to gain an insight into potential employees. Make sure you create a positive image.
Stage 4 – Preparing for different types of interview
Important note: Schedule a time with your Head Resourcing consultant to complete an interview prep call at least a couple of days before the interview. This is an opportunity to re-affirm what you have researched and also pick up other useful tips that may help you during the process.
- Establish a quiet venue, somewhere you know will be free from interruptions.
- Will the interviewer be calling you on your mobile? If so make sure you have good reception in your chosen location.
- Print and have your CV, company research, job specification with you in the room as a reference tool.
- Write the person’s name down on a post it note, so you have a reference of their name that you can refer to if required during the interview.
- Ensure you have a notepad and pen to take notes as required during the interview.
- Practice your welcome greeting – it makes a better impression saying “Hello, X speaking” rather than simply saying hello.
- Keep a glass of water handy!
- Print off the full location address, telephone number and contact name of the person you are meeting.
- Do you require directions? If so, print a map or use a sat nav (making sure it has been used recently and is charged!)
- Do you have the opportunity to do a test run? If so, do one and establish where they are and how long it takes you to get there.
- Have you dusted down your suit and polished your shoes? First impressions count so dress to impress.
- Pack a notepad, a pen and spare copies of your CV.
- Set off with ample time and aim to arrive at the location around 15 minutes before the interview is due to start.
- Switch off any mobile device or other electronics you may have before entering the building.
- Ensure you have removed all mints or gum from your mouth before entering the building.
- Re-confirm the person’s name of who you are meeting so you can ask reception with confidence.
Stage 5 – The interview
- Stand to greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and welcoming smile. Ensure you make good eye contact and refer to the interviewer by name.
- Answer questions clearly and where possible link your skills and experience and how this fits into the role into your answer.
- Don’t be afraid to take a little time to compose your thoughts before answering a question, it is better to be clear on what you have to say than to waffle without thinking.
- Make notes – it will be a good reference point, but also shows you are keen and taking on board the information that they are telling you.
- Do not speak badly of a previous employer or boss during your interview – focus on the positives.
- If during the interview the majority of questions you wanted to ask have been answered, still aim to ask at least one good question during the interview, even if it is re-affirming a point.
- DO NOT ask about annual leave entitlement, salary or benefits during the interview. This will have been established before or after the interview.
- Ask the interviewer before the interview finishes if they have any additional questions they would like to ask you.
- Thank the interviewers for their time and be positive in doing so – even if you have decided that the role isn’t for you leave them with a positive impression.
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