The interview or interviews are the last hurdles in securing your desired position and can often be where most applicants slip up through making basic errors. Below are some key tips for successfully negotiating the interview process.
Preparation is the key to success in an interview situation. Interviewers will quickly be able to see which applicants have done there homework and prepared well for an interview. If you have failed to prepare correctly you are effectively saying you have insufficient interest in the job.
When preparing consider:
- Your own strengths and positive points.
- How to highlight your skills and achievements.
- Research your prospective employer finding out as much about their operation as possible. Consider brands, markets, competitors, key activities etc.
- Make sure you have all of the interview details in terms or interviewer, address, time and location. Check these and double check them.
- Plan your journey to the interview, checking distances and times.
- Consider your response to common questions such as:
- Why do you want this position?
- What do you know about our company?
- What can you tell us about your previous positions?
- What have been your key achievements to date?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five years time?
The day of the interview.
- Allow plenty of time to get to the interview.
- Dress smartly and appropriately for the position your applying.
- Have copies of your CV with you together with a note pad and pen.
- Go over the research you have done and any questions you have prepared.
At the interview.
- Be punctual.
- Remain calm.
- Greet the interviewer with a hand shake and retain eye contact.
- Always be polite and courteous.
- Smile where appropriate.
- Listen carefully and show you are paying attention.
- Think before answering a question.
- Be enthusiastic in your responses.
- In response to questions focus on your strengths for example, initiative, enthusiasm, flexibility, team ethic, leadership, etc..
- Do not speak in uncomplimentary terms about previous employers.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions at the end of the interview. These should include any aspects of the job you are unclear on or training and career development if this has not been covered. Avoid an over emphasis on salary and benefits in your questions.
- Do not be afraid to bring up any points about yourself that you feel are important but have not been covered.
- Always thank the interviewer for their time.
After the interview
- Assess your performance.
- Compliment yourself on areas where you feel you have performed well.
- Work at areas where you feel you may not have performed to the best of your ability.
- Learn from your experience.