Being prepared is the key to a successful interview, you may well have all the skills and qualifications for the position, but do you have all the answers?
Before The Interview
- Do you know where you are going and who you are seeing? Get a map and make sure that you have confirmation of the interview in writing.
- Do you know about the company and their market place? Do your homework. Explore the internet, call the company, ask for brochures if you can get them, look at business directories/ books in libraries etc.
- What are you going to wear? A suit is always advisable and presents a professional image. Make sure your shoes are clean and your hair is pristine. This shows you have made the effort.
- Do you know what the job entails? Have you obtained a job specification, if you have one and are unsure about any areas of the position then you can ask about these at interview stage.
- Does the salary match your expectations? If the salary on offer is not what you are looking for, consider this, will the company offer promotion internally in the future, how is the company growing and developing and what project work will this create in your field, is the companies industry something you have always been interested in getting into or is the company environment somewhere you can see yourself enjoying the challenge. Without directly asking the question about salary at this stage you can find out the answers you are looking with regards to future prospects.
- Is travelling to work on a daily basis going to be a factor in your decision?
At The Interview
- Shake hands firmly and confidently with the interviewer/s on initial meeting. A limp hand shake or trying to break the interviewers hand will create the wrong impression.
- Sit comfortably feet on the floor, hands down by your side, crossing your arms indicates you are not an open person. Hand gestures are fine, however, constant over exaggerated ones can make you look strange, try and avoid this.
- Listen to what questions are being asked. Answer questions honestly and avoid answering with just yes or no answers. Be to the point and don’t go off on a tangent.
- Be prepared for unexpected and hypothetical questions. Take time to think about your answer, don’t worry about pausing.
- Don’t go wading in with questions about salaries at this stage unless directly asked. This gives the impression you are more interested in what the company can do for you and not what you can do for the company.
- The Employer is interested to find out about you and what personal attributes you can bring to the company as well as your skills and qualifications and track record. A good tip is not to give away too much about your personal life. Be general, for example Don’t talk about negative things i.e. divorce, death. Do talk about your achievements in your professional career.
- Ask your questions towards the end of the interview, the question prompt, usually is ‘Is their anything you would like to ask me about the position/company?. (for examples of questions to ask, refer to question 5).
AND FINALLY – GOOD LUCK!