Interviews can at times be quite stressful. In order to beat your stress and increase your chances of getting that job that you are applying for, preparation is key!
Below, are some tips in order to help you get one step closer to signing that contract...
First Impressions count
Research shows that people make their mind up about someone in the first few seconds of meeting with them. So it's best to get off to a good start from the outset.
Knowledge is power
The more you know the better. Preparation is key for the success of any interview.
How do I research the company?
Research the company using the internet resources or refer to other resources. Use a variety of sources, when preparing for a job interview, to get the most valid information. Information from the company website is usually the most reliable but if you have gone to other sites or sources try and validate the information you get by cross referencing with another source.
What kinds of things are important to learn about the company?
First, you will want to find out their "corporate personality", their style. Each firm is different, and these subtle differences can have a strong influence on their hiring practices. You might also want to understand their benefit package, salary options, and promotion policies.
It's helpful to get information on your prospective position, too. How long has it been open, why did the last person leave, how much turnover has there been? If it's a new position, you might want to know why it was created, what specific need is being met or problem being solved. Was it a controversial decision to create the opening?
Some of the above information can be given to you by your WorkForce partner.
What do companies look for?
The easiest thing to do is to match a job description to a CV. However times are changing. More so than ever before, companies are now focusing on who you are and how you fit into the company culture.
The traits that companies look for are:
If you fit the company profile
A good attitude
The ability to work hard
Getting to the interview
Always check the date, time and location of the interview and be familiar with the name and title of the interviewer. Take your interview confirmation letter with you. Below are some helpful tips:
Prepare your interview outfit in advance - all of it. Ensure your appearance is both smart and comfortable
Familiarize yourself with the journey to the location, to ensure you arrive in plenty of time. If driving, do a 'dummy run'. Anticipate delays, especially on unknown routes. Contact your interviewer immediately if you are delayed
Be punctual for your meeting, but do not arrive more than half an hour early.
Remember that you start making an impression on your prospective employer the moment you arrive at reception. Be courteous to the receptionist and any other staff you may meet before your interview. Their opinion of you is important as they may be your future colleagues
Greet your interviewer standing, with a strong, firm handshake and a smile! Good body language is vital. Sit up straight and speak clearly and confidently. Maintain a comfortable level of eye contact during the interview
A standard interview will generally start with an introductory chat, moving on to questions specific to your application and experience. General information about the company and role may follow, finishing with an opportunity for you to ask your own questions
Be familiar with your CV and prepared to answer questions from it. Similarly, ensure you have read any job description thoroughly and think of ways in which your experience will benefit your potential employer
LISTEN to what is being asked of you. Give positive examples from your experiences and avoid one word answers. Prepare yourself in advance for likely questions
Be ready to ask questions that you have prepared beforehand. This can demonstrate you have thought about the role and done some research on the organization. Ensure they are open, thus encouraging the interviewer to provide you with additional information.
Show your enthusiasm for the role, even if you have some reservations. These can be discussed at a later stage
Questions to ask during the interview:
Asking the right questions will convey your interest in the company. Some should be based on your performance during the interview and others directed to the company and the position:
How do you see me fitting into this role?
Do you have any feedback on my CV or on this interview? Is there any room for improvement? Acknowledge that the interviewer is the expert in this area.
What is the company's vision? What is the company's direction for the next 2 to 5 years? Asking these questions will show the interviewer that you want to be part of the company's long-term vision.
What are the dynamics of this position? How will this position contribute to the company?
Do not ask these questions if the hiring manager has already shared some information about this earlier in the interview process.
It is also worthwhile to ask specific questions related to the industry that the company is in.
Be observant throughout the interview and try to understand that type of personality the interviewer looks for in a candidate. For example, the interviewer may mention that the ideal candidate for the job is someone dynamic, focused and direct. Conversely, she could be emphasising on a warm and friendly personality. Understanding this will enable you to ask your questions and responses accordingly.