Preparing for the Interview
- Know the exact time and place of the interview.
- Make sure of the interviewer’s full name and correct pronunciation and his or her title.
- Research the company before you go for the interview by making use of the internet or any publication available which can assist you in finding information. It also helps to watch the press for a few days prior to the interview as you may pick up useful information relating to the company’s performance.
- Learn how the opportunity will impact on your immediate and long term career development.
- The better you understand the opportunity the more you will be able to communicate your interest in the position.
- First impressions count most. Dress neatly, be clean and fresh and ensure that you are groomed appropriately. Ask the consultant what the company would expect for each interview (informal, corporate, conservative, etc) and make sure that you are able to make the initial good impression through your appearance.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Late arrival for an interview is never excusable, arrive 15 minutes early
- Switch off your cell phone!
- If presented with a form to complete, fill it out neatly and complete the application
- Greet the interviewer with enthusiasm and by his / her last name.
- Wait until being offered a chair before sitting down, sit uprights, be alert and look interested at all times. Be a good listener as well as a good communicator
- Always keep good eye contact in the interview
- Do not fidget
- If you get very nervous, tell the client that you are very nervous and this will immediately make you feel more relaxed
- Don’t answer with a simple “yes” or “no”. Explain whenever possible
- Never make derogatory remarks about your present or former employer, obviously there were issues or else you would not have left a prior company or present employer. By being negative towards your previous employers, your interviewer will wonder why you had problems, and may have concerns regarding your ability to relate to others, whether they are managers, staff and clients within the workplace.
- When asked why you left a former company, always keep it short and direct to the point
- Don’t inquire on salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement etc... on the initial interview. Should the interviewer ask what you salary expectations are, always indicate what your current salary package is and that you are very interested in the opportunity that presents itself
Be prepared to answer questions such as:
- Tell me about yourself?
- Tell me about your background and accomplishments?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What interests you about our company?
- Are you a team player or do you prefer working on your own?
- What motivates you?
- What are your short and long term goals?
- How do you deal with pressure, give examples?
- Where do you see yourself going in this company?
- Why should our company employ you - what do you have to offer the company (put yourself in a potential employer’s shoes and think about the answers to this question).
- Why would you like to work for this company?
Be prepared to ask questions such as:
- Ask questions relating to the company and the position you are applying for
- How long has the company been in operation?
- What are the main products the company trades in?
- Who are the major customers of the company?
- Are there branches or subsidiaries in other centres?
- How many employees are there in the company?
- What are the greatest challenges in the position?
- How do you think I fit the position?
- Has the company recently won any major contracts or awards?
- How long has this position been in existence?
- What are the promotional opportunities in the company?
- What are the client’s three most important expectations of the person filing this position?
- What is the exact nature of the job?
- What would he/she consider to be the most important skills required for the job?
- What is the company culture like?
- Do colleagues interact socially, at sports or in teams, etc.?
- Remember a lack of questions can show a lack of interest in the position
Closing the interview:
If you are interested in the position let the interviewer know. Say something like “I’m very interested in what I have seen here today, your company it’s products and the people I have met, I am confident I would be an asset to you and your organisation” The interviewer will be impressed with your enthusiasm.