The first and most important thing to remember before going for an interview is to RESEARCH! Technology has now made this very easy and inexcusable to turn up at an interview having not investigated more about the company. Remember, the key to a successful interview is to show the company you understand the job, you have researched their company and also that you match the criteria they are looking for.
It is also important to bear in mind that the interview is as much for your benefit as it is the potential employers. The company needs the right people working for them, but you need to be working in a company and team that is right for you.
You both are looking for:-
- Verification that the job is as advertised, and they are looking to verify that your experience is as stated on your CV
- You want to understand exactly what the job entails, and they are looking to understand your exact skills and experience
- You want to show the employer your skills match and they want to establish if your skills and experience are relevant
- They want to promote their organisation and you want to convince them you are what they need
- They want to find out if they can afford you and you want to establish they will pay you enough
Once you realise, that an interview is a 2-way street, they really become much less daunting!
In order to give you confidence and to reduce the nerves, it is so important to prepare beforehand. Key areas to focus on during your preparation are:-
- Know who you are meeting with and use LinkedIn to have a look at their profiles and understand how long they have been with the organisation, their position etc. Remember their names on arrival!
- Know where you are going! Prepare your journey by doing a practice run beforehand and always give time for traffic. This will give you time to know the quickest route, to avoid being late.
- Look at their website in detail, find out when the company was established. The question will always come up “what do you know about the company”, which gives you the opportunity to show you have done your research.
- Think about the questions you maybe asked and prepare your answers where possible
- Prepare your own questions to ask
- Take a copy of your CV and the Job Spec with you. Give yourself time beforehand to reread both of these documents.
- Take any items that have been requested such as ID, Certificates etc
- Think about the job description and mentally prepare examples of where you have obtained the experience they are looking for.
DAY OF THE INTERVIEW
- Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and have a read through your CV and job description again.
- Aim to arrive at least 10 minutes before you allotted interview time.
- Don’t let nerves get the better of you! To be nervous is perfectly normal so take a deep breath and try and be as calm as possible
POTENTIAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- Why do you want this job?
- What qualities do you think are required for this job?
- What can you contribute to the company?
- Why did you apply? Why do you want to work for this company?
- What do you know about this company?
- What interests you about our products/service?
- What can we offer that your previous employer could not?
Many companies use competency based questions in their interviews. These could include:-
- Describe a time when you used initiative to resolve a problem?
- Give an example of a time when you made a decision without having all the information? What was the outcome?
- Give me an example of a difficult situation you faced with a customer and how you solved it?
- Tell me about a time you showed good leadership?
- How do you ensure you maintain good working relationships with your senior colleagues?
- Give me an example where you have had to deal with conflict with internally or externally?
- Give me an example where you have dealt with an irate customer, how did you deal with it and what was the outcome?
- Be punctual arriving at least 10 minutes before
- Dress smartly
- Maintain eye contact at all times
- Listen carefully
- Speak slowly
- Be enthusiastic
- Answer questions fully
- Be specific
- BE YOURSELF
- Don’t interrupt
- Don’t criticise your previous employer