Understand your CV
Your CV is the first impression an employer has of you so make sure you remember exactly what is written on it as it is common for an interviewer to work through your employment history asking you to describe various aspects of your previous and current positions. Also be prepared to expand on information already stated on your CV and be able to illustrate your competencies in more detail by demonstrating past situations through behavioural examples.
Know your strengths
Listing your main strengths can be very helpful. Aim for ten key strengths that make you an ideal candidate for the position. Then if asked to list your strengths; you can do so with confidence. It is always a good idea to be able to give expanded examples of how you have applied your main strengths in previous positions.
Do your research
Prior to an interview it is vital that you do your research, this is extremely important. If you have applied to multiple jobs with a range of different companies it can be all too easy to give this a miss. Don’t! Go on the internet and find out as much information as possible about who the company is and what they do and remember to write down and practice any relevant questions that you may want to ask. You must demonstrate a strong interest in the position and the company so you create the right impression.
Know the position you’ve applied for
This is as important, if not more important than the last example. Before attending an interview please review any information you have been sent regarding the position and if you have a job description, know this inside out. You should highlight the essential qualities required for the position and match them to your own skills and experience. This will enable you to have the best chance of being the perfect candidate!
Dress to impress
Always select your interview clothing carefully. Even if you are aware that a position does not require you to wear a shirt and tie for example, it is advisable to always dress smartly to create the best possible first impression! It is best to avoid wearing excessive make-up, perfume and overly bright colours. Don’t wear too many piercing and if possible cover up any tattoos. Make sure that you are neat and tidy and you have washed thoroughly that morning. It may seem funny however personal hygiene issues can seriously spoil your chances in an interview, don’t let this happen to you.
Know where you are going
It is advisable to plan how you are going to get to the interview in advance. Check out train times, bus schedules and traffic reports. It is a good idea to use Google maps to obtain directions as you don’t want to be rushing around at the last minute looking for a map or driving in the wrong direction and arriving 15 minutes late!
Don’t be late
When attending an interview it is always better to be very early than very late. In the event of arriving early you can always go for a coffee or read a book, however if you are late there is nothing you can do as the damage will have already been done. If you must be late, always call to explain the situation.
Hopefully, you will have already dressed to impress. However when sitting down at the interview be aware of your body language and posture, always stand or sit up straight and be sure to smile and give a quality handshake (not too weak and not too firm!)
"What type of growth and advancement opportunities does this position and the company offer?"
This tells the interviewer that you have a long-term vision for your professional future and that you're not just looking for a paycheque; you're looking to secure a career.
"How do you see me benefiting the company?"
Finding out why you were selected out of possibly hundreds of other candidates gives you a chance to expand on the qualities that caught their eye, further making the case for your hire.
"What exactly are the job responsibilities?"
Job ads usually list the general areas of responsibility for a position. It's always good to confirm what the actual duties will be. You don't want to start your new job as an engineer and find out you're responsible for the weekly doughnut run.
"What would my first project be if I'm hired?"
This will give you a specific idea of what you can expect when you walk into the office that first day after being hired. It also can give you a heads up as to what will be expected of you, allowing you to build on those attributes during the interview.
"Who will evaluate me if I'm hired?"
Ask this question, and you'll discern the company and departmental structure under which you will be working. For instance, will you report directly to the vice president or will there be a succession of middle managers between you?
"Are continuing education and professional training stressed?"
This shows your willingness to learn new skills and adapt to new challenges or initiatives. Adaptability is very important in today's changing economy and could be key to retaining your job in a reorganisation.
"What is the company's culture?"
This will reveal those "intangibles" of a company that have nothing to do with professional experience or required education. If you need a traditional, office/cube environment to stay focused and get the job done, a more creativity-driven workplace which allows music streaming from computers, nerf hoop tournaments and ultraflexible schedules may not be conducive to your productivity.
"Why did you choose this company?"
Hearing why a current employee opted to work at the firm can give you some insight into some of the strengths and opportunities within the organisation.
"When will a decision be made on the successful candidate?"
Knowing this helps you determine the timing of your interview follow-up activities.
"May I contact you if I have other questions?"
It's always good to wrap up the interview with this question. It keeps the door open for further communication, giving you one last chance to make your case.
So you’ve had a great meeting; positioned yourself perfectly, asked insightful questions, made inspiring comments and shown that the role was made for you. Now you could just walk away after a firm handshake and an appreciative “thank you” and leave it at that. If on the other hand you are particularly keen on a job and would like to increase your chances of securing an offer, you could follow up the meeting by sending an email or letter to the people interviewing you to reinforce your commitment.If you do decide on this course of action, use the opportunity to show your eagerness to take the job, to show your determination to succeed and address any issues raised during the interview.If you don’t get the job, don’t get downhearted. The truth is you will not be offered every job you interview for, no matter how perfect you think you might be. If you do get turned down you can either throw in the towel and give up or treat it as an opportunity to improve your future performance. If unsuccessful, take the opportunity to ask politely for feedback and take on board any comments made when applying for the next job!Remember interviewing is a skill and preparation and practice will make all the difference.
For any further advice please feel free to contact one of our consultants on 01983 402895