Tips for Job Interview

Preparation

Job interviews don't have to feel like a blind date. Take control of the process. View an interview as a sales call; know the needs and goals of the company. Preparation, anticipation and confidence are the key skills to a successful interview. It's a known fact that an interviewer will have decided whether or not they are going to give you the job within a few minutes. Remember prepare-practice-perform. So be prepared!

Do:

Get as much information as possible on the company - read all the latest news about the company, check out the web site and try to speak with someone who has worked there.

Prepare answers to a range of job and skill-based questions that you can use.

Put yourself in the interviews seat! Try to think of questions that you might pose relating to your particular job.

Arm yourself with a few questions for the interviewer showing that you have done your homework about the organisation and its business.

Check the format of the interview - it could throw you off if you're presented with a test of some sort that you were not expecting.

Dress-wise - Keep it simple and respectable. Dress for success!

Don't:

Leave yourself short for time - always expect the unexpected.

At the interview

Do:

Be punctual, there's nothing worse than arriving late and in a fluster.

A good firm handshake and good eye contact are very important.

Let the interviewer lead the interview - Listen for the concerns behind the interviewer's questions.

Be positive - Try not to sound like you're bragging but describe your skills in a factual way.

Look as though you are interested in what the interviewer is saying to you, answer questions as fully as you can.

If there is a situation where a panel are interviewing you, direct your answers to all members. It is important not to ignore anyone.

Your attitude strongly contributes to the interviewers opinion of you, so have the right one!!

Know what your interviewer is looking for.

Be flexible - consider reasonable offers and give it your best shot. Don't give up, the search may not be a short one but don't give up

Don't:

Criticize yourself or past employers.

Interrupt the interviewer.

Answer the question with another question.

Appear giddy or nervous by fidgeting.

Ask lots of questions about salary and benefits.

Common Interview Questions:

Why do you want this job?

Stress the positive aspects, which have attracted you to the particular job in the first place. Think carefully about this question.

What do you know about the company?

This is your chance to shine. The more knowledge you have about the company, the better. Focus on details that will relate to your skills, knowledge and qualifications. Here are some ideas:

  • How long has the company been established?
  • How many branches do they have?
  • What size is the company?
  • What's their growth pattern been like?
  • Who are their main competitors?
  • What are the names of chief executives, MDs etc?
  • What is the ethos of the company?
  • How successful is the company? Any major achievements?
  • General reputation of the company?
  • Is the company publicly or privately owned?

Why should we employ you?

Base your answer on your previous experience and skills, you can add that there's a good fit between you and your job.

How would you describe yourself?

Don't be modest, be positive. State your attributes and achievements always relating back to the job.

Why did you choose this career?

If you have changed careers, make a logical arguments to why you did so.

Do you have many interests outside work?

People pay too little attention to this question. You can have excellent qualifications work experience etc, however hobbies and interests can tell the employer even more about you. Interests define whether you are sociable or solitary, and whether you can take on leadership roles.

What qualities do you think will be required for this job?

Think outside the box. While the advertisement may help a little, you should also think of the other qualities that may be required. These include leadership ability, supervisory skills, communication skills and problem solving.

What do you find most attractive/least attractive about this job?

List three strong attractions and only give one minor unattractive factor. Shift the emphasis away from the negative.