This section is similar to our Career Advice pages, but these pages are for more general advice, rather than Career Tools, which may bve downloadable documents and excercises.
In this issue, we give you advice as to manage and interview:
01/02/10 - Interviews and how to deal with them
Other sections of these notes have dealt with the construction of your cv, how to write a covering letter, the recruitment process, dealing with agencies and so on. We have given an overview as to the process that most companies follow but now we need to focus on the interview itself. This is your opportunity to begin to impress upon the recruiter that you are the right person with the right experience and the right attitude for this specific opportunity and that if successful you will make a positive and meaningful contribution to the business. It's a simple as that! OK, so where to start? Well, if this is your first ever interview or if you have not had such a meeting for several years, planning preparation and thought needs to be invested to make the best of this valuable opportunity. This is also true if you have recently attended a series of interviews but have somehow been unsuccessful in your endeavours.
Firstly, make a list of all the things that you will need to have completed and prepared prior to the interview and organise a schedule to complete them in plenty of time. This list may include ensuring that you have suitable clothes available and that they are clean and pressed. A business suit is always a good idea regardless of the role in question and should be accompanied by a sensible tie and dark socks / shoes. It doesn't matter what's fashionable, trainers and a suit just doesn't look good, neither do white socks and when we say "sensible" tie it doesn't mean it can't be stylish, just not one of those "humorous" Christmas ones or anything too immature.
In addition, your schedule should make time to ensure that you know exactly where the venue is and how long it will take you to get there. Lateness to an interview will not secure you the position, no matter how suitable you are. Make sure that you are prepared for the meeting with several "best" copies of your cv together with the means to transport them such as a briefcase, not to mention any other substantive documents to support your application. These may include items such as certificates of qualification, training or other awards or proof of achievement including accounting information. After all, its better to have it with you and not need, it plus it certainly boosts confidence and assists to support a point of view if you can support your claims and achievements with factual evidence!
Now, be sure to do your homework. We would suggest that at the latest, two days prior to your interview spend time to research the company, its beliefs, goals, developments, new products and the principal members of the management team. Take the time to learn and understand the company's origins and mission statement and memorise them. During your interview you should refer to your findings which will display initiative and a genuine enthusiasm / interest in the company. You may also be invited to ask questions and this would be an excellent way of clarifying your understanding of the company's vision and expectations.
Practise makes perfect and if you invest your time and effort in thinking about how you will answer specific questions and ensuring that you can talk fluently about yourself and your experience. Too often the best candidate does not get the job because they are either too modest about their skills and achievements or fail to mention strengths and skills as they assume that the interviewer would already know this or assume that they knew something. Make a list of all the things that you can do and are good at. Similarly, focus on your hobbies and interests and practise talking with passion and genuine enthusiasm about the things you do well.
There are some stereotypical interview questions that you may get asked but there are also many others, which if you do not think carefully about could trip you up. You should give thought to how you will respond to a variety of employment-based questions and practise your answers so that you are relaxed and confident during your meeting.
Other things to think about:
Body language and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) are specialist subjects in their own right but a few simple rules should be considered:
Eye Contact - some people make too little eye contact, others too much. It is important to make positive eye contact during your meeting but allow yourself the opportunity of periodically breaking away.
Posture - on the same basis that you don't gat a second chance to make a first impression, be sure that your posture is erect and positive wherever possible. If invited to sit, do not cross your legs, fold your arms or lean back, these all send negative signals to the interviewer. It is generally considered that a forward stance of approx 10 degrees shows confidence and attention without appearing too aggressive.
Avoid Strong Expressions - it is generally considered inappropriate to display too much expression during an interview. This is subject to the position sought but generally it is best that until you have built some rapport and understanding with the recruiter, the candidate's emotions should be understated and conservative, excepting for the initial greeting and handshake which should be warm, friendly and firm, complimented by your best "winning smile".
Practise makes Perfect - using a sporting analogy, a footballer does not just turn up on a Saturday afternoon and expect to play at his or her best. Neither should you! If this is an important meeting and you want to perform at your best, you should practise thoroughly before the main event. This is where a professional recruitment consultant can assist in coaching and providing feedback and constructive advice regarding your performance. It is important that the "real you" attends the meeting but it is also vital that you allow that person to really give the meeting their best shot.
We hope that this advice helps you get your next job and keep visiting for more advice from Jobs4.co.uk