Interviews can be a daunting part of the recruitment process however to minimize any downsides and improve your chances of securing the role, preparation is the key.
Upon securing an interview time, familiarize yourself with the employer and the company. This means going onto their website, understanding their business, history, competitors and even their presence in the stock market. Asking your agent is another great place to gain information that you may not get elsewhere. Remember, your agent is not only a representation of yourself but also the employer. Make sure you have at least 3-4 dot points about the company.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT:
Remember, first impressions do actually count so make sure that you are dressed and groomed at a professional level. This means a dark suit and tie for men and a corporate ladies suit for women. Always use corporate colours which include black, navy blue and grey as you don’t want the interviewer to be looking at your bright pink tie during the interview. Make sure you do not wear any over bearing perfumes and that your hygiene is up to scratch.
The night before the interview day, get at least 8 hours of sleep and leave plenty of room for yourself to arrive at the destination. Prepare questions that you can ask your interviewer as this shows your eagerness in the role and allows you to get relevant information from the interview about the role. The golden rule of asking questions from the interviewer is that the question must be relevant to the role and do not give the impression that your expectations are actually higher than what you could offer the role. If you have been represented via an agency stay away from asking any remuneration related questions as this is negotiated by the agent. Some of the questions that you may want to ask include:
- How did this role become available?
- In your opinion how can I contribute and add value in this role?
- How would you describe the company culture?
- Are there any opportunities for growth and progression in this role?
- What is the next stage in the selection process?
- Are there any training and education opportunities that can be offered to this role in future?
In addition, familiarize yourself with your last roles and positions as this will be required of you during the interview. Beforehand, consider any examples that may be asked of yourself e.g. give me an example of when you have had to work towards a deadline?
Carry a copy of your resume with you to the interview and do not arrive any earlier than 10 minutes before the allocated interview time. Upon meeting with the interviewer, give him/her a solid handshake as this demonstrates your confidence.
Tip: If need be, don’t be afraid to ask for a glass of water if you feel your mouth might get dry during the interview.
During the interview process, listen carefully to the interviewer and any questions that he/she may ask. Be clear and concise in your answers and only answer what is being asked. If you feel you have additional information that may assist your application, wait to the end of the interview process as usually the interviewer will ask you if you would like to add anything else to the conversation.
Another prominent point is to maintain eye contact at all times. Eye contact is important and is a sign of confidence however ensure it doesn't turn into a blank stare at the interviewer. If you need the question repeated, do not be afraid to ask.
Try to display your personality whilst in the interview. Remember, an employer is likely to be sold more on your personality and ability to work with the team. Smile, be honest at all times and do not over exaggerate the truth as it will always come back to haunt you.
Some of the questions that the employer may ask you include:
- Why do want to work for this company?
- What are your expectations of this position?
- What are your plans for the future?
- What has been your greatest achievement in your career?
- Why do you feel you are suitable for this position?
- What are your weaknesses and why?
- Are you a team player? Provide an example.
- What motivates you in life?
Make sure, you are aware of the next step in the recruitment process and show eagerness at all times. If you feel the employer is not interested, do not show your disappointment as many times this can be a test of how you react. Thank the interviewer for his/ her time and relax!
Important pointer: do not ask about salary in the first interview rather discuss this with your agent before hand.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW:
As soon as the interview is over, call your agent and describe in details how you feel the interview went, the types of questions that were asked and how you answered them. Remember, this information is then forwarded to the employer and they will want to know your feedback. Make sure you follow up to gain feedback for yourself and learn from your mistakes.
If you are not successful in securing the role, it is not the end of the road! Learn from your interview and try to improve the next time. Your agent is more than willing to provide you with helpful tips on how you can make your next interview a success!