Tips for the perfect interview

Preparation

  • Go into an interview with a determination to get the job. Don't be negative and make excuses for why you won’t get the job.  Think Positive!

  • Get specific instructions from the consultant as to where the company is situated, the time of the interview and who will be interviewing you.  Know the position of the interviewer. 

  • Find out as much as possible about the company you will be going to.  Most companies nowadays have their own web site and here you can find out all about them. 

  • Take a trip to the premises of the company ahead of time so you can plan the time it will take you.

  • Make a list of questions you want to ask the interviewer.  Remember you want to suit the company but equally they need to suit you.

  • One of the most popular questions in an interview is, "Tell me about yourself."  It is very important to be well prepared for this one.  This is a basic summing up of yourself and the talents you can offer to the company and a very strong selling point.  Prepare by rehearsing with a friend or colleague.

Important Tips

  • Always arrive on time for the interview.  Your timekeeping is a reflection on your work.  A first impression is very important and being late will give you minus points that will be hard to overcome.

  • Turn off your cell phone!

  • Do not arrive flustered, give yourself plenty of time to find the company.

  • If the interviewer is late, stay calm and do not get aggressive.

  • Fill out application forms neatly and thoroughly.  Your curriculum vitae may have all the details but if you are given forms requesting details, fill them out completely.

  • Bad body language can lose you a job from the minute you walk in to the interview room.  Always keep eye contact with the interviewer.  Be confident in your walk and stance. 

  • Don't interrupt the interviewer and ensure you keep eye contact!

  • Speak clearly and with enthusiasm.  Good diction is vital.

  • Don't use crutches such as, “Umm”, “Err”, “You know”, “Basically”, etc.

  • Shake hands with the interviewer and be genuinely pleased to meet them.

  • Be courteous and say “Good morning”, or “Good day”, don't say “Howzit”!

  • Don't sit down until you are invited to.  Sit up straight and alert.

  • Listen with as much enthusiasm as you talk. Speak sincerely.

  • Don't interrupt the interviewer. And keep eye contact!

  • Give full details of the achievements you have made in your career. 

  • Always be positive and speak as if you are determined that the job is going to be yours.

  • However, while not hiding your light under a bushel it is just as important not to manufacture things you are not. 

  • Be honest at all times!  Expect all your claims to be checked out by the company no matter how small, and remember that the interviewer is trained to pick up inconsistencies.

  • Do not smoke even if offered!

  • Don't chew gum or anything else.

  • Yes, or no are not good enough answers.  Always elaborate in detail.

  • Be sure that the interviewer has understood the point you are putting across without being aggressive.

  • Never answer more than is necessary to complete the answer.  Chatterboxes don't spend time working.

  • If you do not think that the interviewer has built up a good idea of who you are then volunteer the details, tactfully, of course.

  • If a controversial subject comes up, rather be a listener than a speaker.

  • Never talk badly about your previous/present employers or fellow workers.  Don't blame others for the past.

  • When the salary questions come up try to make sure the interviewer already knows your worth before starting the subject.

  • When you are asked what salary you want, indicate what you've earned but inform him that you're more interested in opportunity than specific salary. But be sure that you are well informed about the salary offered and the perks given.

  • The interviewer is trained to look for positive and negative personality traits in you.  Be aware and always try to be positive.  Don't display negativity!

  • When leaving, be polite and shake hands again. Don't forget to smile!

  • Refresh your memory on the projects you have been involved in.  You will need to demonstrate your understanding of your work and forgetting half the details does not demonstrate your thoroughness in your work.

  • Check that your references are easily reachable.  If not, track them down and have those particulars ready to give to the interviewer.

  • Ensure that your curriculum vitae has correct dates on it and that they follow consecutively.

  • Remember to take a copy of your curriculum vitae to the interview, even if one has previously been given to them.

  • Dress smartly!

Most common questions asked in an interview

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • Explain your current work.

  • What role do you hold in this position?

  • What have you given by way of improvements, to your past employers?

  • Why do you wish to leave your current position?

  • If you stayed with your present company what would your career path be?

  • When are you expecting your next salary increase?

  • What was the outcome of your last performance review?

  • How do you keep abreast of latest improvements in your profession?

  • What references can you offer?

  • How soon can you start?

  • What do you expect from this company?

  • What has attracted you to our company?

  • What salary including benefits do you expect?

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

What the interviewer will assess constantly

  • Time of arrival for the interview.  Were you on time?  Were you calm and unflustered?

  • Were you poorly or scruffily dressed?

  • Did you display negativity or show you weren’t confident?

  • Did you display overconfidence in areas where your knowledge is small?

  • Were you aggressive or egotistical?

  • Did you display enthusiasm?

  • Did you show more interest in the salary expectations than the actual job?

  • Were you evasive or did you make excuses?

  • Did you speak badly about previous employers or co-workers?

  • Were you able to give references immediately?

  • Did you display enough interest in the company and their products?

  • Did you show that you had investigated the company and their products?

  • Were you constantly asking what the company could do for you and not visa versa?

  • Did you display an ability to hold long conversations without wandering off the topic?

  • Did you display your long-term commitment to your job?

  • Were you able to express yourself clearly?

  • Did you display unethical leanings?

  • Did you display overconfidence in areas where your knowledge is limited?

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