How to Excel in the Interview

By: simon-elliot

Interviews are a critical part of the recruitment process. No matter how many interviews you've been to, it is still important to be prepared so that you are able to make the best possible impression on your potential employer.

Your consultant will always brief you in detail about the company, the role and the format of the interview, but it's important to be as prepared as possible. This article will give you some of the key tips to help you succeed.

Plan ahead

Preparation is essential. It is the first step towards a successful interview, so take time to go through these key points and you will find you'll be much more comfortable and confident when attending interviews. Don't forget to ask your consultant if you need any advice along the way.

1.The basics first

Find out how to get to the interview. The last thing you need is to get lost on the way. Confirm the time of your interview and make sure you have left plenty of contingency time in which to travel. Keep your consultant's contact number with you in case you are unexpectedly delayed. Make sure you have the interviewer's name, job title and ensure you can pronounce their name correctly.Look your best and ensure the basics are covered: wear a business suit, polished shoes, pay attention to all facets of your dress and grooming. Always dress for the job that you want. Wherever possible arrive early, that way you won't feel rushed before your interview. First impressions count.

2.Research the company

Search on the Internet, speak to your consultant and find out the key facts on the company. How many offices do they have? Do they have offices overseas as well as in London? What markets do they work in? What size are they? What products and services do they offer and who are their competitors??

3.Prepare your questions

Remember that the interview is a two-way communication process. Find out about the firm, their culture, your manager, your colleagues and the working environment. This way you will be able to assess whether this is the right job and firm for you. Some confident questioning will demonstrate your interest. These may include:

&bullWhat training and development programmes are available? Do they have an induction programme?
&bullWhat does the company expect the successful candidate to bring to the role?
&bullHow would your potential employer describe the culture of the company?
&bullWhat plans does the company have to launch new services or products?
&bullWhat resources are available in this role?
&bullWhat opportunities are there to take on more responsibilities?

4.Get your answers ready

Start to prepare some examples that show your current skills, experience, and technical knowledge. It is quite likely that you will be asked questions about your previous roles, so some real life examples that are relevant to this new role will quickly show why you would be the ideal employee. Typical questions you could be asked include:
&bullWhat kind of job are you looking for? What are your strengths?
&bullWhat do you know about our company?
&bullWhy do you want to work for us?
&bullWhy did you choose your particular career?
&bullWhat are your qualifications?
&bullWhy did you apply for this role??
&bullWhat are you looking for in your next career move?
&bullWhere do you want to be in three years' time?
&bullWhat style of management do you prefer?
&bullWhat salary are you looking for?
&bullWhat would your previous employers say are your greatest strengths?
&bullWhich jobs have you enjoyed the most?
&bullHow have you handled a problem at work?
&bullWhat is your major weakness?
&bullAre you willing to relocate/travel/work overtime?
&bullWhat do you do when you're not at work?
&bullWho is your favourite author?

5.Managing the interview

It is natural to be nervous in an interview. It keeps you on your toes and ensures you are not becoming complacent. Remember, you have been selected to attend the interview because you have the skills on paper and your consultant is confident that you are right for the role. We will only send you to interviews that match your career goals. Here are some key things to remember to do at the interview:
&bullSmile when you meet the interviewer. Shake their hand firmly and maintain eye contact.
&bullBe conscious of your posture and look interested and attentive.?
&bullRemember to listen clearly to their questions.?
&bullBe concise with your answers, stick to the point and if you're not clear about what answer they are seeking, repeat the question back to make sure you have understood it correctly.
&bullCompose your answers, speaking clearly and at a moderate pace.
&bullSell yourself. Relate your expertise to the role, defining what you will contribute to the company. Make sure you give real life examples.
&bullBe honest.
&bullBe positive, even if you're not 100% positive about the role. Leave them with a good impression and then if a better job comes up in the future, they will think of you first.

Some key things to avoid when interviewing are:
&bullInterrupting the interviewer.
&bullEnquiring about salaries in the first interview.?
&bullBeing over confident and pushy.
&bullUsing lots of jargon - the jargon you use may not be meaningful to the interviewer.
&bullApathy, lack of enthusiasm or passion for the role.
&bullLack of preparation for interview - not knowing about the company or the position.

End on a positive
&bullIf you are interested in the role, tell them.
&bullAsk them what happens next, what the interview process involves and whether there are second stage interviews.
&bullEven if you felt the interview went badly, make sure you remain positive and are still smiling.
&bullThank the interviewer for their time.?
&bullYour consultant will follow up the interview with both the client and yourself so don't worry if you've forgotten something.

After the interview

Call your consultant immediately after you have left the interview to tell them how it went.. They will need to get your thoughts on the position, how the interview went or any issues you think need to be raised on your behalf. They will then follow up the interview and find out how it went from your interviewer.?
&bullLearn from your interview experiences.
&bullAssess your interview performance yourself.
&bullListen to feedback from your consultant.
&bullAsk for feedback from unsuccessful interviews.

This article is free for republishing - One link must be active. ? 2008 Simon Dance

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