Google+

Tag Archives: employee

Interview Tips

Interview Tips

Make an impression at the interview
Everyone has had the unnerving “interview” – facing off across a table with people who can make or break your hiring experience. Whether you are a new graduate, a top executive, returning to the workforce or are taking an abrupt change in career direction, the interview is as much a certainty as life itself! Job interviews needn’t be your worst nightmare. Here are some simple strategies for aceing your next interview.

Do your homework
There is nothing that screams “hire me” more than taking an interest in your prospective organisation. Research the company and culture; know exactly why you want to be a part of this group. Know yourself – think about how exactly you match the role and why exactly they have to hire you. Be specific and honest. Think through those “worst case scenario” questions as well as being geared for the easy ones. The more prepared you are, the more comfortable and confident you are likely to come across.

Make an impression
As much of a cliché as it sounds, those first few seconds are what counts. Think about how you dress. While there are less “absolutes” now in interview attire, you should be aware of what dress codes are like in your target employer. Err on the conservative and formal side; make sure you are comfortable and pay attention to detail. Arriving radically early can be almost as annoying as being late – a few minutes prior to the scheduled time is usually safest. Set the tone for the interview right from the start. Greet people by name; offer a firm handshake and eye contact. Find your “zen” place. There is no easy answer to being calm and in control in an interview situation, but it is definitely important to sit comfortably, be natural and smile.

The interview: entirely survivable
Be flexible. Adapt to the style of the interviewer and reflect their wording if appropriate.
Avoid slang and clumsy speech – a thoughtful silence is often less off-putting than a string of “umms”. Try to be concise.
There are not always right or wrong answers to questions. Back up your answers with real life examples. Nothing is a better sales tool than your past successes – use them to justify your point of view.
Be positive. Use assertive and affirmative language. Never fall into the trap of being overtly negative about an ex-employer – it never looks good.
Enthusiasm sells – both in the content of your answers and in the delivery tone.
Make your opportunity to ask questions count! Nothing is more disappointing to an interviewer than questions that are poorly thought out and could have easily been researched before. This is a real chance to close the interview and reinforce your interest in the job.

After the interview
Follow up. A letter or call following the meeting thanking interviewers for their time is entirely appropriate.
As trite as it might sound, treat it as a learning experience – it genuinely is the best way to hone in your skills for future interviews.

Using your consultant
If your interview has been arranged by a consultant, you should still do your homework and follow through the points above. A good consultant will properly brief you on the company and the role, help you with likely interview questions and the structure of the interview and will give you honest feedback. Do not be afraid to ask if you feel you are not getting the support or information you need, as some recruiters are more proactive than others.

Sample interview questions
Many employers conduct competency based interviews. These will require you to give specific examples to demonstrate how you’ve actually worked in the past.
For example:
A)the situation (what were you given to do, where were you working, etc)
B) your behaviour towards the situation (how did you react, what practical measures did you put in place, what did you have to do, etc)
C) the conclusion (what was the outcome, was it positive?)

Here are some samples to practice structuring your answers…
1. Tell me about a time when you showed initiative at work.
2. Tell me about a time when you were faced with a difficult client/customer/work colleague and how did you react?
3. Describe a time when you worked in a successful team and what part did you play?
4. Tell me about a task that you were given to do and how did you plan everything to ensure you met the end goal?
5. Give an example of a task that was given to you that you didn’t really enjoy doing. What didn’t you enjoy and how did you motivate yourself to do it?
6. Tell me about a time when you worked under pressure to meet a certain deadline. Were there obstacles that prevented you from reaching this? How did you handle these obstacles?
7. When your manager is out of the office, how do you deal with his/her emails/letters that come in?

Google+