Interviews

Interviews can be incredibly daunting, regardless of whether its your first job or if you are already established in the world of work. Preparation is key to any successful interview. We have produced a guide that we offer as a helpful tool to anyone embarking on an interview. It will hopefully make the process run smoothly and result in a positive outcome.

Information worth finding out before your interview

What is the exact nature of the Company’s business? Check out their website in advance.

How many staff work there, what is the average age of staff, what is the Company culture etc?

Has the Company been in the press lately, are there any controversial announcements or decisions? Google to find out.

To find out all of this information try the company web-site which will usually outline any questions.  If they do not have one, and you have time, contact the Company and ask them to send you a brochure.

Knowing this information makes a good impression and could help secure you the job.

Be prepared to answer questions about yourself

Why did you choose this particular career? Think carefully about this and make sure you have researched this area.

Why do you/did you want to leave your current/last job? Try to keep answers positive (no bad mouthing your current employer)

Why would you like to work for this company?

What are your major strengths/weaknesses? Be honest and always try to put a positive swing on a potential weakness.

Creating an impression

  • Punctuality is essential.  It is better to be early than late.  Don’t rush — give yourself plenty of time to get there.

Negative factors.  The employer will be evaluating these and forming their own impressions of you.

  • Listed below are some negative factors to be aware of:
  • Poor personal appearance. Make sure you are clean shaven and hair is neat and tidy.
  • Appearing overconfident, aggressive or overbearing.
  • Poor diction or grammar.
  • Lack of planning for the interview. Preparation is key.
  • Lack of enthusiasm.
  • Lack of confidence, fidgety or one word answers. This is different than just being nervous.
  • Over emphasis of ‘how much cash will I make?’
  • Failure to look the employer in the eye.
  • Weak or limp handshake. This is the first impression you will give to the employer so make it good.
  • Prepare yourself mentally too. Know what you are looking to achieve in this interview.

Interviewers will want to see you that you focused, confident and enthusiastic.  However, they will be aware that you may be nervous and will take this into account.

  • Think positive!

You must believe in yourself for the interviewer to believe in you!  Leave an impression that you deserve.

Here are a few points to be aware of when trying to develop a positive frame of mind:

Remind yourself that you’ve been short-listed from many other applicants therefore you already stand a pretty good chance.

Feeling a little nervous before an interview is perfectly normal.  It’s a sign of anticipation and that you’re anxious to prove yourself. Use the extra energy to sound enthusiastic and keen.

In the interview can you prove:

  • You would be able to do the job competently.
  • You would enhance and benefit the company.
  • You are the best candidate and can prove it.

Closing the Interview

Don’t be discouraged if no definite offer is made or specific salary is not discussed. The interviewer will probably want to communicate with his/her office first, or, if you have gone through a recruitment agency, they may wish to relay an offer to the agency first.

If you get the impression the interview isn’t going so well don’t be discouraged. Once in a while an interviewer who is genuinely interested in you may seem to discourage you in order to test your reaction.

Finally, finish the interview with a positive note thanking them for their time, a firm hand shake with eye contact and make sure you know what the next step is e.g. when will you hear from them etc.

Some of the above may seem like common sense but you would be surprised at how many people forget even the simplest things, such as eye contact, firm hand sakes and researching the company beforehand. Its imperative that you stand out from anyone else that may be interviewing. You have a limited time to present yourself in a positive light, so use it carefully and make sure you ask any questions you may have or if you can not think of any, ask for a business card and let the interviewers know you will contact them directly if anything else comes to mind. Its better to do this then to ask no questions at all. The market suggests that both employers and potential employees have to ‘sell’ themselves which is why asking questions is an important factor and should not only be down to the interviewers. You are unable to make a decision on a position unless you have the full facts, so asking questions is very important.

Lastly be yourself in interviews, being anything other than that will come to light quite quickly if you are offered a role and start working at a company. An offer is an indication that you were liked and impressed the interviewers in the interview. Turning up to the office on day one and acting completely the opposite to the way you did in interview will reflect negatively and make them question their decision!