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Preparing for your interview

Congratulations on your interview! Here are a number of tips from the Inspire Selection Consultants to ensure that you do your very best

Interviews are an integral part of your job search; it is the ultimate opportunity to sell yourself on a face-to-face basis. They should not be viewed as a one-sided interrogation with relentless questioning; rather they should be experienced as an open forum for two-way information flow. Preparation is the first essential step towards a successful interview. There is no excuse for a candidate possessing little or no information about the company with whom they are interviewing

The Interview

  • No two interviewers have the same style, let them take control of the flow but ensure that you display honesty, enthusiasm and warmth
  • Prior to your interview complete your due diligence on the company, understand its products and services, its recent business growth, plant or office locations and future growth opportunities. This information is usually accessible from documents and publications such as the company's annual report, corporate website or business publications.
  • During the interview, you will be assessed on your strengths and weaknesses. In addition to this, specific personal characteristics will be probed, such as attitude, aptitude, stability, motivation and maturity.
  • After the interviewer has asked about your previous experience, specific skills and competencies and delved into your strengths and weaknesses, it is then opportune to talk about the specific role.
  • Ensure that you have a number of well thought out and relevant questions to ask about the role.
  • Do not initiate discussions on remuneration at the first interview stage; however be open and honest if asked.
  • When dealing with interview panels maintain eye contact with all equally, even if one individual is doing the majority of the talking
  • If the interviewer offers the position to you and you want it, be prepared to accept it there and then, although this is more typical for contract and temporary roles. If you wish for some time to think it over, be tactful and courteous in asking for that time.
  • Leave the interviewer with a good final impression, smile and give a firm handshake. Do not make the mistake of relaxing too early and undoing all your previous hard work

Interview Do's

  • Plan your journey ahead of time – be clear on where you need to get to and who to report to upon arrival.
  • Remember first impressions do count; it is always advisable to be well presented in formal business attire – even if it is not required for the role.
  • Arrive on time, greet the interviewer by his or her title and surname and shake hands firmlyWait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright in your chair and look alert and interested at all times
  • It is very important that you demonstrate your interpersonal skills during the interview. Try to be charismatic without being overly friendly
  • Be a good listener as well as a good talkerLook the interviewer in the eye and smile, let them feel that you are enjoying the process whilst taking it seriously
  • Follow the interviewer's leads and make sure that your good points get across to the interviewer in a concise, factual and sincere manner
  • Conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing. Remember you cannot reject a job that you are not offered
  • Enquire about the next stage of the process

Interview Don'ts

  • Try not to be too friendly and do not answer questions with a simple ''yes'' or ''no''. Explain yourself whenever possible
  • Conversely do not ''over answer'' questions, make your comments relevant and to the point
  • Do not lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and as close to the point as possible
  • Avoid making derogatory remarks about your present or former employers
  • Try not to use the term "we" when you are talking about your own achievements and avoid making very general statements that lack any real substance

After The Interview

Immediately after the interview call the relevant consultant at Inspire Selection to discuss how you feel it went, what you did well, what you wish you had done differently and how interested you are in the role. This is a chance for the consultant to provide extra feedback to the client to further establish your suitability for the role

Posted on Tuesday Apr 3