Interviews are generally regarded as the primary decision-making event in any recruitment process. Regardless of your academic credentials or career thus far, it is crucial that you perform well in the interview process in order to secure your next position.
It is essential that you research a company extensively prior to attending any interviews. There are two main reasons: (1) It demonstrates that you have a genuine interest in the organization; (2) Shows a degree of initiative. Information on prospective employers is readily available and can be obtained from a number of sources, such as the company website and search tools (such as Google).
Your Recruitment Consultant should be able to provide you with the following details regarding the interview: Name of Interviewer, location, expected duration, format and style of the person(s) conducting the interview, as well as the job description.
First impressions are critical, so dress your best, regardless of the working environment of your potential employer. Once again you recruitment consultant should give you guidance on this.
Plan to arrive 10 minutes before the interview commences. Allow plenty of time for traffic and unfamiliar territory. Do NOT arrive early, as it is arrogant to assume that your interviewer has nothing better to do than interview you. It also puts undue pressure on your interviewer to see you immediately. If you do arrive with extra time to spare, grab a coffee or go for a walk. Do NOT be late. If you are running late due to unforeseen circumstances, phone ahead to inform your recruitment consultant.
It is highly recommended that you arrive prepared to an interview with a number of specific questions. These may relate to: the position, organization or your ability to perform in the role. Play it by ear, but always try and end the interview with at least three relevant questions. The strongest way to end an interview is to ask “what is the next step from here?”
When you arrive at your interview. Smile, look your interviewer in the eyes and give their hand a firm shake. During the actual interview, give your interviewer the opportunity to set the tone and pace of the interview and follow their lead and example. If the tone of the interview is relaxed and informal, act accordingly. Do not run the interview or try and take control by talking too much.
Answer all questions as clearly and concisely as possible. Most questions should be answered in two or three sentences, with a relevant example where appropriate. Do NOT volunteer extra Information that is irrelevant to the question being asked. If you are unsure of what the interviewer is really asking, seek clarification before answering. Avoid yes/no type answers (where possible).
Introduce yourself courteously, smile during the interview and show how your experience is valuable. Also show willingness to learn and progress. Try and answer all questions truthfully and honestly (don’t lie), don’t say negative things about previous employers, don’t over-emphasize money or discuss salary unless they do. Finally, don’t forget to say “Thank You” after your interview.
The most important part of the interview process is to contact your Recruitment Consultant as soon as you walk out of the interview. Often there can be mis-understandings during an interview and the sooner we get feedback, the sooner we can fix (or smooth out) out any issues, thereby giving you the best chance of getting the job.