Interviews can be a scary prospect, based on years of knowledge and experience working with candidates and employers we’ve put together some top tips to help get you prepared with confidence and ease those pre-interview nerves.
Before your interview
Members of Pride Careers Recruitment team will always run through information with you beforehand, but you must spend time gathering information about the position you’re applying for and where possible, the company you’ll be working for if you undergo the interview successfully. Research who their competitors are, visit their website and search the web for related articles and news. Remember to:
- Know the exact time and location of the interview
- Check the route, public transport, parking etc.
- Review how long it will take to get there (Note: you can use Google Maps to find the exact location).
- Know the interviewer’s correct title and pronunciation of his/her full name
Study the job description
Study the job description/information and match where your strengths lie. If appropriate, be prepared to defend your lack of experience in a particular area. Discuss this with a member of Pride Careers beforehand.
Interviews are a two-way process.
To find out if the role is right for you, have two or three strategic business questions ready, such as:
- “Where do you see the Organization expanding over the next year?”
- “What problems, if any, do you see ahead/need to overcome with the changes in xyz legislation?”
- “What plans have been put in place to stay ahead of your competitors?”
- Anticipate the likely questions you will be asked and prepare your answers. For example:
- “What are your long-term career goals?”
- “What skills do you have that are important to succeed in this role?”
- “Describe your management style”
- “What are your strengths and weaknesses? “
“Tell me about yourself” is the most typical and vague question that the interviewer will ask at the beginning of the interview. You must take this open invitation to give a clear and precise summary of your professional career and the key achievements within it.
Remember, interviewers will make a judgement on you in the first five minutes of your interview so be prepared!
Never answer a question with a simple yes or no
The most common negative feedback about prospective candidates is their inability to articulate past accomplishments and how they can relate this experience to a new organization. Always run through your CV, ideally the night before, and spend time recalling specific details – as many facts and figures as possible.
Your potential future employer is looking not only to see if you can do the job, but if you can succeed and make significant contributions, so give them precise information and data. When asked a specific question always give your answer followed by the result/outcome.
Interview dress code
Always dress in business attire unless specifically asked to wear casual. A dark suit, ironed shirt and dark socks (not white) for the gentlemen and a dark suit and suitable top (not low cut) for the ladies.
Wear limited cologne/perfume and never apply it with your hands. You have to shake hands and you do not want to be remembered for how you smelt!
Job interview process
Always shake hands firmly and wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. A smile is the most positive signal you can give, it re-affirms your enthusiasm and good nature. Your attitude and demeanour play an important role in any interview.
Remain enthusiastic, energetic and positive throughout. Do not become overbearing, aggressive or conceited. It is critical to develop a rapport with the interviewer right from the start. If you can give the impression that you have a lot in common and if he/she takes a liking to you, you will greatly improve your chances of success.
Talk in the future tense, e.g. when I join … I will (rather than would) – be assumptive.
Listen to the questions
Listening to the questions asked is incredibly important since you can sometimes give an answer without fully responding to that particular question. It is always best to take a short pause before answering or to clarify their question by repeating it. Answer succinctly and do not waffle – keep to the point and be mindful of time.
Let your voice show your enthusiasm and keenness – speak clearly and in a controlled range of tones. Try to avoid either a nervous ‘sing-song’ tone or being monotone. Be aware of your body language. Fidgeting shows boredom and restlessness. Crossing your arms indicates an unwillingness to listen and tapping your foot is distracting and a sure sign of boredom.
Smile, relax and enjoy the meeting. Be honest and as frank and open as possible. Do not make derogatory or negative remarks about your present or former employers. Avoid negative phrases such as “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure”. It’s also a bad idea to get into discussions about your personal life. Do not discuss money and do not state the salary you are looking for.
If the interviewer asks you to confirm your package, then do so but do not bring the subject up yourself. If they ask you what you are looking for, confirm your current package details and that you would expect an improvement but that the role and career opportunities are the most important consideration in making a move from your current role. Members of Pride Careers Recruitment team are in a much better situation than you to discuss financial packages.
Closing the interview
Always ask the interviewer for feedback. Ask if they have any concerns or worries about your suitability for the role. If you don’t ask and they do have concerns, you won’t have another opportunity to discuss this and potentially remove their doubts. If you do get the impression that the interview is not going very well – ask the interviewer outright what their concerns are. You may find that this will turn the interview around.
Enquire about the next stage and timings. If the interviewer offers the position to you and you want it, accept on the spot. Don’t be too discouraged if no definite offer is made since they will probably want to consult colleagues or interview other candidates (or both) before making a decision.
Please thank the interviewer for their time and say that you look forward to receiving their feedback once they have spoken to a member of Pride Careers Recruitment team.
After your interview
Call a member of Pride Careers Recruitment team as soon as possible after the interview. You will be able to run through the interview with them and if necessary, they will then be able to cover any concerns you have.