Job Interview Tips and Advice
Apart from the obvious like second-guessing the questions in a job interview there are many factors that can make the whole experience more pleasurable if you are prepared properly.
The following checklist should start to get your thought processes on the right track and help you eliminate issues that could sabotage your interview success. In other words, they are all things you personally have control over to some extent.
Driving home after the interview you could be kicking yourself because hindsight is a wonderful gift.
Job Interview Checklist to Help You Prepare and Perform Well at an Interview:
- In case you are asked what you know about the company make sure you have found out!
- Look at their website, read their mission statement, understand their products or services and location / size, number of employees, etc.
- Check you know where you are going, car parking, bus routes, train times, etc.
- Be prepared for inclement weather - take an umbrella, arriving looking like you have gone through a hedge backwards is not an appealing look.
- Reduce your stress levels by allowing sufficient time to get there and collect your thoughts before going in. Don't forget rush-hour traffic could delay you considerably.
- Ensure you are well-groomed and presented in a businesslike fashion.
- Read the Job Description and Person Specification - you will be questioned on the skills required to perform against these measures.
- Turn off your phone before the interview - this is vital! Receiving constant text messages or phone calls will not give the right impression.
- Keep your posture and the conversation positive at all times.
- Make eye contact when answering and avoid limp / wet handshakes - visit the washroom before you go in, wash your hands and take some deep breaths.
- When answering questions keep to very positive skill-based answers - demonstrate that you could take something to their party!
- Sell your ability to add value by using your expertise - use examples of how you have done this previously.
- Do not start talking about how many holidays, time-off policy, or salary at this early stage. Wait until they want you before even considering these issues as bargaining tools.
Expect the Unexpected at a Job Interview
The above checklist is a very general list of items that you can prepare for in advance. Of course there could be things that could happen that you hadn't thought of and you are therefore unprepared for. These will throw you off balance on the day, so it is as well to expect the unexpected.
- It might be a panel interview with 5 people grilling you - if you didn't take the trouble to find out before you arrived this will be extremely off-putting when you walk in!
- Always call the person who wrote to confirm the interview and ask them who will be conducting the interview, their position (e.g. HR or the boss) and how many of them.
- In addition try to establish how long the interview will last - if it's only 30 minutes and there are 20 questions do the maths to work out how long you have got to answer, not long!
- Also ask if you will be required to do anything that you need to prepare for.
- If you are suddenly asked to deliver a spontaneous 5 minute talk on an obscure topic half way through the interview it will definitely erode your self-confidence. It's unfair, but it could happen.
- If part of the interview is a presentation, ask to how many people and what equipment will be there e.g. mains power source, projector, laptop, flip chart and pens, etc.
- Check media requirements - can you create a PowerPoint presentation and take it along on a memory stick, neat, slick and convenient, but not if there is nothing to play it on!
Preparation before an interview is both sensible and vital - the question is how many people take the trouble to do it.
It's fair to say that most people spend more time planning their annual holiday than they spend on preparing for a job interview. Whilst we are on the subject of holidays I doubt too many people have ever missed their plane. So what excuse is there for being late to an interview.
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- General tips / advice
- List of interview questions
- Answering interview questions
- Good interview questions
- Top interview questions and answers
- Example interview questions
- Typical interview questions
- Job interview questions
- How to get a big pay rise
- Psychometric tests
- Questions to ask the interviewer
- Group interview tests
- Panel interviews
- Interview body language
- Interview problems
- Interview question what are your strong points
- Interview question not meeting deadlines