Most interviews have a lead-in time of introductions and settling in, questions from the interviewer/panel,
and then a chance for the interviewee to ask questions. Try to follow these steps before , during , after the interview.
Review common interview questions. Practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror. Come prepared with stories that relate to the skills that the employer wants, while emphasizing your:
- Willingness to work and flexibility
- Leadership skills
- Ability and willingness to learn new things
- Contributions to the organizations in which you have worked or volunteered
- Creativity in solving problems and working with people
- Figure out in advance how well you qualify for the job. For each requirement listed in the job posting, write down your
qualifications. This can show you if you lack a particular skill. Plan how you will address this in the interview so you can convince the interviewer that you can learn the skill.
- Make a list of questions that you would like to ask during the interview. Pick questions that will demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. This might include commenting on the news you learned from the company website, and then asking a question related to it. Also ask questions about the job you will be expected to perform, like:
- Be prepared. Remember to bring important items to the interview ;Notebook and pens, Extra copies of your resume and a list of references,Copies of letter(s) of recommendation, licenses, transcripts, etc., Portfolio of work samples
- On the day of the interview, remember to:
1. Plan your schedule so you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early.
2. Go by yourself.
3. Look professional. Dress in a manner appropriate to the job.
4. Leave your MP3 player, coffee, soda, or backpack at home or in your car.
5. Turn off your cell phone.
6. Bring your sense of humor and SMILE!
During the interview
- Let the interviewer start the dialogue.
- Send a positive message with your body language.
- Shake hands firmly, but only if a hand is offered to you first.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Listen carefully. Welcome all questions, even the difficult ones, with a smile.
- Give honest, direct answers.
- Develop answers in your head before you respond. If you don't understand a question, ask for it to be repeated or clarified. You don't have to rush, but you don't want to appear indecisive.
End the interview with a good impression.
- A positive end to the interview is another way to ensure your success.
- Be courteous and allow the interview to end on time.
- Restate any strengths and experiences that you might not have emphasized earlier.
- Mention a particular accomplishment or activity that fits the job.
- If you want the job, say so!
- Find out if there will be additional interviews.
- Ask when the employer plans to make a decision.
- Indicate a time when you may contact the employer to learn of the decision.
- Don't forget to send a thank-you note or letter after the interview.
General tips for answering questions
• Speak clearly and vary your tone to show you are interested and enthusiastic.
• Give yourself time to think about each question. Pause before answering so that you can think about the best response, and make sure you're giving them the information they need.
• Listen to questions carefully and let the interviewer lead the conversation. If you don't understand a question, ask for it to be explained or repeated.
• Be diplomatic and discreet, particularly about previous employers or co-workers. Don't badmouth anybody.
• Speak from experience – give examples that can demonstrate what knowledge and skills you have, and what you have learned in the past.
• Be positive about the skills you have and what you have done. Don't give the employer a chance to downgrade your abilities by saying things such as "I only have..." or "I don't have direct experience in that area". Instead, tell the employer what you do have or can offer.
Questions you can ask at an interview
Remember, some of the questions you have prepared may be answered during the interview. You'll need to keep track of these, as you don't want to ask them again.
Examples of questions that you could ask
1. What type of work will you be doing?
- What are the duties and responsibilities of this position?
- What would a day in the life of a _______ with your firm typically involve?
- What will be the biggest challenge I will have in this job?
2. What training and progression opportunities are there?
- What kind of induction or training programme will I complete when I begin the job?
- Will the organisation support ongoing study?
- Will there be opportunities for increased responsibility and broader experience?
- Is there a periodic employee appraisal or performance review? How is this organised?
3. What are the people like?
- How much contact will I have with management?
- Who will I report to in this position?
- How big is the team I will work with?
4. What's the organisation like?
- I find it interesting that you are expanding into ________. Could you tell me more about that?
- How does your organisation show that it values its employees?
Tests at interviews
Some employers give candidates different types of tests as part of their hiring process.
1. Aptitude tests
Aptitude tests are used to predict how well you can perform a particular job or task. They examine your potential by testing aptitudes that are relevant to the job or task in question. They are usually timed against the clock. They may test:
• spatial awareness (dealing with diagrams and three-dimensional shapes)
• verbal reasoning
• manual dexterity or hand/eye co-ordination.
2. Skills and knowledge tests
These exercises measure the knowledge, skills or understanding you have about a particular subject. They are usually timed. A common example is a test of computer keyboard skills and your knowledge of word processing packages.
3. Personality assessments
Although there can be no such thing as a right or wrong answer in a personality assessment, the employer is likely to compare your personality profile with the profile that is regarded as most suitable for the position in question.