Types of interview and how to prepare
CV and cover letter create employment opportunities but they will not
secure you a job. The interview is your chance to back up in person everything
that the employer has read about you.
will probably be your first direct contact with the company and will give
you an insight into it's workings and the chance to meet with it's personnel
to see if it is a place that you would like to work should you be given
are several forms of interview with varying degrees of formality, but
in essence they consist of a conversation, allowing the employer to get
to know you and for you to see what they are like. Whilst interviews can
be nerve wracking experiences, it should be remembered that the interviewer
is only human and it is possible that they are nervous also. Enter with
a confident air, be friendly and open, most importantly don't forget to
get to this stage you would have succeeded in qualifying the preliminary
screening processes. The selection process will have been narrowed down
and the company has recognised you as an attractive prospect.
Usually this interview will be carried out by department supervisor, but
sometimes with human resources personnel. Be prepared to talk about yourself
in detail, why you want the job, and what you can contribute to the company.
advance of the interview carry out research into what the company do,
and think of some questions you want to ask. Do not volunteer information
that the interviewer doesn't ask for.
You want them to want you on their team, therefore you have to impress
them with your personality, your qualifications and your career ambition.
Dress conservatively to impress and arrive punctually, be chatty with
plenty of eye contact. Establish a rapport with the interviewer.
over lunch will be more casual than in an office, however do not let down
your guard. Make your life easier by not ordering messy food and order
something that is a similar price range to the others in attendance.
The decision whether to smoke or drink alcohol should be based upon the
location and what the interviewer is doing.
Tips: Follow the
lead of the interviewer in behaviour, tone and ordering
meeting with the company used by them to weed out unqualified and uninterested
candidates. Screening interviews occur if there is a huge number of
job applicants, however on the whole candidates are rarely asked to
attend them. Interviewers are usually human resource professionals and
the format is usually that of straight questions and answers.
Confirm to the interviewer what they have already read in your CV, do
not deviate from the truth. Providing facts is more important than building
if a candidate lives a great distance from the offices of the company
then it may not be practical to attend preliminary interviews in person.
In this case an interview can be conducted on the telephone. Alternatively
some companies use telephone interviews as a screening process to eliminate
the weaker candidates early on.
A telephone interview is not to be treated as an easier option, it should
be conducted in an equally professional manner as a standard interview
and the same rules apply. The only difference is that your body language
no longer applies.
not let the interviewer totally lead the conversation, if it is appropriate
push for a face to face meeting saying something like "I would appreciate
an opportunity to meet with you in person so we can both better evaluate
each other. I am free either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. Which
would be better for you?"
to behave: Speak in a clear voice, answer the interviewers questions precisely
and try to elaborate without talking too much, exude controlled professionalism.
group interviews are used to introduce the company and describe the job
to an assembled audience of candidates. As this form of interview is not
one-on-one there is not so much pressure on an individual candidate, however
the aim is to stand out from the crowd and be noticed.
Ask questions speak to company personnel afterwards to establish a brief
use this method when hiring for advanced positions or if they are just
feeling nasty. During committee interviews candidates are questioned by
several company personnel at once, this can be daunting but try to keep
cool. Be sure to impress all of the interviewers, do not cater to just
what one or two want to hear.
When an interviewer addresses you with a question, respond to the person
that asked that question, while being conscious of how the others will
interpret what you are saying.
attempts to unnerve you
may try to test your nerve to see how you handle yourself under pressure.
The interview may start out in a relaxed fashion with standard questions
being posed, then the interviewer may change tack to launch into a hostile
assault, for example "So you failed your A-levels, what makes you
think you can handle the pace at our company?" You should be prepared
for this and when it comes don't take it personally. Calmly answer each
question as it comes.
General preparation before any interview
out research into the company, know what it's products are, its size,
income, reputation, image, goals, problems. How many people do they
employ and what is the company philosophy? Know the companies origins,
is it a family company, where and when was it established?
any recent press cuttings about the company, and try to slip your
up to date knowledge into conversation.
may like to practice your responses to some of the more common interview
questions, and prepare a list yourself of questions that you want
your interview resources before the day, you will need to take a couple
of copies of your CV, a reference list, and if possible some examples
of work you have done in the past.
professionally, even if you are going for an interview at a funky
Dot Com company you should still portray a smart business image. It
is recommended that both men and women wear a suit and sensible shoes.
Women wear a moderate amount of makeup and simple jewellery. Men should
be clean shaven with a conservative tie and ironed shirt.