Planning For Success: The Interview
Congratulations! You have got through to the interview. Now is the time to be well prepared so you can make the most of your opportunity.
Many people view an interview as a nerve-wracking experience, during which a recruiter will ask tricky questions designed to trip them up.
However, interviewers are simply trying to gather relevant information to determine whether a candidate is suitable for the role. The process does not have to be stressful, providing the interviewee is adequately prepared.
- Review Your Company Research
Make sure you know the main details about the company, including its mission, its vision and what it does. As well as looking at the corporate website, search the internet for related news articles.
Find out beforehand the name of the person who will be interviewing you and their position. Be aware of the names of important people in the organization, from the chief executive to the board of directors.
- Practice Your Interview Technique
Think through questions that you are likely to be asked and practice your answers. Ask a friend or family member to role play the interview with you.
Common questions include:
- “Tell me a little about yourself”
- “Why do you want to work for this company?”
- “Why do you want this role?”
- “What previous experience do you have that is relevant to this position?”
- What are your duties in your current role?”
- Prepare Yourself
Print out copies of your CV to take to the interview (two to three copies should be fine), examples of your work if appropriate (for example, portfolio pieces if you are a designer), a notebook, two pens, your ID and passport, and any relevant academic orprofessional certificates.
Set out the clothes you plan to wear to the interview the day before and make sure everything is in good order. Most interviews require smart office attire.
- During The Interview
Aim to stay as calm and collected as you can by taking a few deep breaths before you go into the interview room and reminding yourself that you would not have got so far if the company was not interested in you.
Answer questions clearly and confidently, without rushing your words. Try to keep your answers fairly brief but do not be afraid to ask for clarification if you do not understand the question.
Be prepared to ask some questions of your own at the end of the interview, when prompted to do so. This is your opportunity to find out more about the role and to demonstrate your interest in the company.
- After The Interview
Follow up via email, thanking the recruiter for their time and briefly mentioning how interested you are in the role. You may wish to bring up a topic you really enjoyed talking about during the interview or even allude to what makes you different from other candidates.
Avoid Making the Wrong Impression
Ensure you don’t annoy the hiring manager by committing any of these common mistakes:
- Not understanding the company or product
- Not asking relevant questions
- Being too persistent
- Not following directions
- Getting the company’s name wrong on your application material or other documents
- Not including links for easy reference (in case you have a portfolio, website or social media profile that you would like the recruiter to see)
- Making up an answer
- Being too casual, in dress or attitude