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Tips to succeed in an Interview
Job search techniques change, the labour market changes and job descriptions change.
31. You and the interview
Let the employer control the interview. Your answers should be frank and brief but complete, without rambling. Avoid dogmatic statements.Be flexible and willing but give the employer a clear idea of your job preferences.
Stress your qualifications without exaggeration. The employers questions or statements will indicate the type of person wanted. Use these clues in presenting your qualifications. For example, if you are being interviewed for an engineering position and the employer mentions that the job will require some customer contact work, use this clue to emphasize any work, experience, or courses you have had in this kind of skill.
32. Before the interview
As the saying goes knowledge is power. Its even more powerful in a panel interview where questions are being fired left, right and centre. Make sure you study the job specifications and your CV and prepare as far as possible for likely questions.
At a minimum, the interviewers will expect you to have knowledge of the job role, the company, its products, services and competitors, how its viewed and issues within the market. Such information can be found online, on the company website, in the media and by speaking to experts such as recruitment consultants and industry bodies.
33. The day of the interview
The golden rule of a panel interview is to engage with the whole panel, not just one specific member of the group. When you first get into the room, look at all of the interviewers, try and remember the names of each and address them accordingly. Shake them firmly by the hand if youre standing and then wait to be invited to take a seat. When sitting down, maintain an open, positive and engaged body position. Dont fidget, sit up straight and lean slightly forward in your chair.
Practicing what youre going to say and how youre going to say it will help you speak confidently about your skills and accomplishments. Its a good idea not to memorize what you want to say. Instead, figure out which key points you want to focus on.Review the questions youve come up with and the situations youve described in the previous section. Decide which situations would make good responses to the questions. Practice answering the questions using STARS descriptions of your accomplishments.
The interview is also your opportunity to ask questions. List 3 things you want to know about the job or the organization, and practice asking questions about them. Make sure you couldnt be expected to know the answers from your research. Leave questions about salary, vacations or other benefits until after you receive a job offer.Record your answers so you can see and hear how you perform. Its also a good idea to roleplay the interview with a friend.
How you present yourself in the interview your appearance, attitude and body language is vitally important. Its normal to be anxious but acting as if youre confident, even when you arent, can have a positive effect on both you and the interviewer.
The interview is also your chance to show your positive attitude and your communication skills.Turn off your cell phone when you arrive at the interview and leave it off until you leave. Use a pen and paper to make notes, rather than a laptop or other device.Follow the interviewers lead. Even unusual or irrelevant questions get asked for a reason.Listen closely to the questions so you can answer them accurately. If you dont understand a question, politely ask the interviewer to rephrase it. If you dont know the answer, say so.Take a moment to think before you answer a question. Be pleasant, sincere and direct. Stay on topic.
37. First Make the Fit Test
Be absolutely clear for yourself that the role and company youd like to apply for really fits with your skills, career track, professional and personal objectives, beliefs and experiences. Conversely check, if you might match with the culture and needs of the company youd like to join. If theres no perceived fit already in this very first step, do not move on and do not waste your nor anyone elses time by wanting to conduct an interview. Only if you know about, and believe in, and feel about such a fit, you can and you will possess and as such radiate a 100% motivation level towards the new role and the new company. And thats what it takes to succeed. Every good interviewer will realize very quickly how passionate you are about her company and how excited you are about the offered position.
38. Research the Target Company
To be well prepared is half the victory. Still, Im surprised how many candidates would arrive at interviews, even for senior level positions, and not having studied our values, mission statement, leadership principles, products, etc. Why would they have not reviewed our Internet site, not read our latest press releases, why would they have no idea about what our competitors are doing, what our current and future challenges could look like? Dont get me wrong Its not about being or becoming an expert about the company and role in question. Its more about having acquired a sound knowledge before the interview to be able formulating your own, knowledgebased opinion which youll need to express at the interviews.
39. Know Your interviewer
Today its easier than ever to collect information about your interviewers. Spend 4050 minutes on Google, Linkedin, etc. and you should be clear about titles, roles, careers, etc. of all the people wholl interview you. If not, ask the person whos responsible of organizing the interviews and/or with whom youre in contact to provide you some background information about the people youll meet. Addressing interviewers with their names and implicitly or explicitly without exaggerating showing them that you know a little bit about their careers, achievements, etc. is not only polite, but also shows respect and interest. Youd be surprised to hear how negatively it is perceived by many interviewers, if you do not know these things. And, on the contrary, how flattered many of them will be, if you are aware of some facts and successes of their professional lives. Its like in real life!
40. Adjust Your Appearance Style and Tone
Imagine youre wearing a shortsleeved shirt, no tie and a casual pair of trousers when meeting for a job interview with one of the countrys top insurance companies? Or, imagine for the fun of it you took out your favourite Brioni business suit for an interview with the founder and CEO of the hottest Internet startup around who is one of those Harvard dropouts and who is absolutely not interested in any status symbols. Beyond these more obvious things like appearance and clothing, you should also pay attention to the vocabulary youre using. You should utilize words and expressions which are comon in the target company, its markets, and its industry. Also when applying e.g. for a position as a trademark lawyer, you might want to come across as serious and thoughtful. Whereas when going for a sales or marketing position, you need to be prepared showing characteristics of vitality, drive, and stamina among others. Finally, be aware of the first impression you convey when meeting for the very first time the interviewers. It counts and it will be remembered consciously and subconsciously for a long time. If you were someone who smiled a lot, if you had a firm handshake, a pleasant and clear voice and if you had looked for eyecontact during the moment of making the acquaintance with the interviewer. Important to remark that the process of creating the first impression often already starts even before the interview; e.g. when you meet the receptionist, an assistant of the interviewer, or someone offering you a drink, etc. The influence of such indirect stakeholders is the stronger, the smaller the company youre applying with.
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