The most important thing, besides being a suitable candidate for the position/job, is to be prepared. Preparation can make the difference between getting an offer and getting rejected by leaving a good first impression.
Preparing for the interview:
- Identify whom you are meeting. Make sure you know their title and whether you will be working for them directly.
- Research the job – find out what the job entails. If you have been given a job description, make sure you have studied it, so that you are fully aware of the position, if asked.
- Research as much as you can by using the company’s brochures or websites. Most companies today have a Web Site and they expect you to have researched their company. If going for a marketing/sales/finance position – research company products and the company potential (e.g. Annual review report and so on)
- Make sure you know what you’re going to wear, taking into consideration the culture of the organization for which you are interviewing and dress accordingly. A business suit is always best. Be certain that your clothing is clean and well pressed.
- Know the location of your interview. Always plan to arrive at the designated office 10 minutes in advance. Allow ample time for traffic, the possibility of getting lost, and parking difficulties. Bring extra copies of your CV in a folder or portfolio. Bring a small notebook for notes, but keep note taking to a minimum.
During the Interview:
Be able to answer standard questions, such as:
- Why are you interested in this field?
- Why are you interested in this company?
- Why are you interested in this position?
Be prepared to discuss anything on your CV. Also, be prepared to answer difficult questions, such as:-
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How do you cope with pressure?
- What makes you a good team member?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Prepare questions to ask. Examples of these could be as follows:
- How does the position fit into the organizational structure?
- How much scope (autonomy, flexibility, career growth, responsibilities) is there within this position?
- What is the company’s managerial style/culture?
NEVER ask about salary or benefits, that’s our job!
During the Interview, you have to make sure to:
- Smile and make eye contact.
- Relax and be friendly.
- Be positive and enthusiastic.
- Think about your body language.
The interview is your chance to make a good impression and to stand out from the crowd, so make sure you’re fully prepared and good luck!