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Job Interview Do’s:
Preparing for a job interview is essential to making a good impression. Employ these handy job interview techniques to win over your interviewer:
- Research the company to which you are going for an interview. They will expect you to know about the company and the position you are applying for. Go online and find out as much information as you can, so that when you are interviewed by the company, they can see you are interested in working for them.
- Prepare for the telephonic interview. You never know when that call may come! Be ready to answer questions about yourself and the company. They will expect you to have done some homework about who they are, so you know about your future employer.
- Dress for success. First impressions really matter to the company where you are going to be interviewed. Ensure you look smart and professional. Presentation is the key – dress smartly as possible as people judge your appearance.
- Always give a firm handshake.
- Think before you answer. It is always best to think first before you answer. What you say matters and affects the end result. The secret here is to listen, then think (count to 5), then answer.
- Know the content of your CV (resume). When you are interviewed normally the company will go through your CV so you must know what is written down and be able to expand on each item.
- Research the role. Find as much as you can about the position you are applying for so you can give good responses to questions. If you can and know how to use LinkedIn you may be able to find out more about the person that is going to interview you.
- Be positive. Don’t bore your potential employer with your personal stories, especially not the negative ones! If they ask about you, keep it short and give them a clear impression of who you are and what you are like. Ensure its all positive! Stick to your strengths and never talk in the future tense.
- Practice makes perfect. It is very important to practice your interview with friends or relations. Think of as many questions as you can that you think the company may ask – such as “where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?” (Answer something like: I see myself in the company and taking on more responsibility.) Practice the answers over and over again. As crazy as it sounds, it is a good idea to practice in front of a mirror!
- Plan to arrive before the time – say about 15 minutes early. Arriving late for a job interview is not an option. The day before you should check where you have to go and how long it will take. This will minimise any stress of getting there on time.
- Greet the interviewer by their name Mr…….. or Ms…………… not on a first name basis unless the interviewer says ”call me ……….…….”
- Wait until you are offered a chair before you sit down. Sit upright and always look alert and interested. Be a good listener as well as a good talker. Smile! Smile!
- Maintain eye contact. Don’t look at the floor or walls, but at the person who is talking to you.
- Follow the interviewer’s leads and try to get them to describe the position and duties early in the interview, so you can relate your background and skills to the position. Prepare a list of about 5 questions you would like to ask.
- Make sure you convey your good points factually and sincerely. Keep in mind that only you can sell yourself to an interviewer. Ensure they realise why you would be an asset to their company.
- Always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job. Never close the door on an opportunity.
Job Interview Don’ts:
- Never answer questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Use the CAR technique(Context, Action, and Result) wherever possible. Share things about yourself that relate to the position.
- Never lie. Always answer questions truthfully, frankly and as concisely as possible.
- Never make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers, colleagues or companies.
- Do NOT over-answer’ questions. The interviewer may steer the conversation into politics or economics. It is best to answer the questions honestly, saying no more than is necessary.
- Never let your discouragement show. If you get the impression the interview is not going well and you have already been rejected, don’t show discouragement or alarm. Occasionally an interviewer who is genuinely interested in you may try to discourage you in order to test your reaction.
- Never ask about salary, bonuses or holidays at the first interview – unless you are positive the employer is interested in hiring you, and they raise the issue first. However, know your market value and be prepared to specify your required salary or range.
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