Having an interview can be a daunting and worrying experience and can often leave you feeling as if you didn’t give your best. To ensure you turn any interview into a rewarding and positive experience you need to invest in some careful thought and planning prior to your interview.
Your CV on its own will not get you the job. A CV and covering letter can secure an interview, but you still must sell yourself and build a rapport with the interviewer.
Not preparing intellectually and emotionally for interviews: The interview is the most important moment in your job search and as such, it requires solid intellectual and emotional preparation. Researching the company is just the beginning. Research the background of the people you will meet (use the corporate web site or online profiles). Practice answering the most common interview questions, and the questions you fear most. Prepare five questions you will ask during the interview. Finally, get yourself in the most resourceful and positive mood for the interview.
Candidates perform their best when feeling spectacular.
Getting a phone call doesn’t mean an employer is especially interested. It could be a screening interview, so listen carefully, keep responses and questions focused, and remember your goal is to be invited in or for a further interview.
Your goals at an interview are to be given and find out information, and then be invited back for a second interview.
Try to anticipate the areas that the questions will cover, such as your achievements, job progression, personality, strengths, weaknesses and goals – and prepare for those.
If you arrive late for the interview, don’t make up an elaborate excuse – because the damage has already been done.
If the interviewer asks about your weaknesses, avoid saying that you don’t have any. Talk about a weakness that has no relationship to the job, or one that you have improved upon.
Do ask questions about the role. The quality of questions asked by interviewees can make the difference.
If asked about your salary expectations, state a range based upon salaries comparable for the position. But make sure you are willing to accept the lower figure.
Before leaving, find out what the next step is. Then write a letter that day thanking the interviewer for their time and summarise how your skills and achievements can best meet the employer’s needs.