All of us have attended interviews in our lifetime, or will do so shortly. A call for an interview is invariably a mixed feeling. A sense of apprehension and anxiety mixed with excitement and happiness. While the call for an interview is just the first step, it is important to get prepared for the long competitive exercise ahead.
Being prepared is always the key to any successful interview, when you set out for an interview, be sure you understand what your potential employer is looking for. Expect questions that aim to
- Determine your level of maturity
- Your ability to adapt
- Personality traits that make you the best candidate for the job
Situational questions at an interview are also often asked as these types of questions allow prospective employers to determine your analytical ability and judgment. Behavioural questions are common as they give the employer insight into how you have reacted and dealt with problems in real life situations.
Before the interview
- Know the exact time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there, park, find a rest room to freshen up, etc.
- Arrive early; 10 minutes prior to the interview start time.
- Treat other people at the company with courtesy and respect. Their opinions of you might be solicited during hiring decisions.
- Dress appropriately for the industry. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be impeccable.
- Choose conservative coloured clothes, never flashy colours.
- Make sure your shoes shine and the socks should always match your shoes.
At the interview
- Remember to turn off your cell phone and the beeper of your watch before you go into an interview
- Offer your hand, and give a firm handshake, a pleasant smile to your interviewer. Introduce yourself.
- Even when your interviewer gives you a first and last name, address them by their title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name, until invited to do otherwise.
- Ensure you stand and sit erect. Slouching, is a big no.
- Don’t fidget; there is nothing worse than people playing with their hair, clicking pen tops, tapping their feet or unconsciously touching parts of the body.
- Maintain eye contact with your interviewer
- Take a seat facing the interviewer, however, slightly off center. Be sure that you are in a comfortable position
- Pay attention to nervous mannerisms. You might be feeling nervous but the key is to appear calm and composed
- When speaking, use good grammar and a friendly tone. Never answer in monosyllables of only “yes” or “no” to a question. Be polite and avoid rambling when answering a question
- Remember to be enthusiastic! And exhibit a positive attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker.
- Never whine, gripe or complain about past employers, jobs, classes etc
- Be sure to showcase your level of commitment and preparedness by being positive
- Be a good listener – make sure you allow the interviewer to finish his/her sentence before starting to answer.
- Be prepared to ask a few questions, however they should be thoughtful and pertinent. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification
- Be Honest, it is always better to state the truth
- Be professional. Don’t get swayed by the friendly behaviour of the interviewer and disclose things that may not be relevant.
- After the interview don’t forget to thank the interviewer and reiterate your interest in the job.
- Don’t falsify application data or answers to interview questions.
- Don’t chew gum or smell like smoke.
- Don’t take your parents, spouse, fiancé or friends to an interview. If you are not grown up and independent enough to attend an interview alone, you’re insufficiently grown up and independent for a job.
- Don’t use deodorants and colognes with strong fragrances
If you don’t get the job, don’t be disheartened. Gear up for your next interview. After all the more interviews you tackle the more polished you become.