Preparing for Job Interviews
1) Know the basics. There are only three main questions an interviewer wants to ask:
Can you do the job?
Will you do the job?
Will you fit in?
Structuring your planning around these three areas will help you to cover the most crucial issues likely to be covered during the interview, and it will give you the chance to prepare your key statements and responses to market yourself the most effectively.
Can you do the job?
Questions in this area are intended to probe your background. It is unlikely that you would have been invited for the interview if your qualifications and experience on paper did not match the criteria for the job. Most interviewers therefore will spend about 15% of the interview in this area.
Do you have the required qualifications?
If the job is very technical, you may be required to demonstrate greater in-depth technical knowledge in the interview. Be prepared to verify and back up any claims that you make regarding your qualifications. Employers are increasingly using the services of data agencies to verify details given on CVs and application forms. Avoid ‘little white lies’ such as upgrading your A Level results. A small fib, if found out, will totally undermine your credibility.
2) Always arrive 20 minutes early. This will ensure that you are not nervous, and it will give you plenty of time to prepare.
3) Make up your mind to try to smile! Smile throughout the interview, because this is your final examination. You are not going to get the opportunity for a rain check. Your attitude should be that you are going to get that job, as if your life depended on it.
4) Make sure that you take a trip to the rest room before you go in. Interviewees are always nervous, so sweaty hands often result.
5) Make a trip to the rest room before the interview to check your hair, teeth, makeup, etc. Please also wash and dry your hands beforehand. You will not get a goodbye handshake if you don’t.
6) Make sure that you have plenty of breath mints handy. Bad breath is a sure way to turn off the interviewer, especially if the interview is behind closed doors.
7) Check your nose hair, trim your eyebrows.
8) Men: Avoid coloring your hair to make a good impression. There is nothing worse than a man trying to pass himself off as a younger man. Women: You can mostly get away with it. It is sometimes even recommended.
9) Always make sure that your hair is neatly trimmed and cut to a professional length. Curls and fluff will not get you through an interview. Men: No long hair, handle bar mustaches, or overgrown beards. Keep it short and professional. You can always grow it back once you get the job! No earrings, thick gold chains, or nose rings either.
10) Always tell the truth.
11) Take a copy of your references, and 3-4 nice copies of your resume to hand out to each interviewer. Also take copies of written references, if you have them.
12) If asked, give examples of when you failed, and how you overcame it. Explain that you did not view this as failure. It was a learning experience.
13) Don’t get to the one-foot line and fumble the football. ASK FOR THE JOB (if you want it)! Your interviewer needs to know if you are excited about the opportunity, and that you think you are a good fit for the position. If five candidates are all rated equally in the interview process, but only one candidate shows enthusiasm by asking for the job, that person will be the choice, every time!