My apologies for the absence as I have not been well lately. I have however been using that time productively by preparing you this little 'Guide to an Interview'.
INTERVIEW!!! To most people, going through this process is their worst nightmare. In order to excel, many will dedicate their time and effort endlessly in order to cross this hurdle. While you often spend your precious time in preparing and practising to impress the interviewers, they on the other end sure hope that YOU are the right person for the job. They are under pressure to fill the position so that they can get back to their own work. Therefore you are in a greater position of strength than you think. Remember my previous post on 'ATTITUDE'? Concentrate on what you have to offer in the way of qualifications and experience instead of feeling intimidated.
An interviewer has 3 aims:
- To learn if you are the right person for the job
- To assess your potential for promotion
- To decide whether you will fit into the company environment
Be prepared: For the types of interview questions you will be asked
Be prepared: To ask questions yourself
Be prepared: To research the company
Be prepared: To look the part
Be prepared: To turn up on time
Job interview FAQ's you may be asked;
Q - How would you describe yourself?
A - You should describe attributes that will enhance your suitability for the position. Have some ready in advance.
Q - What are your long-term goals?
A - These should be career orientated. Make sure you have goals to discuss.
Q - Why did you leave your last job?
A - This could be for more responsibility; a better opportunity; increased income. NEVER give negative remarks about your previous employer. He could be the interviewers golfing partner.
Q - Why do you want this job?
A - Your answer should be: more responsibility or better opportunity or similar. Not: because it is closer to home or conveniences.
Q - What are your strengths?
A - You should highlight accomplishments and experiences that relate to the position for which you are applying. Also, give examples of situations where your strengths have been demonstrated.
Q - What are your weaknesses?
A - This should not be a list of deficiencies. Do not mention anything that could make the interviewer question your ability to do the job, for example, “I am always late for everything”. Instead, discuss a weakness that could also be a strength such as “I am a workaholic!”.
More Examples of Good Interview Questions;
- Tell me a little bit about yourself?
- Describe your current / most recent position?
- What made you want to make this change?
- What do you most enjoy doing in your current /most recent position?
- Describe your future ambitions?
- How would you describe yourself?
Good interview questions for YOU to ask
Asking questions at interview has a number of positive effects:
- It helps you find out more about the company and the position
- It can be used to divert the interviewer away from a subject you may wish to avoid
- It can help build a rapport with the interviewer
- It demonstrates an interest in the job and the company
Example questions relating to the position;
- What are the main responsibilities of the job?
- What are the most difficult aspects of the job?
- How did the vacancy arise?
- What is the career path relating to this position?
- How will my work be assessed?
- What is the company hoping to achieve in the next 12 months?
- What new products are the company planning to introduce in the future?
- Are any major changes planned for the department/company?
- Who are your biggest competitors?
Where to find company information
- Information relating to companies, financial data's, industries and business trends are available in business magazines which are often published on the World Wide Web. It also allows you to view Annual Reports relating to specific companies.
- Companies often have their own web site
- Newspapers – search on-line press reports including archived articles
- Local library
Obviously you should be clean and smart in appearance but you should also dress appropriately for the position. Do refer my previous post on 'Dress for Interview'.
Interview Tips - Travel
- Arrive 15 minutes early
- Make sure you have the correct address and know how you will get there: Parking? Public transport access?
- Look for the place a day ahead and do a dummy run if you are not sure
- Make sure you carry your mobile phone with the interviewers telephone number so that you can ring ahead if circumstances beyond your control are making you late
- Be polite to everyone you speak as the Security Guard could be the Managing Director’s uncle!
- Have a copy of your CV with you
- You should show interest in all aspects of the job and the company especially if shown around the premises
- Do your homework on the company and the nature of its business
- Take care on how you dress for the interview. First impressions still count!
- Your experience in other employment or life situations
- Your personal presentation
- How your personality comes across in the interview
- Your background and references
- Your enthusiasm for both the job and the organisation
- Relevant qualifications for the position
I hope these tips serve you good on your quest. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail!
All the best!