How To Win That Important Interview
You have been invited to interview for your dream position at your dream company! You need to prepare as best you can for the interview – we can help.
Here are 10 top tips to ensure you are well prepared and present yourself in the best way on the day.
1. Be Clear on the Details
Don’t be shy – ask the recruitment consultant or company representative for as much detail as possible on the position and the interviewing panel. Details such as the interview process (first, second interviews, assessment centre), general length and style (Competency or Behavioural-based) of interview are important as well.
2. Research the Company
You would be surprised the amount of candidates that sit in front of companies and have not researched the company – a massive fail! It’s vitally important you research the company. Any recent announcements or news in the media can be useful information to mention. In addition, the company values and activities in the areas of social responsibility can be useful to mention. Building rapport and a genuine interest in the company and its culture is important.
3. Arrive On Time
Be on time for the interview. Arrive 10-15 mins before the interview to park, relax and get set. Doing a dry run and driving to the interview location the day before the interview can be useful especially if you are anxious and there is a lot of traffic in the area. Arriving late is one of the worst interview mistakes.
4. Calm, Confident, Personable and Engaging
Interviews can be stressful. During the interview try and remain calm and relaxed (not too relaxed though). Answering with confidence and making a connection with the panel is vitally important.
Strong preparation in advance of the interview will ensure you are confident and sell your experience. As the saying goes – By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail!!
5. Talking too much
Talking too much can result in the panel losing interest fast. Don’t give long-winded stories and ramble on as the interviewer may stop you. The best way to prevent this is to prepare well and keep your answers short enough and to the point and then expand outwards with further details if required.
Make your answers relevant, focused and coherent.
6. Sell what you know (Knowledge, Skills and Experience) and what YOU can bring to the company
Answering the question you are asked and selling your experience and skillset is vitally important. Candidates stumbling over interview answers and not giving articulated responses will not help you in impressing the interview panel.
7. Apply the STAR approach
You should use the STAR approach when answering all interview questions. The STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result.
Competency-Based Interviewing is based on the belief that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour. The interviewer will be seeking information about your past behaviour in certain situations.
8. Behavioural-based Interview questions
You should be prepared to answer some behavioural-based interview questions. Past performance is the best indicator of future performance. The interviewer might be looking to see how you handle pressure, work with difficult co-workers, problem solve and how you went above and beyond on a project.
To prepare for this type of interview you should prepare a list of competencies, attributes and skills and examples of past behaviour. You can apply the STAR approach when preparing the examples.
9. Sound like a person and not a robot – Prepare but don’t memorise
Yes you need to walk into the interview prepared. However, prepared does not mean that you have memorised every possible question and answer that could be asked. Don’t over rehearse answers and ensure in the interview you speak as if you are thinking of the answer on the spot.
If the interviewer thinks you sound rehearsed they may ask more difficult probing questions or follow up questions to ensure you have the experience and skillset required.
10. Ask Questions at the end of the interview
Ensure you have one of two questions ready at the end to ask the interview panel on the position and the company. This will show you are really interested in the company/role and motivated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic to learn more. Summaries your experience and why you are the candidate for the position and shake the interviewers hand. Leaving on the right note and a strong impression is important. Thank the interview panel before leaving.
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