Interview Tips

When You Are Preparing For The Interview

Great news, give yourself a pat on the back and well done you’ve got an interview for a new job. You have obviously impressed your future potential employer with your CV and your application form to be offered an interview in the first place. You have probably beaten many other applicants but something in your application has made you stand out from the other candidates.

An employer isn’t looking to employ any old person to fill their job hence they have already sifted through all of the applications and compiled a shortlist which you are on!

Now all the interviewer needs to do is choose which candidate to fill their job and the only way they are going to do this is meet each applicant in person.  There are many variables in choosing a new person for a job, what one employer classes as an important quality another may not. Some feel experience is an important factor others value qualifications or team management skills or a combination of both.

What you have got to remember is that you will have to make a lasting impression on the interviewer to get you nearer to securing that new job. Your future employer is going to have to make a choice from several applicants one which inevitably will be a hard decision to make. After all, summing up candidates suitability in a few short hours isn’t easy for any interviewer so you must make an impression.

It’s no easier sitting in an interviewers shoes than being a candidate. If you go well prepared then you are able to manipulate an interviewer to your benefit to get across your strengths.

Prior To The Interview

Remember your employer knows all about the job they are looking to fill – what it entails and what qualities they are looking for in a potential candidate. They also have a fair amount of information about you – your CV and application form and it’s always a good idea to take a copy of this with you to the interview.  The interviewer will have a checklist of areas they are looking to satisfy themselves over to ensure you can do the job which will encompass some general interview questions and some questions specifically about you as a person such as your interests, hobbies and what you like outside of the workplace.

How Will The Interview Be Structured?

Most interviews follow a fairly similar simple format. Usually you will be invited into the interview room, offered a drink of tea, coffee or water etc and then sometimes a bit of casual chat such as “how was your journey?” – you get the idea! Next your interviewer will ask some general questions, such as “Tell me about yourself” or “Are you an organised person”.  They may then ask you questions about your CV such as “You say you are good at time management can you give us an example”. Once the interviewer feels that they have satisfactory answers to all their questions they will then give you the opportunity to answer any questions you may have about the job, the company etc.

Convincing Your Interviewer & Offering Them Reassurance

It is really important at the interview stage that the interviewer feels happy about all of the areas they have covered. They may keep going back to specific questions if they don’t feel they have got the answer they require – this is often a good sign as it means they are taking your application serious and they may just want reassurance in one or two areas. If you can put their mind at rest it will may you a far stronger contender.

If you haven’t been asked any questions you have either done a fantastic job at clarifying all of their concerns and queries or you are unlikely to have got the job. So try and be as open as you can be – without going on and on.

Also – and I know it’s not always easy to judge – if you think there is an area that the interviewer has covered and is uncomfortable with try get your point across.  There are certain areas that can will cause concern to an employer such as lack of experience or missing periods or employment during your career which have simple answers to them but if your potential employer doesn’t have a good reason why, because they haven’t asked you a question about them, they are going to be wary so if you think something is bothering the interviewer try and offer a good form of explanation.

If you are well prepped before the interview and you think there is an area of your career history that might make your interviewer a little wary you will can have a sensible answer ready and avoid feeling left speechless when the interviewer says – “Why is there a 18 month gap in your employment history”.

Being Interviewed For A Job By Your Existing Employer

An interview is an interview! Should you be applying for promotion or a change of job in your existing company then your existing employer will have a lot of the current information about you already, such as timekeeping or time management skills, your personal details etc, etc. Other than these details the interview will follow the same structure as any other interview however specific questions about your current position may well come into play and have a more dominant effect on the meeting. It may be that there are certain areas that the interviewer will already know about you but they still may ask you about them things like “How well do you work under pressure and meeting targets?” they will already know this as you work for them but it may well be that they want you to answer this question anyway so just go ahead and give them the answer they want to hear!

Just because you already work for this employer don’t treat the interview any differently to an interview being conducted by a new employer. Sure the interviewer may already know you so the start of the interview may well be a little less formal in their greeting but once you get down to business and the interview commences treat the interview as if you were applying for a job outside of your current employer. Good point of useful information; don’t crack jokes about people you work with or perform chit-chat about Joe in accounts – it isn’t perceived as professional and it will do you no favours in your career advancement.

Be Prepared For The Questions That Will Be Asked

It’s almost impossible to know exactly what questions are going to be asked at the interview but you can expect that there are certain areas that will be likely to be explored. So brief yourself on the skills required to do the job including the experience you have to do it. Think about questions that may arise from the answers you have given on your application and lastly consider any questions that may arise regarding your CV as previously mentioned such as breaks in your career, work experience and so on. If you work in a sales role you will already understand the importance of preparation prior to meeting a new customer or trying to close a deal and it’s no different when presenting yourself at an interview trying to win a new job. You need to “Prepare Your Offensive”, “Do Your Research”, and “Prepare For The Meeting”. The better prepared you are the more professionally and accurately you will be able to answer each question and this will put both you and the interviewer at ease.

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