28 May A step by step Guide to Success in Interviews
You have been longing for an opportunity to meet with your prospective employers. Patiently waiting to prove your worth in an interview, and finally you receive the call, but where do you start, what do you wear and how do you conduct yourself amidst the nervousness?
This week I have put together a step by step guide to being a success in your interview. If you follow these guidelines you are sure to stand out for the right reasons and find yourself one step closer to realizing your dreams.
First and foremost, research the prospective company using their website, media and word of mouth. Study the advert (job description) against your CV. Read through this information and your CV continuously prior to the interview and decide on the questions that you would like to ask.
Then, search for the directions and the easiest route to the premises. Ask the recruitment consultant about the best route and about parking. Print these directions and keep them with you.
Next; plan your corporate attire the night before. For ladies; grey, black, red or white are good colour preferences for an interview. Try by all means to keep it formal. Even if the industry is not corporate, when you are employed you can relax, but don’t make this mistake at your first introduction. Wear a shirt with a collar and keep your suit jacket on throughout. Try to keep your skirt length on or below the knee and all clothing a relaxed fit. Make sure you plan your hair style; your hair needs to be clean and out of your face. Keep make-up simple and classic. Instead of carrying a handbag, invest in a black leather folder, where you can store documents and certificates and carry this to your interview.
For Gentleman; Black, white and grey are good colour preferences. A suit jacket and shirt with matching pants are perfect and if you really want to impress you could add a modest colour tie. All clothing should be crisp, clean and neatly ironed – this should be done the night before. Men also should avoid any other hand luggage besides a neat black leather folder to store documentation.
Set your alarm for an hour earlier on the morning of the interview. Spend time reading over your notes and questions. Have a good breakfast and spend time making yourself look your very best. Throughout this procedure, practice your breathing and remain calm and focused.
Leave home as early as possible and arrive at the premises 10 minutes earlier, in order to observe the surroundings and gather your thoughts. Make sure you are not chewing gum and that your cellular phone is switched off.
On arrival greet the receptionist/secretary with a warm smile and let him/her know who you are and why you are there. When called in, smile and greet the panel with a firm handshake stating your name and remembering each persons name and designation.
The panel members will hopefully try to get you relaxed and at ease before the formal questions start. Be yourself and make eye contact when answering questions clearly and honestly. Keep your hands folded neatly in front of you, on the table or in your lap.
If you come across a difficult question; answer as much of the question as possible and be honest about what you do not know or understand. You may also ask for a question to be repeated in order for you to understand it more clearly. Remember, there are only two types of questions the employer is interested in. The first is personal e.g. tell us about yourself? With this question they simply want to understand if your lifestyle will adapt to their organization and if you are stable and ready to fulfill the role. They also want to read your personality traits. The second is technical e.g. what previous experience and qualifications do you have that matches our requirements? They simply want to test your knowledge of the industry and expertise of the job requirements. This is your chance to sell your skills, and to prove your capability. Give them examples of your success in the industry, your qualifications, your projects and awards etc.
When you are prompted for questions; ask any question that rises to mind in a clear manner. Steer clear of salary questions unless the prospective employer raises this topic first. If you are successful, they will make you an offer and then you can discuss your salary.
On conclusion, sincerely thank the employer for making the time to see you and making eye contact shake hands firmly and exit.
After the interview, wait for feedback. It is very easy to become impatient. Keep your phone on as far as possible and return any messages and missed calls. Also keep a close eye on your emails. Continue with your life as normal, do not by any means give in to the urge to harass the recruitment consultant for an answer – this is seen as very unprofessional. Continue to apply elsewhere and continue to give of your best in your current job or studies. Do not allow the waiting to side track your focus. You could lose out on precious time.
The company will give you feedback in due course and if they don’t, don’t become aggravated; continue to apply elsewhere. Your perfect job is on its way. Your duty is to stay positive and to remain focused. Do not try to obsess over or force for something if it’s not yours. Keep your head up and remember your vision and goals, your big day is coming. One day you will be the one receiving that call, that email or letter and it will change your life forever.