As the candidate you need to prepare yourselves in a very specific way in order to show the employer that you are indeed the right person for the job.
This is where interview skills and techniques come in:
Rather go dressed too smartly than too casually. You want the focus to be on you not your outfit. Make sure you feel comfortable in your outfit.
- BE CONSERVATIVE! A professional business suit with a CRISP, CLEAN, NON REVEALING blouse is always a winner.
- Make sure that your hair is clean and your nails are well groomed (rather have no nail polish then chipped nail polish)
- Don’t wear any piercing and keep all tattoos concealed
- Don’t wear perfume that is too overpowering
- If this is a corporate environment i.e. a bank, head office etc. – ALWAYS wear a full suit – even in the middle of summer. It shows respect for the interviewer.
- If this is a less corporate environment (factory, smaller business) – you can get away with suit pants, clean ironed shirt (long sleeve), and a tie. Don’t skimp on the tie, it is very important
- Please remember: NEVER wear white socks with black shoes, loud/animal print ties or loud shirts
- Fingernails must be short and clean, hair must be washed (if possible get a haircut before the interview)and you MUST shave on the morning of the interview
- Nose rings and tongue rings are a definite “no no”!!!!!!!
- Make sure that all tattoos are concealed
- Make sure that you have directions before the interview, sometimes it helps to drive there the day before so that you don’t get lost
- Always be on time – make sure you have more than enough time allowing for traffic so that you arrive 5-10 minutes early. This will ensure that you do not place yourself in a stressful position thus allowing you to be on top form for the interview
- If you are running late or are stuck in traffic make sure that you either call your recruitment agent to make him/her aware of your delay, or call the client directly to let them know you will be running late. DO not leave a voice message – keep trying until you get through to the relevant person, or someone who can relay the message in person
- Turn your cell phone off!!!!
- Do not go into an interview chewing gum!!!!
- Do not smoke before the interview – in your car or outside (you may be nervous but you will smell like smoke and this does not make a great impression!)
- Take nothing into the interview with you besides a pen and paper (leave handbags etc. in your car or with the receptionist). Take notes if you want, it shows that you are serious and don’t want to miss any important details
- While you are waiting for your interviewer to meet with you, try and stay standing. This way you can easily extend your hand for a handshake (it looks clumsy if you are scrambling to your feet while trying to shake the interviewers hand)
- Handshakes are crucial!!!! Your handshake should not be too weak. There is nothing worse than a limp handshake. If you suffer from sweaty palms, take a tissue with you to wipe your hands. Look the person in the eye when you shake their hand and repeat their name
- If you are offered something to drink during the interview and you feel you need something ask for water
3.How to prepare before the interview
- Knowledge is power, so get lots of it!!! You will be on better footing if you know the company, position and a bit about your interviewer. The best way of doing this is to do some research. Go onto the company website and read up on things like, products/services, history, company values and mission statements. If possible have a look at the names of the management and familiarise yourself with the names and titles of people
- Ask your Recruitment Consultant to give you as much information about their interview process, so you know what to expect in terms of time frames
- Ask your Recruitment Consultant to tell you about the person who will be interviewing you, such as what kinds of questions they usually ask, and what type of person he/she is, to help you feel more comfortable or more prepared for the interview
4.How to answer questions:
- Before answering any question, listen to the question. Make sure you know what they are asking before answering.
- Your job in the interview is to provide as much information to the client as possible so that they know you have the experience. Never let an opportunity go by, where you can sell yourself/experience/personality to the client
- Never just answer yes or no. Make sure you give detail around your answer i.e. Yes Mr. Jones, I have worked on Pastel, for the last 3 years. I am proficient on Payroll, accounting, recons etc.
- Once you have given the facts/experience – always back up your answer with a nice achievement
- Eye contact is very important. It lets the other person know that you are sincere and are telling the truth. It also shows that you respect the person and want them to respect you
- If you are asked a situational questions (e.g. tell me about a time when you had to meet a very strict deadline) use a 3 step approach to answer.
1.Describe the situation for the interviewer
2.Describe the action you took
3.Describe what the outcome of your actions was
- Answering questions like this will improve your odds dramatically as it shows the interviewer that you are able to reason your way through a question.
- Asking questions is just as important as answering them. It shows that you are interested in the position. Prepare a few questions about the position, company, person you will be working for and company culture.
- Remember that an interview is just as much your chance to interview them as it is for them to interview you
- NEVER ask questions related to the salary you will be earning, benefits of the company, working hours or leave
Examples of Good questions:
1. What is the company culture?
2. What attributes must a person have to be successful in your company?
3. What are the most important roles and responsibilities of this position?
4. What is the company’s management structure?
5. What is the management style of the person I will be reporting too?
6. After the interview – Thank your interviewer for their time and shake their hand firmly
Good luck !!