Interviews – How to get the job!

By | April 27, 2013

It is a very uncertain time for every employee at the moment. A lot of people are facing redundancy and as such this post is here to help you prepare for interviews. I appreciate some people may have been with the same company for a long period of time and as such may be a bit rusty when it comes to interview technique. Good luck and hope you find the below useful.

1. Research
It is very easy to think you know a company, but I would encourage anyone to research further than just the front web page. Look out for mission statements, annual reports, members of the board, plans for the business.

2. Get a good night’s sleep
The night before the interview go to bed at a reasonable time to get your full 8 hours sleep. Maybe have a bath or a shower before to relax you. Do NOT take any sleep supplements of caffeine etc as this will only make you feel rubbish in the morning.

3. Arrive promptly
I like to arrive about 10 minutes early. This gives me an opportunity to have a quick comfort break in the bathroom and make myself relaxed. Do not arrive really early as the waiting will only increase your anxiety.

4. Dress Appropriately
Interview attire is sometimes quite tricky to pull off. I will always adopt smart business attire unless told otherwise. If you can’t iron, get someone to iron your clothes for you. It is also important your shoes are clean. Another reason for arriving early, if you do have dirty shoes from your trip to the interview you have time to sort it out.
5. Body Language
Your body will always give away tell tale signs about what you are thinking. It is important you give off the right signs. Start with a firm handshake as you enter the room, but try not to crush the other persons hand. This shows confidence. Take a seat when offered but do not cross your legs, this is too relaxed and comes across that you own the place, which you don’t! Yet! Maintain eye contact and listen. Do not interrupt.

6. CV
Take a copy of your CV with you along with the Job description and Application form. The interviewers will refer to your application form and ask you to expand on areas. Do not lie. Be positive. If you have nothing more to say on the subject then tell the interviewer.

7. Ask questions
The interview process is two way. It is as much as the interviewer finding out about you as you finding out about the role. Is there any training opportunities? What are the hours of work? Are there any social activities? Try to leave salary discussions towards the end.

8. Goals
What are your personal goals? When do you want to achieve them by? Be honest and open about them.
Finally here are some routine interview questions:-

What Was the Biggest Accomplishment and your biggest failure whilst working with your last employer?
The best way to respond to this type of question is to focus on an achievement that is related to the job you are interviewing for. Be ready to evidence the achievement. When looking for a failure make sure it is minor, and turn it to a positive. For example while managing the merger of two banks the project overran by a week delaying the opening of a new branch. But this gave us extra time to contact all our customers and inform them of the enhanced facilities available in the new bank when it opens.

Do you prefer to work independently or in a team?
When this question is asked the interviewer wants to know do you work alone or are you a team player. In this scenario you really need to show you are both, as most roles will require you to work independently and as a member of team at different times.

Why should we hire you?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer. Be honest and focus on your positive qualities. Reiterate what you have learned about the company and how you fit in, i.e. the strengths you will bring to the company.