Preparation It is important to ensure that you are well prepared for each interview you attend. Not only will you be more knowledgeable but you will also be more relaxed and confident. Do some research about the organisation that is interviewing you which will help you ask some intelligent questions. Company brochures, annual reports, websites and back issues of the trade press are all good sources of information.
It is useful to know:
• how strong is the potential for future growth;
• how does the company compare to others in the industry and its competitors;
• annual growth in sales / turnover for the past 5 years;
• the organization structure and how could this effect your promotional path;
• what developments have occurred recently;
• Location of offices, company size and number of branches.
This knowledge will not only allow you to demonstrate your interest in the company but will also help you decide if it is going to suit you.
Your preparation should also include ensuring you know the interviewer's full name, the correct pronunciation and their title together with the time and location of your interview. Arriving late always creates a bad impression so plan your journey well and allow sufficient time for heavy traffic, bad weather and parking.
Making the Best Appearance
Aim to arrive at least 10 minutes early to ensure you have time to freshen up and be aware that the interview begins when you arrive at the reception and finishes when you leave the premises.
Receptionists and secretarial staff are often asked to give their opinions on jobseekers so creating a good impression from the start As always an interviewer's first impression of you is important. You should dress smartly and appropriately for the company concerned. If possible visit the job site before your interview and get an idea of how other members of the workforce are dressing.
Ensure that you walk into your interview confidently with your head up, a smile on your face and a positive attitude. Shake the interviewer's hand firmly and maintain eye contact with them throughout your interview.
The type of questions you will be asked will vary from position to position and may depend on whether the position is temporary or permanent. In an interview for a temporary position more emphasis will be placed on past experience and the ability to complete the task at hand, whilst for a permanent post the interviewer will wish to find out more about your background and how it will fit into the organisation and what your career objectives and aims are.
Try to avoid yes or no answers. You should keep things concise but give something back by explaining things wherever possible. Remember that every interview is a two-way street. Always prepare a few questions of your own as you need to evaluate the employer as much as they need to evaluate you. Don't bombard them with your knowledge of their company but ensure the interviewer is impressed as it will show that you have given serious thought to joining their organisation. When explaining your reason for leaving your present or former employers, limit your comments to those necessary to explain your rationale and avoid making any derogatory remarks.
After the Interview
Afterwards make a note of everything you need to remember. This may include the name of the interviewer, the date you expect to hear back from the company and any questions you were unable to answer.
Consider all job offers carefully and make certain that you want the position. It is important to think back to your reasons for wanting to move and ensure the prospective post will satisfy those requirements.
Even if you are unsuccessful, use what you have learned from the interview to help you prepare for the next one. Look at what went well and what needs improving and work at making each interview better than the last.