‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’ ~ Benjamin Franklin
Most recruitment processes involve doing an interview. Being able to do well at an interview is a skill, not an acquisition. This article is NOT going to make you good at interviews overnight. Instead this article will hopefully serve as a tool to help you improve. Even if you are highly qualified, if the interviewer doesn’t like you… what’s to stop him/her giving you the hardest questions to answer?
1. You Have To Look Good
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The minute you greet your interviewer, you have already been judged purely on how you look. Looking good not only shows your professionalism to the interviewer, it also helps you be confident at the interview. Even in telephone interviews, dress smart so you feel smart enough to give smart answers. If you are in a Skype Interview, you should probably dress FULLY smart. If you decide to wear a blazer with a pair of joggers thinking they will only see the top half, they might tell you to get up and close the curtains… then what?
2. Ask Questions
Remember that an interview is JUST a conversation. Just as you would listen to others and ask questions based on what they say in a typical conversation; you should try and do the same in interviews. But not to the point where you’re asking 21 questions, remember who is doing the interviewing. Asking questions not only shows proactivity; it also shows your enthusiasm for working in the company. Make sure your questions are intelligent, and not something you can easily find on the website. Once, I asked how ‘flexible’ the hours are as the ending question… Yeah I didn’t hear back from them.
3. Be Confident Not Arrogant
Interviewer: So… have you got any questions?
Interviewee: Just one… when do I start?
OH HELL NO! Although being humble in an interview is a bad idea because you’re there to sell yourself to the interviewer, arrogance is just as bad. Strike a balance between confidence and humility. Ways you can do this include: asking questions and being honest… smoothly moving on to my next point…
4. Be Honest Or You Will Be Caught Out
Masterminding an elaborate lie is NOT smart at all. Interviewers will interrogate you and you might say something which is inconsistent to what you said previously. Lies have a way of being exposed, especially if it’s a far stretch from the truth. If the firm prides itself on integrity… catching you out on a lie is the WORST thing that could happen. Don’t take the chance, you’ll find if you are being honest, answering questions become natural and easier. If you write on your CV that you’re fluent in Swahili and it just so happens that the interviewer is too… you can say bye-bye to your dream job!
5. Research The Company and The Role
The internet has SO much information; you just need to find the right places. One way you can impress your interviewer is by surprising them with your knowledge of the company. HOWEVER, most people have access to the internet, so go that extra mile and talk to employees, through emailing, LinkedIn and networking. For a reminder on how to network effectively, click on my previous article: http://bit.ly/1rBFb8y. Practice the typical competency questions such as: ‘why do you want to work in this company’ and ‘why do you want to work in this role’. Record your answers and hear it back, now imagine if you were interviewing this person, would you hire them? Coaching Assembly has a set of interview questions which were recently asked in many different banks. Master all of the questions for your particular bank here at http://bit.ly/1dYGXhG.
SMILE: show off your personality
NETWORK: Gain unique insights through employees and use the information you have gathered in your answers
DON‘T SPEAK TOO MUCH: Only answer what is being asked. Rambling on too much may mean you talk yourself out of the job
STAY CALM: If you are shaking at the interview, the interviewer will probably think your nerves may get the better of you in a working environment
ARRIVE EARLY: Being late shows you are not committed or organised