Be prepared to show your knowledge of the company you hope to join. Consult their website and be prepared to answer questions such as, “Why do you want to work for us?” and “What makes you think that you will fit in well with our company?” Before the interview practise answering questions you think you might be asked in order to be fully prepared and to avoid sounding flustered or at a loss for words, so that you sound confident and enthusiastic. This is your opportunity to convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job so you need to sound sure of your abilities.
How to dress:
Some employers say that they can spot a suitable candidate in the first thirty seconds of the interview. Dress smartly and professionally in muted colours. Ladies should not wear very short skirts or low cut blouses and neither sex should wear jeans.
Arrive on time:
Get there early in order to give yourself time to calm down and compose yourself. Whatever the reason, arriving late is a bad idea.
Posture and demeanour:
Smile and try to look relaxed. Shake hands firmly. Speak up clearly and look the interviewer in the eye. Try to come across as confident and powerful. Never mutter or mumble. Make eye contact with the questioner and keep your hands mostly in your lap. Try not to fidget as this is off-putting Sit up straight and lean forward slightly so that you look interested. Do not slouch in the chair. When you leave, shake hands confidently again and remain calm until you are well away from the building. You never know who could be watching and judging.
Questions you may be asked:
- What would you like to tell me about yourself? Mention your strengths. For example, mention that you are a good communicator, work well in a team, are good at problem-solving, and are loyal and flexible. Again, sound enthusiastic.
- If asked about your weaknesses, mention one and what you are doing to overcome it.
- Employers are interested in your work history and may ask:
- Have you ever faced a challenging situation at work and how did you cope?
- Have you achieved at work something that you are proud of?
- If you failed at a task, how did you cope and what did you learn from this failure?
- Can you take the initiative? Think of the STAR Method. S=Situation you had to deal with. T=Task you were given. A=Action you took. R=Result. (What you learned from the experience.)
- If asked why you left the previous company, give your reasons and be diplomatic and tactful about your previous employers and colleagues.
Questions you could ask:
- Will there be any training opportunities for me?
- What does a typical day involve? What are the long term goals for the business?
- In general, try to put yourself in their shoes and tailor any answers and questions to their business.
You could follow up a few days later by sending a thank you email to remind them of the reasons you want the job and to provide a reminder of your contact details.
More detailed advice can be found under the News heading on our Homepage. Consult the following:
July 2014: Ten Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions.
August 2014: What Skills Do Businesses Want?
September 2014: What To Wear For An Interview. Also, Do Businesses Check Social Media?
October 2014: The Most Important Factors Companies Seek. Also, What To Say At An Interview.
February 2015: Listen in Recruitment. Also, The Importance of Soft Skills.
April 2015: How to Sound More Powerful.
October 2019: Top Tips for Attending an Interview.
January 2021: How to Find a Job Faster. Also, Interview Tasks You Might Get Asked.
Written by Anita McGhee