In our article employment advice for students we highlighted some basic elements to think about while job hunting. Now, we must focus on the interview process.
An interview can seem overwhelming to many of us, especially if you've not got much experience with them. Here we help you plan for the before, the aftermath and the interview itself.
Of all the things that are important to remember when having an interview is that employers expect you to have knowledge of their company and a reason as to why you want to work for them. Knowing what the company stands for, its mission and its vision are important to know. Going through the company’s website, Facebook and LinkedIn page or reading their blog will help you to understand what is going on inside the company. Also, carry out some research to find out current trends and changes within the industry at large to look extra informed.
How to dress for an interview depends on the company. Some companies require you to wear business attire, while some more creative companies, for example, are not expecting to meet you in black tie. Regardless of the situation or company, think about what you should wear in advance so that you can feel and be prepared for this aspect of the interview
Time & location
Check where the interview is in advance so you can create a timetable of the day in your head. On the day of the interview leave earlier than you normally would to avoid traffic and transport issues; the last thing you want is to be late and blame the bus route or a learner driver. It is better to arrive early and have a drink close by to calm your nerves before the interview.
The nature of the questions will depend on the type of interview. It could be a group, one-on-one or panel interview (two or more interviewers and one interviewee). You should spend some time researching different interview questions, have prepared answers in your mind for questions like 'why do you want this role?', 'what is your greatest strength?', or 'why should we hire you?'.
At the end of the interview, recruiters will always ask you: "Do you have any questions?". Normally this question is designed to see if candidates have an interest in a company or role. Prepare questions beforehand to show that you are interested in the opportunity.
Understand the role
When you are going for an interview make sure that you know what the duties are and that they fit the company's goals/expectations. Otherwise, you'll be wasting your own and the company's time as you won't be suited to the advertised role.
Start with being polite and respectful to all the people you meet within the company, demonstrate confidence by shaking the hand of the interviewer/s or greet other interviewees who are also expecting an interview.
Stay positive, smile but remain professional. What is expected from an interviewee is to be clear and confident and understand the questions. I would suggest giving elaborative answers to the questions while being as succinct and comprehensive as possible. Prove to your interviewer that your skills and experience match the role and that you are unique in this capacity.
If you have reached the interview stage that must mean something is motivating you - position, company’s reputation, opportunity or money. So show interest, motivation, and suitability to the role and the company.
Switch the phone off
You must remember to switch your phone off during the interview. It sounds basic but a surprise phone call is the undoing of any interviewee.
After the interview
Always stay positive
Thank the interviewers for inviting you and being considered for the role. Even if you have not been successful, it's an opportunity to gain interview experience.
Stay connected afterwards
If you have not been contacted soon after the interview for the role drop an e-mail to the recruiter to find out about the situation and ask for some feedback. In the case where you have not been successful, feedback will help you understand what can be improved next time. Leaving a positive impression can be beneficial for you in the future in the event of a similar position being offered or if you are recommended or referred by the company.
All in all, interviews are time and energy consuming, so make sure you devote your time to something you really want to get. Spend some time preparing - it will boost your confidence and will give you more chances to win the interview.
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