Planning and preparing for a job interview should be considered of utmost importance. When called for a job interview you should keep in mind:
- Attire and grooming – presenting yourself during the interview
The image you present to your potential employer is the first thing they will notice. Image is not only how you look, but also how you behave. So what are the Dos and Don’ts? Your interview attire and grooming will mostly depend on which type of job you are applying for; however there are some things which are definitely not acceptable! Click here to get to know what NOT to do!
- Typical interview questions and answers. Listed below are some typical questions asked during an interview. Preparing tentative replies and simulating an interview prior to the actual interview will help you gain confidence:
- Tell me about yourself
- What interests you about this job / role?
- What do you know about our company? (make sure you go through the company website)
- Why do you want to work here?
- Why should we employ you?
- What motivates you?
- Which do you prefer most: working in a team or working independently?
- What do you believe are your key strengths?
- What are your weaknesses/areas that require improvement?
- Do you work well under pressure?
- What challenges do you look for in your work?
- Is there anything you would like to ask?
- Job interview tips
- Attire - first impressions do count and leave a lasting impression. Your appearance (dress, grooming, body language) are aspects employers will look out for, so make an effort to present yourself well.
- Do not be passive during a job interview – be a good listener and do not just give yes or no answers.
- Try looking at the job from the employer’s perspective - do not go for an interview with the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) attitude. You have to consider the employer’s needs. Prepare yourself to answer questions such as “What new ideas can you bring to our firm?” and “What problems can you solve for us?”
- Body language - Your body language will tell the interviewer how anxious or confident you are. So do not let your body language betray you. Keep good eye contact with the interviewer/s, show good posture, stand straight, and do not keep your arms crossed.
- Research - Being knowledgeable about the company you want to work for will tell the employer that you are really interested in the job as well as the company. Prior to the job interview, find as many things as possible about the company you have the interview with. What services and products do they provide/sell? Many companies have their own websites so you can use this source to find information.
- Always be on time - Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before your interview time. Punctuality is really important. If something unforeseen happens, call and inform the interviewer that you are running late.
- Be nice and courteous to everyone - Your attitude towards people you meet at the workplace is important, even if they are not part of the interviewing board.
- Asking questions - After answering the interviewer/s questions, ask some yourself. Maybe you want to clarify something about the job, ask about the company or ask about on-the-job training. However, do not ask questions such as those related to vacation leave. Ask these once you are hired.
- Have a clear goal in mind - You should know clearly what you want to do. In an interview, you will be expected to answer why you want the job, what you hope for, and why you would be effective on the job. Giving vague answers and answering "I don't know" and "I hadn't thought of that" is ineffective.
- Mistakes to avoid
There are a number of mistakes that one can do during the job interview and these will put at risk your chances of making a good impression and of getting the job.
Here are some mistakes which should be avoided:
- Not taking the interview seriously - The biggest mistake you can do is to assume that you are going to be chosen, even if you are a very valid candidate.
- Not asking questions - Asking intelligent questions during the interview will make you look more interested in the job as well as give the impression that you put effort into preparing for the interview.
- Not showing why you are good for the job - Link your skills and abilities to the job you are applying for. You have to convince the employer that you are suitable candidate for the post in question.
- Talking too much or not talking at all - The interview should be a two-way conversation, so listen carefully, answer questions, smile (even though you are nervous) and keep good eye contact.
- Never talk badly about an ex-employer - Never, pass negative statements about your former employer. Even if you were treated unjustly, a job interview is not a suitable setting to discuss such past negative experiences. Try to mention only positive things.
- Do not be arrogant - Being self-confident is one thing, being arrogant is another. You want to portray yourself as successful but do this in a modest way.
- Not preparing for the interview - You cannot expect to be successful without enough planning and preparation.