Interview Techniques

 

Interview Techniques

Interviews are regarded by some as a necessary evil, by others as an exciting chance to sell themselves.

Whichever school of thought you belong to, your aim is the same - to be successful.

Success in interview is down to two main components: Attitude and Preparation.

In order to make sure you give the best possible account of yourself in what many see as a highly daunting situation...

...put yourself in the interviewers shoes. You are looking to hire new talent for your team or department. In order to do this, would you be looking to catch out a candidate in an interview with a badly worded question? Would you be annoyed if the candidate you met asked for more clarification on a specific issue or question? Would you want to intimidate a candidate so much that they felt on edge all throughout your meeting?

Hopefully not.

In order to give the best and most honest account of yourself at interview you need to relax. This is what the interviewer will want you to do.

For them to ascertain your suitability for their team, you must try to be in the same frame of mind that you would be if you were working for them already.

Turning the tables like this will allow you to approach the interview from a stance that ensures your attitude is correct.

An interview is an opportunity for you to impress your potential employer, interviewers want to be impressed and feel that you will fit both their team and their skill requirement. This attitude is of fundamental importance in your quest for success.

In order to prepare for the interview properly, you will need to start with the basic information provided by your consultant.

  • The time, date and venue of your interview. In order to arrive feeling relaxed and fresh for your interview, make sure you plan your journey allowing for traffic and cancellations. Being early and waiting is a far better option than running late and becoming stressed.
  • Understand the role you are discussing. If possible obtain a copy of the job specification and cross-reference your skills and experience against that. Identify areas where you are well matched and areas where you will need development. This will help you pre-empt any questions over your ability and prepare examples of relevant experience. Although it may seem obvious, it is very important to make sure you reacquaint yourself with all of the skills and technologies that you have listed on your CV – go over work performed at previous roles if it involves technology that you haven’t used for a while. If you claim that you know something on your CV, make sure you do know it!
  • Understand the interview style. There are many types of interview styles used in recruitment these days. These range from technical and psychometric tests, through general ‘discursive’ interviews through to competency based questions where the interviewer is looking for real life examples of how you have approached situations.
  • Research the company and team. Going to an interview with no knowledge of the company background or history is sure to result in embarrassment. Spend time researching the company profile and if possible look into the history of specific divisions of the organisation. This level of preparation shows interest, resourcefulness and commitment.
  • Know whom you are meeting. This is much more than merely knowing who to ask for at reception on arrival. Try to obtain any information you can on the interviewer. They may have only just joined the company themselves; may have a specific format of interview that they follow, even a favourite question. Any further information at this stage will again allow you to prepare for any eventuality. Again, your consultant should be able to help you here.
  • Question. Make sure you have some questions prepared for the interview. This will demonstrate enthusiasm, preparation and thought. It will also allow you to clarify any areas that you are not sure of with regard to the role. This is an ‘inter’-view. It must go both ways - it’s a chance for both parties to find out more about each other. Save at least one question for the end of the interview.
  • Finally, make sure you dress for the occasion. Formal business attire is the minimum standards required unless indicated otherwise. Be sure that your shoes are clean and clothes are well pressed. It sounds obvious, but many people who work in ‘dress down’ offices often forget to consider this. If the dress code for the interview is flexible or they are relaxed about it, you consultant will be sure to tell you.

If you follow the preparation guide above, you should be prepared for pretty much any eventuality. Your consultant will be able to provide you with advice and interview tips so make a point of asking for their help. They want you to succeed and they spend their time speaking to both frustrated clients and candidates alike about interview technique so are well versed in this important skill.

As a candidate, you will have obtained an interview on the strength of your CV. The interview is the chance to add personality to the process. It is an opportunity for you to make sure the recruiter knows exactly how well you match their requirement and how your experience in the past has direct relevance to their current situation. This may not be immediately apparent on your CV so it is at an interview that you expand on what is in essence a snap-shot of your life.

 

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