Job Interview – general intro
It is important to remember that you will almost certainly be competing against other candidates. Whatever your qualifications and experience, prospective employers will be looking to see what impression you give.
The average interview time is about one hour, but in some cases it will be longer. Whilst it would be unwise to make yourself available for less than one hour, you should let the interviewer know in advance if you are under any time constraint.
In some cases there will be a first interview, followed by second and subsequent interviews for shortlisted candidates only. In some cases the interview will be split between two or more interviews.
Job interview preparation
There will almost certainly be other candidates for the position you are seeking. The selection of candidates for interview is usually made from an assessment of candidates’ suitability on the grounds of: qualification; experience; job record; examination record; present employers; and sometimes references.
Once you have been invited to attend an interview, you can be reasonably sure that your background and experience are fairly close to the organisation’s requirements. Your application, however made, has generated interest. Now your performance at the interview should build on and develop that interest. It is your opportunity to broadcast those qualities (professional appearance, businesslike manner, warmth of personality, approachability, conversational skills) which cannot be assessed from a piece of paper.
But remember, it is also the chance for you to find out about the employer and the job. Is the role one you will enjoy doing? Is the employer the type you want to work for? By asking questions, you not only satisfy yourself that you want the job in that organisation but show that you have made an effort to discover what the role and the employer is all about. That’s one of the ways to make a good impression.
Try to do all the necessary reading up about the employer, so that your research will give you plenty of ideas for questions, and points to make to demonstrate you’ve prepared yourself.
Good idea is to check the company’s website & linkedIn profile. In addition to information about the company’s products and services, you will most likely find information such as company mission, vision, values that will help you understand what the company’s priorities and culture is. In addition to that, you can get to know the team, who is who in the company’s structure. Look for a career tab, where many companies place some useful interview tips for their candidates.
Frequently asked questions
The key to anticipating questions during the interview is to treat this meeting as an opportunity to exchange information and to sell yourself without appearing boastful. The employer is like a buyer: who needs to find someone who can slot neatly into the organisation’s culture.
As a candidate you should act like a salesperson: you must “sell” your natural abilities, skills, experience, qualifications and, equally important, your personal preferences for type and quality of work. The aim should be to give positive information that shows what you can do for the employer, not what the employer can do for you. Remember, be as natural as possible, as an act can easily be recognised.
Preparing for the questions
During the meeting, the interviewer will definitely like to understand how you have handled certain work situations. Preparing yourself for these questions will help you to give specific examples and share your accomplishments.
How to prepare for such questions?
First, make a list of the skills and/or experiences that are required for the job. It may help you to look at the job listing and similar job listings for indications of the required or preferred skills/qualities and match your qualifications to those listed in the posting. Then, consider specific examples of occasions when you displayed those skills. Whatever examples you select, make sure they are as closely related to the job you’re interviewing for as possible.
And how about all these difficult questions?
Go4Grow is preparing some useful tips on how to answer all these, hugely disliked questions that give you chills before the interview.
Follow our blog, where as of next week you will be presented with some recommendations how to respond to questions like: “tell me something about yourself” or “why do you want to work for us”. We will help you in building a professional and interesting response that draws attention.
We hope this will help you arrive fully prepared for your interview.