Job Interview Techniques and Tips
There is an art to presenting yourself well at an interview and more often that not, it's something that not everybody is well versed in. This can be due to several reasons such as not having a lot of experience in interviewing, it might have been several years since you last interviewed or it could be the first time you have been in a formal interview. It could also simply be that you lack the self-confidence required to portray yourself well.
We don't want these reasons to stop you from performing your best and demonstrating your true capabilities in an interview. Here are some ways you can prepare for your interview, as well as job interview techniques/tips on what to do on the day.
Like a corporate raider looking to acquire a company, you are looking to form a long-term commitment with the company you are interviewing with. Interviews tend to focus on your suitability for the company hiring, however, you must take all means available to you to increase your knowledge of the organization that is hiring:
- The Internet – obviously look at the organizations website and associated links
- The company's office website – this will list the directors of the company and any charges against them
- Google: The Director/s names or those of the people interviewing you i.e. the company name or names of the products and the industry or market space operated in
- Newspaper websites
- Respected industry professionals, former colleagues or managers
Nervousness is created through uncertainty; of the company or of your own ability, and also through your excitement for the role. There are several techniques applied through coaching that are effective in reducing your nerves and harnessing them to work for, not against you.
- Be clear about the requirements of the role – interviews are often based around the Key Performance Indicators or Success Factors (KPI’s) and responsibilities related to the role. The job description will outline these if unavailable discuss these with your consultant. Then consider in some detail where your background demonstrates these requirements, this allows swift and concise recall when questioned.
- Affirm your own suitability for the role in your head – conduct a personal SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and with the positives, how these will assist you, negatives – what you can or are doing to minimize these.
- Conduct interview practice – download sample questions (Monster.com, seek.co.nz or collegegrad.com) and then pass them to someone trusted to conduct a mock interview to experience some questioning approaches. Then ask the interviewer to give you some thorough feedback, both what worked well and where improvements can be made. Questions you pretty much always will be asked include: Why do you want to work here? Where do you see yourself in 2/5 years time? Why should we hire you/key strengths? Practice makes perfect…
- See yourself acing the interview – a technique known as visualization. Play through a scenario in your head of you in the interview impressing the pants off your interviewer. Ask any sports professional what they focus on pre-event; the answer is always success or winning!
On the day
Know where the interview is – building, floor, where car parking is available etc. Try to get the reception phone number in case the unplanned occurs and you are running late for the meeting.
Arrive on time - make sure you arrive early to the interview but not too early! It is best practice to turn up five minutes early, but do not arrive more than ten minutes early - if you are too early find a cafe or walk around the block.
Dress appropriately for the interview – this is usually a matching jacket and trousers/skirt. Whilst the environment may be casual in practice, it is best to over, not under, dress. Iron your shirt! If you have personal challenges (i.e. breath or body odour) then conceal it! Here’s another key tip; Do NOT bring up remuneration at the first interview! It’s like talking about marriage at the first date...