Up until a face-to-face interview, the job selection process can be a lot like internet dating. Both candidates and employers may look good on paper, but it takes human interaction to discover whether or not there’s any chemistry.
The interview is your chance to present your skills, experience, personal qualities and other strengths as they relate to the position you’re applying for. It’s also your chance to get a better feel for the organisation and its culture. This will help you decide if it’s the right role for you.
Before the Interview
- Research. Research. Research. The more you know, the better prepared you'll be.
- Research the job. Get a copy of the Job Description or Person Specification to identify the qualities of the ideal candidate.
- Research the interview. Who is on the Panel? What will the format of the interview be? Do you need to take anything, such as work samples, with you? Will you have to undertake assessments?
- Research the organisation-use the internet and your networks.
- Be prepared for competency-based interviewing techniques in the form of "Give me an example of..." or "Tell me about a time..." type directions. And be prepared to expand upon your answers. Interviewers will often follow up with, "How?"; "Why?"; or "What was the achievement or outcome?"
- Think about questions you want to ask the interviewer.
Interviews can vary tremendously, from a casual discussion with the hiring manager to a formal panel session with multiple interviewers. Make sure you know the scenario you're going to face.
- Dress appropriately. You need to feel comfortable, so whatever you wear should be professional, neat and tidy.
- Arrive ten minutes prior to your scheduled interview time.
- Use the time to read any literature on the organisation and have a last look at the information you have on the role.
- Shake hands with the interviewer / Panel members.
- Look them in the eye when listening to, and answering questions.
- Don't be put off by the interviewer / Panel taking notes - it's normal.
During the Interview
- Follow the interviewer's direction about where to be seated. Sit upright and look alert. Know when to talk and when to listen.
- Be friendly and allow your humour to show, without getting carried away.
- Show you are prepared for the interview by referring to what you have found out about the role and the organistion.
- Expand your answers with examples rather than just saying "yes" or "no," and always distinguish clearly what part you played versus the collective "we."
- Sell yourself be positive about your skills and achievements.
- Avoid criticising previous employers or colleagues this may be seen as an indicator of poor performance or a lack of ability.
- Ask relevant questions. For example, to ensure you have a clear understanding of the job requirements, you could ask, "What do you expect the successful candidate to achieve in the first 6 or 12 months?"
- Thank the interviewer / Panel for their time.
- Make sure you know what happens next whether there is another interview, when you can expect a decision, etc.
Key points to remember when answering questions
- Avoid straight yes/no answers when you can.
- Listen carefully to the question.
- Speak clearly and stick to the point.
- Avoid rambling and being vague.
- Check if you have given the interviewer enough information e.g. “Would you like to know a bit more about that?”
- Pause and think before you answer.
- Ask for clarification if you don't understand a question.
- Give examples to back up your claims where you can.
After your interview ring the ppl consultant who recommended you for the role. To help us better assist you, we need to know how the interview went and what your level of interest in the position is.