You’ve successfully submitted your resume, perhaps spoken to a recruiter or hiring manager over the phone and have now been invited to a job interview. This is generally great news and something to congratulate yourself on! At the same time however, it can be a very nerve wracking experience and something many of us dread.
Knowing what to expect during the job interview, together with the right preparation however, can improve your confidence, and also your job interview performance.
To help, we have put together the following guide to help you prepare for your interview:
Understand the Purpose of the Interview:
In each interview, the interviewer will be probing for answers to three basic questions:
- can you do the job (based on your skills, qualifications and experience)
- do you want to do the job (your motivation, aspirations and career goal s)
- how will you do the job (based on your fit to the team and organisational culture)
Essentially, the interviewer will be trying to predict your ‘fit’ for the role. Without a crystal ball, the best way for them to do this, will be to ask you to provide specific examples from the past, where you have demonstrated key behaviours required for success in the role. This is called a behavioural interview and works on the premise that past performance is the best predictor of future performance.
Prepare for the Interview:
- You can prepare for a behavioural interview, by considering examples from the past, where you have demonstrated behaviours that would be required for success in the role.
- Be clear about the exact time, date and place of the interview, as well as the contact details for the person you will be meeting. Ensure you arrive at least 10 minutes prior, just to be safe.
- Research the organisation, view their web site so you are aware of relevant background information.
- Review your own resume and have a clear understanding of your key responsibilities and achievements.
- Prepare some questions you would like to ask at the end of the interview; to demonstrate your enthusiasm and interest in the role and the organisation.
- Practice responding to interview questions out loud. Preparation is the key to a successful interview.
- Ensure you arrive at the interview well groomed and that your clothes reflect the business image you wish to project.
- Arrive early and remember the name of the person/people you will be meeting.
- Refer to people by name and shake their hand firmly. Maintain eye contact.
- Be aware of your body language; interviewers will be observing your verbal and non verbal behaviour.
- Smile, show your enthusiasm and interest in the role.
- Avoid over answering questions. Keep your answers informative but brief. The interviewer will always ask if they want more information.
- Avoid being negative. Always present yourself in a positive light, to demonstrate your positive approach and strong motivation for the role.
- Reaffirm your interest in the role at the close of the interview and ask about the next step in the selection process.
- Thank the interviewer for their time and shake their hand; maintaining eye contact.