The best way to be prepared is to have a copy of the job description and write out examples for each of the dot points in it. Don’t wing it. Just like the Boy Scout – be prepared!
Be five minutes early at the reception desk. Too early and you may be cutting into someone else’s meeting, late, well late is unacceptable. (If this is the one in a million time you happen to be late, call and let them know an estimated time of arrival).
Ask the recruiter what the culture is like, how formal or informal the company is, and what kind of dress code did they observe. When in doubt, dress up rather than dress down.
A firm handshake, eye contact and a smile when you first meet your interviewer is a great start to any interview. A limp fish handshake is not a good first impression, too shy and no enthusiasm is also the opposite of a good start out of the blocks.
Clear and concise answers
Give them the sizzle! Be direct and to the point. Stick with the facts and provide considered and concise answers. If you are not sure of your answer then ask to have a think about it and come back to it. Raving on about nothing in particular won’t help you.
Your last job may well have been a nightmare! Nobody needs the novel story; get it down to two or three sentences on what the problem was and why you left. Be philosophical about it, not bitter. It is OK to have a bad experience at work, it is not OK to be a miserable person to interview because of it.
Know your stuff
Know your strengths, skill set, how you add value, what makes you different or better than your peers in the industry. Know what is in your CV, if you are asked about something in your CV then be prepared to provide more detail on it. Never look at your CV to remember what you said or what your results were – know your own stuff!
Do your research on the company. Go visit a branch, customer or franchise. Check the Internet. Our clients expect that you will have made an effort to find out about them and discuss it at interview.
Quite often, the person that asks the most intelligent questions gets the role. The employer needs to impress you too. Get your questions answered so you can make an informed decision about the job opportunity at hand and if this is a good fit for you.
Never lie, answer truthfully, if you don’t know or haven’t been exposed to a certain skill set, say so, no candidate is perfect and you have plenty of other strengths anyway.
As they say in sales “Ask for the order”
At the end of the interview ask what the next step is and what the time frames are to get back to you. Always ask if the interviewer think you fit the brief and if they have any concerns. If you can cover those concerns quickly and easily, then discuss it on the spot.
Leave salary questions and negotiations to the recruiter. Don’t discuss salary unless asked by the interviewer. You will be in the ball park of what they want to pay for the role because the recruiter has provided that detail upfront.