By reaching the interview stage you
have knocked out the competition and
deduce several things. Firstly, that the company recruiting
new personnel is interested in what you have to offer, they
have read your CV and they have liked what they have seen.
You will also have lost much of the competition, as only
approximately 15% of applicants reach this stage.
Having established that you have the
fundamental qualifications for the job, you have to build
upon this and impress the interviewers with your
personality. The purpose of an interview is for the employer
to meet you in person and evaluate whether your personality
will fit into their company.
For you, an interview is a chance to
impress and see if this company has an environment in which
you would like to work.
Research by psychologists has shown that
people decide what they think of you within four minutes of
a first meeting, therefore is very important to make a good
impression right from the start.
Get all of your preparation out of the
way well in advance, and allow plenty of time to get to the
interview so that you arrive in a cool calm state. Arrive
ten minutes early and use the bathroom facilities to smarten
your appearance. You will not be so nervous if you are well
prepared and look your best.
Confidence is the magic word, if you are
confident then you will be relaxed and able to talk lucidly
about yourself, you will be able to look the interviewer in
the eyes, you will not fidget - you will have the potential
to clinch the job.
If you are not feeling very self-assured
just think, you wouldn't have reached the interview stage if
you didn't possess the attributes that the company desires.
Looking your best and being well
prepared should help, so that when you meet the interviewer
you will be able to greet them openly with a smile, look
them in the eyes and shake their hand.
Don't let confidence come across as
arrogance. Excess confidence can come across as arrogance
can come across this way and it's not an attractive trait
for the employer as it implies that you are not a good team
Attractive features that are
desirable to all employers include:
This can be expressed in so many ways.
Look the interviewer in the eyes, shake their hand firmly.
Be chatty and lucid, sit with good straight posture with
your hands on your lap, be precise in your answers do not
'Um and ah'. Confidence comes with experience, so tell the
interviewer about difficult situations that you negotiated
in your previous jobs, perhaps even mention your world
travels or a time you held a position of power within an
To express approachability be friendly
and open, smile and pleasantly greet everyone you are
introduced to. If you trained other personnel in a previous
job, or were a counsellor at college, recount an occasion
when professionally someone came to you with their problem.
Sense of humour
- but don't over do it
Do not set about telling jokes, but be
responsive if the interviewer makes a humorous comment (even
if it is not very funny). If you can subtly incorporate
humour which is not at the expense of anyone else then do
so, but bear in mind that this is a business interview and
you should be professional.
These qualities cannot be really seen in
a person, but you can recount the times in your previous
jobs that you have held positions of responsibility. For
example any job in which you were responsible for personnel
or if you were a youth leader at a community centre.
These qualities are linked to
confidence, but in addition show the employer examples of
times you have used these skills and have prospered as a
result. For example, you worked on a software solution to a
work problem in your own time and it turned out to increase
the efficiency of the task by 60%.
A first impression can be greatly
influenced by a person's body language. Be open with your
body language, ie, donít sit with your arms folded. Look at
the interviewer when you are conversing with them and smile
at them so that you look like you are enjoying the interview
(even if you are feeling nervous).
1. What do I wear to an
Dress smartly preferably in a suit. Both
men and women should wear conservative clothes. Men should
ensure that shirts are ironed and that their tie is not too
garish or is of a comical nature. Women ought to wear
trousers or a skirt suit and smart shoes.
2. What does an interview
If you have reached the interview stage
the employer has already noted from your CV that you have
the essential qualifications for the job. An interview
expands on this and shows what you are like in person and
whether your character is suitable for the company. An
interview also provides you with an insight into what it is
like to work at this company. You will be asked questions
relating to your previous positions your experience and what
responsibilities you have held. The interviewer will
probably ask you about certain aspects of your CV and what
your long-term career goals are.
3. What should I take to an
Take a couple of copies of your CV in
case the one you sent to the company has gone astray. If
possible take a portfolio of relevant work which you have
done. A pen and paper to make notes with after the
interview, perhaps you need to take a tube map or A-Z so
that you can find the offices in the first place.
4. What sort of questions can I
The interviewer wants to assess your
suitability for the job, so you will be asked about what
your previous responsibilities entailed, your
qualifications, why you want the job, what you can bring to
the company and perhaps some questions about what you enjoy
doing out of work.
5. How long are interviews?
An interview usually lasts for about an
hour, you should definitely aim to be in the office for at
least that amount of time.
6. Who will interview me?
The head of the department to which you
are applying, or a member of the human resources team will
interview you. It is possible that there will be more than
one interviewer, in which case the panel will be made up of
HR personnel, Managers, and people who you would be working
with directly should you get the job.
7. Are there different types of
Interviews can be conducted in a number
of ways. There are one-on-one interviews, panel/committee
interviews, lunchtime interviews, and telephone interviews.
Whilst the format may vary, the purpose of the interview
will be the same, to get an insight into your personality
and to see if you are suitable for their company.
8. How should I prepare
for an interview?
- Carry out research into the
company, find out exactly what they do, and how many
people they employ. What is their history and what is
their future business strategy.
- Make sure you know exactly
where your interview is so you arrive punctually on the
- You may like to practice by
answering some commonly posed interview questions.
9. What qualities are
interviewers looking for?
The things that interviewers will
be looking for depends upon the industry sector and type of
job that you are applying for. Generally employers are
Remember, be prepared, be