Preparing for a Job Interview
The good news about being invited for an interview is that an employer likes what you have written in your application or CV. The bad news is that you will only have a short time to convince them that it really is you they want. Therefore, the key to a good interview performance is preparation.
Undertake research about the organisation by searching their website or asking for copies of brochures, press releases and reports to aid your understanding of the company’s mission and principles. Speaking to existing personnel can also assist you in finding out more about the business.
Have a clear map or written instructions to follow to get to the interview and ensure you know the interviewer’s name and title. Arrive at least ten minutes early and be aware that your interview starts when you enter the reception and finishes when you leave the building. Dress smartly and appropriately for the company concerned.
Your recruitment consultant, with a firm understanding of the employer’s requirements and interview style, can offer support and advice to prepare you for an interview. They can give you tips on how to manage the interview successfully and will talk you through an in-depth job description, discussing the relevance of your skills and experience for the position. Your consultant can also role-play different interview techniques with you to develop your confidence with different styles.
Regardless of the type of interview most will incorporate the following stages: establishing rapport, exchanging information, and closing the interview.
Prior experience and the ability to complete the task in hand are important factors for temporary positions, while your background and how it fits into the organisation alongside your career objectives and long-term goals are more relevant for permanent posts. With this in mind, prepare some questions and have them ready to ask when prompted. For example:
· What are the future plans of the company?
· What is the likely career development pathway in the next few years?
· What possible training could I receive in this role?
· How would you describe the culture of the company?
· Also, think of other questions that may be more relevant to your target company.
· Memorise vital information such as previous experience or skills acquired and have an example or two of an occasion when you applied that skill.
· Consider highlights and anecdotes about yourself, your qualities and your experience to help with answering broad questions such as, “Tell me about yourself.”
· Prepare descriptions of when you applied skills such as problem solving, adaptability, leadership, conflict resolution, multi-tasking, initiative or stress management.
· Be prepared for what you might have to discuss, possibly the company’s potential concerns about you or salary negotiation.
· For telephone interviews, have all your materials organised in front of you and take the call in a comfortable room away from potential distractions.
By preparing well for different ways in which an employer might conduct his/her interview, you can readily adapt to the interview situation in which you find yourself and put yourself in a position to excel at this stage in the recruitment process.
Kath Finney – About the Author:
NES is a leading global technical recruitment business providing professionally qualified contract staff to blue chip clients across the world in the oil and gas, infrastructure, rail, power and IT sectors. Founded in 1978, a committed workforce has facilitated the company’s success and continues to ensure that NES experiences ongoing growth in terms of customers, geography and sector.