Learning to be Successful at an Interview
You have approximately 30 minutes to impress an employer in an interview and many candidates step in to the situation without having done any preparation and expect to be able to make an impact. Some candidates choose to create an impression of indifference by acting too casually and at the other end of the scale some candidates are so nervous that they are completely unable to relax and perform to their best.
Inexperience can be tackled by taking the time to prepare yourself as best you can for some of the questions that may be asked, or some of the practical tests you may face in the interview. Here are our common interview questions and answers.
This step-by-step guide will provide you with some useful pointers that will help towards making a great first impression and securing your ideal job.
Preparing for the Interview
It is extremely important that you gather the following information with regards to your interview slot:
- The time and date of your appointment
- The place where you will be interviewed
- The full interviewer’s name and correct pronunciation
- The interviewer’s title
Do some research on the company you are about to interview with. Information can be gathered from internet websites, newspaper articles and public libraries. Employers will be more interested in someone who is able to talk about and show an interest in their business. When conducting your research it might be helpful to know the following:
- How old the company is
- What its products and services are
- The regions in which it operates
- What its growth has been and what its growth potential is for the future
For an employer, the purpose of the interview is to determine whether you have the right skill set and cultural fit, as well as potential to grow with the company. It is also an opportunity for you, the candidate, to decide whether the company you are interviewing with would provide you with the opportunity and prospects that you seek. Prepare some questions for the employer that you can ask at the end of the interview. This will show the employer that you are proactive and take an interest in your own future.
It is important that you always dress to impress for your interview. It will not only set you in a more positive frame of mind for your meeting, but it will show employers that you are well presented and conscious of making a good impression. A dark suit and white shirt is always recommended.
The important thing to remember in an interview is that employers do not want to trip you up or embarrass you. They are trying to gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and will be evaluating you on your skills, qualifications and intellect.
Below are some pointers to remember in an interview situation.
- Make sure you arrive early for your appointment. Arriving late does not make a good first impression
- If you are given forms to fill out by your employer, make sure you complete it fully and legibly
- Remember that you need to sell yourself with your personality and that you cannot rely on your CV or application form alone to secure the role
- Greet the employer by their surname if you are sure of the pronunciation. Ask them to repeat their name if you aren’t
- Remember to smile, be full of energy as you walk in to the room and shake the employer’s hand firmly
- Wait until you are offered a chair before you sit down and make sure you sit upright when you are seated
- Remember that it is just as important to be a good listener as well as a good talker
- Do not chew gum in the interview
- Be sure to make eye contact with your employer when you are talking to them
- It is advisory to follow the employer’s leads, but try to get them to talk about what the position actually entails so you can relate your background, skills and accomplishments to the position
- Do not give simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers to questions. Make sure you elaborate on your answers whenever appropriate, but be careful not to say more than is necessary
- Answer all questions truthfully. You will eventually be caught out if you lie
- Do not make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers.
About Leaman Consulting
Leaman Consulting was formed to offer a unique and confidential recruitment service to clients and candidates who prefer to work with an independent and highly experienced consultancy who give that personal touch that the big agencies cannot offer.
We have grown every year on the basis of continuous referral and recommendation as being the agency of choice who produce the best results for both the candidate and client.