Candidate Interview Tips:
14th May, 2012
Before the Interview
- Preparation for your interview will set you apart from your competition. If the organisation interviewing you has taken the time to read about your background and to meet you, then you owe it to them to know about their business.
- Company Research should be performed before aevery interview. This includes understanding who the competitors are, understanding the products or services they offer, understanding the interviewer’s position within the business.
- Try to sample the product or service offered by the company interviewing you, do research into any existing marketing campaigns, make a note of any advertisements you have seen. Businesses invest a lot of money into advertising and demonstrating your connection with the brand is a great way to build rapport.
- Ensure you are aware of any news in the media, any recent mergers or acquisitions or sale of business. Research the financial position, turnover, or assets under management of the company by reading any public available financial data. A good source of information is www.businessspectator.com.au
- Know what is in the resume you submitted and be prepared to justify everything you have written. Consider bringing along additional examples of your work if relevant.
- Read the job description thoroughly and ask yourself what the key skills are, think of examples of occasions when you have demonstrated those skills and be prepared to discuss this.
- Think about how you can add value to the organisation and why you want to work for them. Think about why they may have reservations in hiring you, and also why they should hire you. Make sure you can demonstrate how you can add value.
The interview process exists just as much for you as it does for the organisation you are considering, and there isn’t much time to sell to each other so prior research is key in being able to make an informed decision.
- Make sure you ask how the interview will be conducted and what the process is. This will help you understand what the interviewer is trying to achieve and will avoid any surprise on the day. Interviews may include psychometric testing, behavioural based questioning, presentations, panel interviews or just a relaxed conversation.
- Make sure you are punctual, dress appropriately and arrive at the correct address.
- Introduce yourself when greeted and try to develop immediate rapport
- Throughout the interview, answer questions with confidence and be prepared to back up what you are saying by providing examples.
- Don’t be afraid to take your time in answering a question, or asking for clarification. This is a much better approach then providing an unsuitable answer.
- The interview is your opportunity to sell yourself – be positive, listen carefully and be concise with your answers. You don’t want to answer with a “yes” or a “no”, expand your answers with enthusiasm but keep to the point and be honest.
- At the end of the interview, you should feel you understand what the company does, what the responsibilities of the position are, and the next stage in the process.
- Make sure you ask appropriate questions as well that you don’t know the answer too. For example budgets, career progression, culture, other team members, recent wins or successes for the business, short-term and long-term goals of the business and how they will be achieved, clarification on any responsibilities.
- Close by thanking the interviewer(s) for their time.
- Consider the interview process, and how you performed
- Can you see yourself working for the business, for the manager that interviewed you, or at that location?
- Follow up with your recruitment contact and express your interest or concerns and feedback on the interview process. Decide on if you would like to proceed to the next stage.
- If appropriate, email the interviewer and thank them for their time
- If you expect a further stage in the process, start the preparation process again.