Preparation is the first essential step towards conducting a successful interview.
This may sound obvious but make sure you know where you are supposed to be going, how to get there, what time you should be there and who you are going to meet (including the correct name pronunciation), is there any parking etc. Have the company's and your consultant's telephone number in case you are delayed.
Spend time researching the company. Before your interview, you'll be fully briefed by your consultant who gives you an idea of the company culture and their expectations, but you also need to do some of your own preparation. Company websites are packed with information and a prospective employer will expect you to have familiarised yourself with their site. Be aware that you may seriously compromise your chances if it becomes apparent you have not taken time to research it.
Get hold of a copy of their corporate brochure or annual report and read the business press for any articles about them. If you're knowledgeable about and interested in the company, you'll come across as proactive and committed.
If the company website does not have a press area, access information on line through search engines such as google or MSN.
Re-familiarise yourself with your CV and make sure you're familiar with the job description. What key skills and experience are they looking for? Think of examples of projects, which demonstrate your strengths in the areas they are looking. For all the examples you give, consider the situation, the action you took, and the effect it had.
All this will give you a sound basis, which will enable you to ask intelligent questions at interview.
It is also worth refreshing your memory on the facts and figures about your present or former employer as you may be asked questions about your previous companies.
Your impression on your prospective employer can begin the moment you step foot in the company. Be courteous to the receptionist and any other people you meet prior to your interview. Their opinion of you is often sought and may even have some influence on the final selection. Don't forget to turn off your mobile phone before you arrive.
According to research, the interviewer will decide within just four to nine minutes whether to consider you seriously for the job. So making a good first impression is vital. Throughout the interivew process you will be assessed for your skills, strenths and weaknesses plus personal characteristics such as attitude, stability, motivation and maturity.
In interview your personality and presentation can be the deciding factor in how successful you are, no matter how well qualified you may seem 'on paper' for a job, when recruiting, an employer will still be looking for the all round right fit', therefore the more prepared you are the more confident, relaxed and impressive you will be. Listen carefully make sure you are answering the question asked and not just telling them what you think is relevant.
Bear in mind that the interviewer may be just as nervous as you: they want to select the best person for the job.
As you will almost certainly be given the opportunity to ask questions be prepared, this is where you will be given the opportunity to discover if the job is the right one for you and impress the interviewer with your interest. Enjoy the opportunity - make the most of this time - make sure you find out what you need to know - remember - it's a two way match.
Make a note of any difficult questions and what you have learned from them. Stay cool and calm, especially if the interview is tough - they will want to see how you act under pressure, resist being over familiar. If you are not experienced, perhaps get a friend/colleague/family member to do some sort of interview role-play/mock.
Examples of questions by the prospective employer Be prepared to answer questions such as:
Having a few well-thought out questions shows you are interested and that you are taking the interview seriously. It's also your chance to assess the company. Even if the interview has already answered most of them, prepare a few to ask at the end. Here is an expel of some of the questions you could ask:
Unless you're specifically asked, don't talk about salary at a first interview.
End up a positive note - check they have found out all they need about you or if there are any areas they feel you haven't covered (this gives you a chance to cover any vital ground you/they may have missed) and re-state your interest in the role, enquire about the next step say that you look forward to getting their feedback.
In some circumstances you may be offered a position on the spot, it is perfectly acceptable to request for some time to think it over, in fact it could be pointed out that this is of benefit to the prospective employer as would be a well thought out decision.
If you feel that the interview did not go well, never let discouragement show. There have been many occasions where candidates have done much better than they have thought or it may be a way to test your reaction.
Thank the interviewer for the time spent with you.