It is said that “The resume gets the interview and the interview gets the job.” Therefore, successfully managing an interview is the key to getting any job. It’s the interview by means of which employers get to closely observe you and know your personality style and skills to assess if you would be a “fit” with a company. Different purposes of a personal interview are – to rate a candidate for his physical appearance, education achievement and qualification, level of intelligence, background, interests and aptitude. Therefore, prepare well for the interview.
The greatest Executive Job Finding secret is to find out what people want than show them how you can help them get it.
Things to do Before the Interview
Know Your Audience
Research on the company and position you are appearing for, before going for the interview. The interviewers expect you to know what the company is doing and what the industry norms the company is in are. This establishes you as a serious and sincere candidate who has learnt about the company and still decided to move forward with the process. Interviewers may be interested to know that you have studied company’s growth and have a good feedback from the market and the consultant.
Visit the company website and review their mission statement, history, products and services, management, and company culture. You can use LinkedIn also to find more information on a company.
Know Your Job
Study the job description to analyze what the company is seeking in a candidate. Make a list of the skills, knowledge, experience, and professional and personal qualities that are required by the employer and are critical for success in the job. Your aspirations in terms of role, location etc. must also match with the JD. Review your list and the job requirements prior to the interview so that you’re well prepared to share them during the interview.
Review your resume
Revisit your resume from the point of view of the interviewer to understand what caught the eye of this recruiter or the HR program – specialized experience, unique training, a steady history of career advancement etc. Prepare some key points on those lines.
Gather your materials
Ensure that all your documents, required for the interview, are put together. The day before the interview, gather your materials and place them in a briefcase or attaché. Bring extra copies of your resume in a manila envelop. Bring a pad and pencil to take notes. Bring a calculator (you never know). Bring your address book and copies of your business card. If you’ve been asked to provide additional information (school transcripts, e.g.) make sure you’ve got clean copies ready to hand over.
Practice the Interview
Make a list of probable interview questions and practice answering them before going for the interview. This will help give you a framework for your responses and you won’t be scrambling for an answer during the interview. Don’t try to memorize answers word for word. Include your own thoughts and words in the interview. Jot down and review a few key words for each answer.
The day of the Interview
Dress well and dress for the job you’re going for. You should neither be too casual nor overdo it. Dressing well for a job interview is all about showing that you care and that you take pride in yourself. Being neat, tidy, and well-groomed presents a positive image to the employer.
Reach well before time
The early arrival at the interview venue will give you time to understand the office culture, the local etiquette and the expectation of the office and a chance to adapt to the particular environment. Reaching in advance also gives you the time to make yourself comfortable and more presentable by giving you time to freshen up. The settling time will help you to handle difficult situation properly.
Behave as you are
A person facing an interview is generally nervous and does not behave as his or her normal self. He tries to follow the set guidelines that he has been told and in the process becomes very stiff and unnatural. Do not act, be yourself.
Be sure of yourself
Be confident and positive during your job interview. Nobody wants to hire someone who’s unsure of himself. Companies are looking to hire someone to work for them, not someone to look after. Sit up straight, smile, make eye contact, and act polite. These are signs of self assurance. Give thorough and detailed answers. It’s good to be talkative during a job interview as long as you don’t interrupt. Showing that you are not afraid to speak is another sign of confidence. However, don’t act so confident that your interviewer will think you’re after their job.
During a job interview, listening is just as important as answering questions. It’s important to pay attention to the interviewer so as to give a good and appropriate response. Take time to compose an appropriate answer and articulate it.
Use appropriate body language
Your body language tells a lot about you before you actually speak. Invest some feeling into the handshake and pleasantries. Your handshake should be firm and not limp or clammy. Do greet the interviewer(s). Do wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Use the right postures – sit upright and look alert and interested at all times. Make good eye contact with your interviewer(s).
Positive Attitude and behavior
Be confident and honest and let it show. Show enthusiasm in the position and the company. Have a high energy level but don’t be overly aggressive. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly. Make sure that your good points come across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner. Think before you answer. A pause to collect your thoughts is a hallmark of a thoughtful person. Ask intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry. Sometimes not asking any questions also shows a lack of interest.
After the Interview
Review your interview
Keep an interview diary. Right after each interview make a note of what you did right, what could have gone a little better, and what steps you should take next with this contact. Then take those steps. Don’t be like the 95% of humanity who say they will follow up on something, but never do.
Companies look for candidates who
- need a better role, greater challenges, stable organization, learning etc.
- will have long term career plan with them
Things to avoid
Don’t Arrive Too Late or Too Early
If you can’t make it to the interview on time, you probably won’t make it to work on time either. That’s certainly not the impression you would want to leave. Arriving early can be equally detrimental. You may believe that it shows enthusiasm but arriving 40 minutes early may be just as annoying and unprofessional as showing up 20 minutes late.
Don’t Bad-Mouth Your Last Boss
Do not share your personal grudges or ill experiences with your last boss. In a smaller company, the people interviewing you could very well be your “bosses” themselves later. Just like any other relationship, relationships between employee and employer don’t work out sometimes. Discussing it during the interview is unprofessional behavior.
No false claims
Do not over sell or make false claims. Some of the companies even cross-verify the claims made by the candidate either through their own contacts or professional agencies. And you’re found to be misleading them, the results are obvious. You must clearly communicate the same to the consultant.
Don’t give wrong impressions
Don’t treat the interview casually. It should not seem that you are just shopping around or doing the interview for practice. This is an insult to the interviewer and to the organization. Don’t give the impression that you are only interested in an organization because of its geographic location, salary, or benefits.
Don’t show nervousness
Everyone is nervous on interviews. If you simply allow yourself to feel nervous, you’ll do much better. Remember also that it’s difficult for the interviewer as well.
Don’t read from notes or your CV
You should be able to talk about it unprompted.
Don’t inquire about salary
Don’t inquire about salary or other benefits until after you’ve received an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements, but do try and delay salary talks until you have an offer.
Some reasons for Rejections
- Lacking knowledge in field or work
- Frequent job changes in the past without justifiable reasons
- Poor communication skills
- Inflexible, too much attitude or too much demanding
- Having poor personal appearance
- Showing lack of confidence, enthusiasm, and interest, nervousness, indifference
- Being overaggressive, having a “know-it-all” attitude
- Wanting job for only a short time
- Candidates aspiring to join a company only for Money and no other motivation
- Lack of preparation, not knowing the company, job profile( i.e. what is expected from the incumbent , desired results, target etc)