Job Interviews

The interview is a two-way communication process between a recruiter and an applicant. At this stage in the selection process, credentials, personality and performance are equally important. For this reason it is important to differentiate between various types of interviews
An interview is the opportunity to prove your fit with the position your want, but it is also the time toget information you could not find anywhere else.

General Guidelines:

  • Prepare for the interview: do your research about the company/position, and if possible about the interviewer. Bring a file of company information and check it during the interview if necessary. Prepare extra copies of your CV. If you feel it can help, bring samples of your written or published work and research. Be selective however: don`t show up with a five-inch portfolio.
  • Be friendly without being familiar. Stress any points you may have in common with the interviewer: a common interest, skill, experience. Interpersonal and communication skills matter a lot.
  • Go in with a clear goal and keep it in mind. This will help you relax and listen more carefully to what the interviewer says.
  • Show in-depth knowledge of the industry/company, and highlight your own skills.
  • Be positive, be alert, display professionalism.
  • Be sincere, but not naive. Do not offer more information than required, particularly on your weaknesses.
  • Ask the right questions at the right moment. This is your opportunity to determine whether you really want that job.
  • Manage your time and respect your interviewer`s time.

What to wear for a job interview

More than fifty percent of another person`s perception of you is based on how you look and therefore your appearance is crucial to making a good impression. Pay particular attention to your shoes. Managers, especially those who have been in the military, can determine a lot by looking at your shoes.
What to wear for a job interview has to be researched by doing a good job interview preparation. These tips can guide you but are not applicable in all situations.
General tips on what to wear for a job interview for both man and women:
  • Be conservative. Conservative is best for the interview regardless of the dress code at the organization.
  • If you`re unsure, call them and ask! Do not ask the HR manager. Asking the receptionist or an HR assistant is easier. If you are still unsure, go for a conservative look.
  • Well-groomed hair style.
  • Clean, trimmed finger nails.
  • Minimal cologne or perfume.
  • No visible body piercing.
  • No gum, candy or cigarettes.
  • Wear one ring and limited jewellery.
What men should wear for a job interview:
  • Conservative suit - two piece suit & tie, conservative & solid color.
  • Long sleeve shirt.
  • Avoid bow ties. Wear a conservative tie.
  • Dark shoes & dark socks.
  • Avoid beards & mustaches. (if you cannot help the moustache, make sure it is well trimmed).
  • Get a hair cut. A short and conservative style is best.
  • Do not wear any earrings.
What women should wear for a job interview:
  • Avoid dresses.
  • Shoes should have conservative heels.
  • Use a briefcase rather than a purse.
  • Conservative nail polish.
  • Minimal use of make up.
Limit jewellery to one wedding ring and one set of earrings.

Preparing for The Interview
 
In your advance preparation, make sure you understand the company`s line of business, activity, organisational structure, current developments and competitors.
 
The more you know about your target industry and company, the more comfortable you will feel during the interview.
 
Here is a list of questions which recruiters are likely to ask:
  • What is your professional objective?
  • Why does the industry/company interest you?
  • Why should the company be interested in you? What is special about you?
  • How does this job compare with others you are interested in?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • Describe yourself in three adjectives.
  • How do people describe you?
  • What kind of people would you feel comfortable/uncomfortable working with?
  • Where do you see yourself five or ten years from now?
  • In your last job, what did you spend most of your time doing and why? What did you enjoy most/least?
  • Describe a difficult situation you had to deal with.
  • Which other questions would you have liked us to ask?
The interview is also your opportunity to check your fit with the company. Make sure that you ask questions that have had remained unanswered during your research. Here are a few examples of questions to ask:
 
  • How would you describe your management philosophy?
  • Describe a typical day. 
  • What do you expect from me?
  • Whom would I be reporting to, or working with?
 
During The Interview
 
Personality, confidence, enthusiasm, a winning attitude and excellent interpersonal skills are essential qualities to display during the interview. You are there to sell yourself; make the interviewer understand and appreciate your skills and achievements.
Credentials and qualifications were probably assessed earlier on, what is measured during the interview is personality and performance.
  • Mind your appearance and body language. They are an important aspect of your style and personal fit within the company`s culture.
  • Manage the interview time. You are there to answer questions, but also to listen carefully. Take cues from the interviewer. Find the right moment to ask questions; express interest; stay focused.
  • Demonstrate your fit with the position. Emphasise any points which you feel may sway the recruiter in your favour.
  • Control the finishing touches. It is generally a good time for asking your own questions. You may also be asked whether you wish to add anything. Clarify when you expect to hear from the company.
 
After the interview, take time to write down your impressions and what you have learnt. Check the names and titles of those present at the interview. Keep a record of the interview; it will help you make a final decision.

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