Job interviews require preparation. An interview should constitute the culmination of your research into the organisation and your personal ‘sales effort’ represented by your cover letter and CV. You can’t plan ahead for absolutely everything you may encounter, but you can certainly prepare enough so that you feel confident. We've collated some tips and tricks from Lifehacker that will assist you with your next interview.
Remember that reaching the interview stage demonstrates that the firm has already concluded that you are a valuable applicant. The interview should be seen as a two-way process: the firm will ask you to expand on elements of your cover letter and CV, and you will be expected to ask questions of the interviewer(s), in order to find out more about the firm.
- Make a list of questions you might have to answer.
- Make a list of questions you want to ask.
- Research common salaries for your job in your location, decide how much you’d like to make, and determine how little you’re willing to accept.
- Prepare answers to your questions.
- Prepare three stories about yourself that you can tell if they come up during the interview.
- Practise the interview with a friend (or two).
- Take a test drive over to the interview location to get an idea of the route and traffic.
Types of Interviews
- One-on-one structured interviews
- Panel interviews
- One-on-one unstructured interviews
- Group interviews
What to Bring
- Two copies of your CV
- Two copies of your cover letter
- A certified academic transcript
What to Wear
So many graduates with great CVs let themselves down by not looking right at interview. Here are the mistakes to avoid.
Don't Give Examples, Tell Stories: The next time you’re preparing for an interview, instead of trying to rehearse answers to dozens of common questions, think of three sweeping stories that describe times you did excellent work, worked with difficult people, or rose to a challenge. Real stories and conversations go farther than stock answers.
Research the Employer: The easiest way to do this is to use the employer's own website. Read enough to get familiar with the company's work, its clients and its general approach. Don't leave the website until you can answer these questions: What does this organization do? What is it all about? What would the employers say makes them different from their competition?
Hold A Mock Interview: Experienced hiring managers who have interviewed many candidates will often say they don’t get nervous at their own job interviews anymore, because they’ve done so many interviews from the other side and understand how an interviewer’s mind works. You can get a bit of this benefit by playing the interviewer yourself. If you have a job-searching friend, suggest that you practice together — taking turns playing the part of the interviewer.
Body Language: Wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Keep your gestures, body and face open. Lean forward slightly to give the appearance of confidence and interest. Position yourself so that you are sitting right back into the chair, so that your lower-back is fully supported. Maintain appropriate eye contact throughout the interview (do not stare or look away too much). Listen to what the interviewer is telling you about the organization and your likely role within it, use appropriate listing cues such as nodding, saying “aha” etc. Try to look interested at all times.