How to have a good interview
So you want to have a good Interview?
You’re convinced. The recruiter has sold you on the job; the company’s website gets you excited; they’ve seen your credentials and asked you in for an interview. You want the job! A new job holds so much promise, can take you to your next step of career development and you don’t want to blow it because you know you only get one shot. Here are some suggestions that should help:
Thorough preparation is critical. If you’re prepared, you’re confident and it leaves a very positive impression on the interviewers.
- Get the Logistics Right – Time, location, interviewer’s name and title and position title.
- Do your Research – Learn as much as possible about the company: Size, Scope, Branch Offices, Financial Performance, Range of Products and Services. The company website and annual report, if they are public, are the best sources.
- More Research – Make sure you have data in your head about your existing and most recent employers. If you ask an interviewer about their company, you should be able to answer about where you have worked.
- Even More Research – Ask former colleagues about your traits. What did they most admire? What suggestions for improvement might they have? With this information you are prepared for questions like: “If I were working with you … How would I expect you to react to this?”
- Prepare Questions – You don’t want to appear as though you are the interviewer but you should have questions prepared that are important to you. By the end of the interview you must be able to answer the question, “Do I want to work for this company?”
- Practice – Don’t over-rehearse but run through answers you’ve prepared. You want to sound confident, not cocky.
- Presentation – Find out what the company culture is regarding business attire. If you have any doubt, go more formal not less.
- Be well groomed.
What should you Practice?
Practicing means that you should be honest/prepared with content: but during practice be more concerned about form, i.e. the “way” you answer questions, than content.
- Be Descriptive – Try to avoid answering “yes” or “no”. Your answers need to be colorful but not too long.
- Sell You – DON’T EVER LIE, but remember you are there to market your self. Explain why you are the right choice for the job but avoid being arrogant.
- Avoid Negative Commentary – Whether about your current employer or a past one; a current colleague or a former one, keep things positive. Everything you say is a reflection on you.
- Be Determined – Make it clear that you want the job even if you get information that sheds new light on the role. Be positive then reevaluate when you’ve left the interview. It is easy to “bow out gracefully” from an opportunity but impossible to get a “second chance”.
- Be Aware of your Body Language – We all rely on visual cues as well as aural. As you observe the interviewer’s body language they are observing yours. Sit erect, be interested, be excitable and be an exceptional listener.
Remember: It is fine, even beneficial to pause/reflect on your answers. You will get questions you didn’t expect and interviewers like to know that you can be thoughtful. It is also acceptable to admit that you don’t know the answer to a question. You are fallible and the interviewer knows it but it’s disarming when we are honest about our foibles.