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Interviewing Techniques

Before your interview find out everything you can about the company. Re-read your application, thinking through your own career and the questions they might ask you. Try to think of the general questions which they will ask and also prepare some questions to ask them.

To do well at the interview you will need to convince the interviewer you are technically qualified to do the job. You will also need to show that you are sufficiently motivated to get the job done well and that you will fit in with the company’s structure and be part of the team in which you will work with.

You should dress smartly for the interview. Leave home earlier than you need to on the day of the interview – you may be delayed by traffic or for other reasons. Be courteous to all employees of the company. At the interview itself you must be positive about yourself and your abilities. The interview is a two-way process. The company interviewing you will want to find out whether you are suitable to the position and you will want to find out if the company and position are right for you. Ensure that you leave with enough information to make up your mind whether you want the job. For example:

  • What will be my responsibilities?
  • Where will I fit into the overall company structure?
  • Who will I report to?
  • Where does he/she fit in the structure?
  • Who will report to me?
  • How experienced are they?
  • What do you expect me to do in the first 6 months?
  • What level of performance do you expect from me?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Where is the company going? Upwards? Expansion plans?
  • What are the chances of advancement/promotion in this position? When?
  • Will travelling be required in this position?
  • Will relocation be required now or in the future?
  • What training does the company provide?
  • When will you decide on the appointment?
  • What is the next step?

Panel Interview: (2 or more Interviewers)

Most people hate these sort of interviews and find them a bit of an test. To do well you will need to identify the important figures on the panel and which role each is fulfilling. The chairperson is easy to identify as they will generally make the introductions. You will also need to identify the person you will be working for directly – make sure you give them plenty of eye contact.

When you are talking to the panel, remember that you are talking to all of them and not just the person who posed a particular question – your answer has to be the correct one for each panel member!

When you are being interviewed it is very important that you give out the right signals. You should always look attentive – so do not slouch in your chair. Never lie to anyone in an interview, your body language and tone of voice or the words you use will probably give you away – classic body language giveaways include scratching your nose and not looking directly at the other person when you are speaking to them.

If you have a moustache you may want to consider shaving it off – people with moustaches can be perceived as being aggressive. You can always grow it again once you have got the job.

Factors that can Cost you the Interview/Job

Being unprepared for the interview – you should always prepare thoroughly before any interview (this will also make you feel more confident at the interview).
Poor/limp handshake – always a bit of a no-no.
Saying unfavourable things about previous employers – the employer will be wondering what you will say about them when you leave their employment.
Not being able to communicate clearly and effectively.
Being aggressive or acting in a superior way – nobody like this so please don’t do this.

Job Interview Afterthoughts

If you’re not getting the job offers you desire then you need to look carefully at your interview performance. You should try and get as much feedback as possible from the people who have interviewed you.

If you have been unsuccessful in obtaining the job ring up the interviewer and ask them how you could have done better in the interview. Once you have received feedback you can modify your interview technique and hopefully do better at the next interview.