In the first of our series of candidate guides, Aimee Lee Diedrick, Talent Acquisition Manager at Incisive media gives her top tips for a successful Interview.
How you present yourself and market yourself at interview is crucial in determining whether or not you secure the job you want. The purpose of this guide is to provide you with the best practice advice as well as hints and tips on undertaking a successful interview.
Preparation - The importance of this cannot be stressed enough, it is essential for a successful interview. The better prepared you are, the more confident you will be.
Step 1: The Basics - Before your interview ensure you know the following:
- The exact time and location of the interview with Incisive Media, route, transport options, parking and time it will take to get there The interviewer’s correct title and pronunciation of his or her full name Company facts – review the history, financial position, brands, competitors, latest news, products and services.
- Review the facts and figures about your present or former employer. Refresh your memory on this as you may be expected to know this information, this may be dependent upon the job you are interviewing for.
- Dress professionally and smart. Review your CV and the job description; ensure you are equipped to answer questions on the details you have supplied.
- Be ready to use pertinent examples from your career to demonstrate your skills and competencies
- Use the job description and competencies for the role, review your suitability and prepare specific examples before the interview.
Questions to ask the Interviewer
Remember, the interview is a two-way process. The interviewer will be trying to determine whether you are the right person for the role and, likewise, you should take the opportunity to determine whether the potential employer will provide the career development and challenge that you seek. Some examples are below:
- Why has the position become available?
- How does the position sit within the structure of the organisation?
- What plans does the organisation have for further development?
- What motivated you to join the organisation?
Step 2: The Interview
During the interview, your strengths and areas for development will be assessed. In addition, specific personal characteristics will be examined, such as attitude, aptitude, stability and motivation.
Hints and tips for a successful interview:
- Making the right first impression Arrive on time, or a few minutes early, but not too early.
- Late arrival for an interview is inexcusable.
- Greet the interviewer and thank them for their time.
- Follow the interviewer’s lead and let them set the tone for the interview.
- Shake hands firmly.
- Wait until you are offered a chair before sitting.
- Sit upright in your chair and look alert and interested at all times.
- Be as charismatic as possible; it is very important that you demonstrate your own interpersonal skills during the interview.
- Be a good listener as well as a good talker.
- Smile and maintain eye contact.
- Describe your accomplishments and how they apply to the prospective role in a clear, concise way.
- Always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing, Never close the door on an opportunity, it is better to be in a position where you can choose from a number of offers – rather than only one.
- Avoid enquiring about salary, holidays and bonuses at the initial interview.
Step 3: Closing the Interview
If you are interested in the position, enquire about the next interview stage. If the interviewer offers the position to you and you want it, accept it on the spot. If you wish for some time to think it over, be courteous and tactful in asking for that time. Set a definite date on which you can provide an answer and remember the following:
- Don’t be discouraged if no definite offer is made nor a specific salary discussed. The interviewer will probably want to consult colleagues or interview other candidates before making a decision.
- If you get the impression that the interview is not going well and you have already been rejected do not let your discouragement show. From time to time an interviewer may intend to discourage you in order to test your reaction.
- Thank the interviewer for the time spent with you.
- Follow up with an email confirming your interest.