5. BE ORGANISED
Remember that this is
your opportunity to find out if this is
the sort of environment in which you would
be happy to work. If the interviewer has
not indicated, ask how long the meeting
will last and have your own agenda of what
you want to cover. Your questions should
be relevant, and reflect you have done some
research. You might ask to what extent the
devaluation in the pound has improved export
sales: or what impact their latest advertisement
has had on sales.
You may want to know what
some of the primary objectives of the job
are, what responsibilities are crucial,
what will your performance be judged on,
how will it be measured.
Having questions like these
ready avoids a deathly silence when asked
if you have any further questions.
6. SELL YOURSELF
Practice talking about
yourself and your accomplishments to friends,
family and anyone who will listen. Rehearse
a two to three minute introduction for when
asked 'Tell me about yourself'. I'm an electrical
engineer with fifteen years experience in
heavy machinery. My background includes
a position as plant maintenance supervisor,
responsible for service and repairs at three
sites. I have managed a team of twenty technicians
and mechanics, and, under my supervision,
turn around time on repairs has reduced
by 10%. Over the past three years I have
been involved in a team which makes recommendations
to the purchasing department for replacement
of equipment within our division.
Do not be modest about your
accomplishments, but be factual, be proud
of and proclaim your achievements.
7. SHOW YOUR RESEARCH
Use every opportunity
to show that you have done your homework.
However, do not speak for more than two
minutes, and do not be a "know all".
Rather than ask what gross sales were last
year - refer to a figure from a report showing
an increase / decrease, then ask if that
reflects local or international sales.
8. DO NOT STUMBLE
Practice the tough questions so that your
responses come across positively and naturally.
Be prepared to answer any of three types
of question: standard, open-ended, and structured.
Standard questions require a straight forward
'yes' or 'no' response. Have you any experience
in product launch? Are you prepared to relocate?
Try a brief, but not abrupt, answer, like
"I have not specifically discussed
relocation with my family but they have
always been supportive of my career."
Open-ended questions invite
you to talk. Tell me about yourself? What
are your future goals? These answers should
be rehearsed so that you provide a clear
response, conveying the important information
required, within two minutes. Structured
interview questions discourage candidates
from embellishing their responses. A professional
interviewer these days may say "tell
me how you would introduce and support our
new database software" or "how
would you plan and implement the relocation
of our new warehouse function to the North
Whatever the style, do not
feel rushed into giving an answer. Pausing
before responding indicates thoughtfulness.
Think carefully about what the company is
looking for before your answer, and then
do so slowly and confidently.
9. ESTABLISH NEXT STEPS
Do not be a pawn, ask about the interview
process. Before you leave, find out what
the next step is, when you might hear, who
makes the ultimate decision and when they
hope to fill the position.
10. EXPRESS GRATITUDE
Companies usually favour
candidates with good interpersonal skills
- they want you to be likeable. Thank the
interviewer at the start and end of the
meeting for their time and remember to follow
up with a thank you note. When you do write,
restate why you are interested in the position,
what you have to
offer the employer, and that you desire
to meet for another interview to discuss
accepting an offer.
11. LIAISON WITH YOUR
As soon as possible telephone
your consultant giving them feedback on
how the interview progressed, let them debrief
you in order to ensure they have a general
feeling as to your suitability for the position.
The interview process is protracted so be
prepared for some weeks to pass between
each step. It may have been some time since
you were interviewed. Bear in mind the following:-
i) Do not say anything
derogatory about your former employer or
ii) Do not discuss personal issues - family
or health matters would not normally be
iii) Do not reveal confidential or proprietary
iv) Do not be impatient or lose concentration
if the interview is interrupted several
v) The job interview should be a two-way
conversation. If confronted with someone
who does all the talking remember the meter
is running and they are using up your time.
vi) The same applies to you - do not be
remembered for being the bore on Tuesday
morning. Be the candidate that appeared
prepared, competent, confident and compatible.