Your Complete Interview Guide
At Solsbury Solutions, we know how important it is to be prepared and feel confident for that all-important interview. This includes making sure you are in the right place at the right time and know everything you should about the company and its activities. You only have a small amount of time to convince the interviewer that you really are the ideal person for the role, so to help you we have outlined some essential interview tips as well as some major Do’s and Don’ts.
Research, Research, Research
Preparation is the first essential step towards a successful interview.
Find out as much about the company as possible – its people, its products, services and Competitors’ and mention some of the things you have found out. The internet is a great way to research such information. It might also be a good idea to check out the Companies’ social media sites to keep up to date with their latest jobs and industry news.
Hiring Managers are continually amazed at the number of applicants who drift into their offices without any apparent preparation and only the vaguest idea of what they are going to say. Thus, it is important to:
Research the company location and travel times well ahead of time to ensure that you arrive to your interview on time. If you have some free time, it may be a good idea to visit the company location prior to interview, so that you know exactly where you are going, leaving you valuable time to practice for your interview. On arrival ensure that you have the full name of the person you are seeing and a have copy of the job specification to hand. Read through the job description while you are waiting, this will give you something constructive to focus on and should lessen your nerves.
When researching the company website, identify specific facts like:
What the company does?
Where the company has office locations or stores?
What is the culture of the business?
What is the Company’s Mission?
Only then can you identify what skills and knowledge you can potentially bring to the business. These tips combined with the guidance provided by our Consultants will equip you with valuable information on how to conduct yourself during the interview process.
Just remember: You are being interviewed because the company wants to hire someone and they are hoping that you are the person for the job. Through interaction, which will take place during the interview, the Hiring Manager will be looking for your strengths and development areas as well as evaluating you on your behavior, skills, work history and qualifications.
Be prepared to answer questions like:
- Why did you choose this particular role?
- What do you really want to do in your next career move?
- Why would you like to work for our organization?
- What do you want to be doing in your career five years from now? Why?
- What was the amount of your last salary review/bonus?
- What style of Management gets the best from you?
- What interests you about our products or services?
- What have you learned from some of the jobs you have held?
- Which did you enjoy most? Why?
- Where do you feel you need more development? What have you done to overcome this?
- What do you think determines a person’s progress in a productive company?
- Are you willing to relocate?
- How do you spend your spare time?
- What are your hobbies?
- What does “teamwork” mean to you?
- Do you read books? What was the last book you read?
- Do you have a Face Book Account?
Be Careful of the following
During the course of the interview, the employer will be evaluating these factors as well as your positive attributes.
Listed below are some factors frequently evaluated during the course of an interview and those, which most often lead to rejection?
- Poor personal appearance
- Overbearing, aggressive, “know it all” attitude
- Inability to express thoughts clearly and communicate effectively
- Lack of planning and no real career goal/purpose
- Lack of interest and enthusiasm
- Lack of confidence
- Condemnation of past employers
- Too focused on salary and not the job role
- Persistently asking, “What you can do for me?”
- No eye contact
- Lack of preparation for the interview
Refresh your memory on the facts and figures of your present/former employers. You will be expected to know a lot about a company that you have previously worked for.
Prepare the questions you will ask during the interview. Remember that an interview is a two way street. The employer will try to determine through questioning if you have the qualifications and skills required to match the job role. You must determine through questioning whether the company will give you the opportunity for the growth and development you seek in your next role.
- Request a detailed job description of the vacancy
- Ask why the position is available?
- What is the culture of the company?
- What learning and development will you receive?
- What the companies’ growth plans are?
Dos and Don’ts
The Do’s and Don’ts:
- DO always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing.
- Never close the door on opportunity. It is better to be in the position where you can Choose from a number of jobs rather than only one.
- DO plan to arrive on time for your interview or maybe even a few minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable.
- If presented with an application, DO fill it out neatly and completely. If you have a personal resume, be sure the person you release it to is the person who will actually do the hiring.
- DO greet the interviewer by his/her surname if you are sure of the pronunciation. If you are not, ask them to repeat their name.
- DO shake hands firmly.
- DO wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright in your chair. Look alert and interested at all times and be a good listener as well as a good talker.
- DO look a prospective employer in the eye while you talk to him/her.
- DO follow the interviewer’s leads but try to get the interviewer to describe the position and the duties to you early in the interview so that you can relate your background and skills to the position.
- DON’T answer questions with a simple Yes or No. Try to give an example of where you have utilized the skills in a real life situation or work experience.
- DON’T smoke even if the interviewer smokes and offers you a cigarette.
- DON’T Lie! Answer all questions, honestly and frankly.
- DON’T ‘over answer questions. The interviewer may steer the conversation into politics or economics, however this could create a conflict, so it is best to answer the questions honestly, and trying not to say more than is necessary.
- DON’T focus questioning around Salary, Holiday’s Perks or Bonuses. I would suggest that these questions are raised prior to application or interview, however if you know your market, you will already have a figure in mind that reflects your capabilities, so be prepared to specify your salary range.
Closing the Interview
If you are interested in the position, ask for it. Ask for the next interview if the situation demands. If he/she offers the position to you, and you want it, accept on the spot. If you wish some time to think it over, be courteous and tactful in asking for that time. Set a definite date when you can provide an answer.
Don’t be too discouraged if no definite offer is made, or specific salary discussed. The interviewer will probably want to communicate with his/her office first or interview more applicants before making a decision.
If you get the impression that the interview is not going well and that you have already been rejected, don’t let your discouragement show. Once in a while an interviewer who is genuinely interested in your possibilities may seem to discourage you in order to test your reaction.
Thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration of you. If you have answered the two questions uppermost in his/her mind:
Why are you interested in the job and the company?
Why can you offer and can you do the job?
You have done all you can.
Last, and most important, call the consultant/career advisor who referred you to the position, immediately after the interview to let them know how you get on. He/she will want to talk with you before the interviewer calls him/her back.
If you are interested in progressing further it will assist if your feelings towards the position are known, together with your perception of what the client’s reaction is likely to be.
Early feedback regarding your thoughts on the company and the position available is a vital part of the interview procedure, so ensure you keep in touch with your consultant!