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The interview is a two way process. As much as the company is investigating you as to your suitability, so will you be investigating the company to see if they are right for you.

Preparing for the interview:

  • What you should know about the company before the interview
  • Who owns the company? Private or public?
  • Who are their main competitors?
  • How are they viewed in the market place?
  • Look at their website
  • What services or products has it to offer?
  • What is the current growth of the company and what potential is there for the future?
  • Make sure you know the exact location, the time of your interview, who you are seeing, what their position is within the company and how you pronounce their name

Time spent on research prior to your interview will pay off on the day.

The Interviewer will want to know:

  • Can you do the job? Do you meet all the criteria in the job description?
  • Will you do the job? Have you the right attitude and motivation? Is the job realising your career goals?
  • Will you fit into the team? Will it be the right culture match?

You should be asking yourself these very same questions.

Do’s during an interview:

  • Do introduce yourself clearly. Do give a firm handshake
  • Do be punctual
  • Do dress professionally
  • Do listen to the question carefully before answering
  • Do be prepared to answer basic questions (see section on “Most frequently asked questions”)
  • Do have good posture, body language, and good eye contact (see section on Body Language Do’s and Don’ts)
  • Do have a positive attitude. Show confidence, maintain poise and SMILE
  • Do be assertive
  • Do market yourself. Do show your worth. Do show how your experience would benefit the company

Don’ts during an interview:

  • Do not bad-mouth previous employers
  • Do not arrive unprepared for the interview
  • Do not make excuses for failings
  • Do not give vague responses to questions
  • Do not show too much concern about rapid advancement, yet do show a clearly defined career path
  • Do not express strong prejudices or any personal intolerance
  • Do not show any reservation about the company or position. You can always refuse a second interview after consideration
  • Do not over-emphasise money. Salary discussion is secondary. Your goal is to sell yourself
  • Do not leave your cell phone on during the interview
  • Do not chew gum

Closing the interview:

  • Always close the interview on a positive note, even if you did not think that it went that well. The interviewer may have thought otherwise
  • Confirm your strengths and the reason why you will be an asset to the company
  • If you really want the job, ASK FOR IT
  • If the job is offered to you on the spot and you want it, accept it
  • If the job is offered to you and you need to think about it, say so, stating a definite time when you will get back to the employer
  • Show willingness and availability for a second interview
  • Ask at the end of the interview when the employer will be making the hiring decision
  • Thank the interviewer for the interview and end with a firm handshake
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Things don’t always work out the way you hope
  • Laugh – it is the best medicine

Body language Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Walk slowly and deliberately when entering the room. Shoulders back. Walk tall
  • Give a firm handshake while maintaining constant eye contact. A firm handshake shows confidence in yourself and your abilities
  • Never appear to be staring, look away from time to time. Never look down
  • Listen
  • Show enthusiasm, be alert. Your attitude should never be viewed as indifferent
  • Give non-verbal feedback by smiling and nodding
  • Control your movements. Do not hurry
  • Do not fidget. Be aware of what you are doing with your hands. Avoid expansive hand gestures
  • Don’t forget to breathe
  • Do not be aggressive or act in a superior, conceited or overbearing way
  • Do speak clearly with good diction and grammar
  • Do no talk too much
  • Do not lose concentration or attention

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