Being interviewed for a job is tougher than ever. When it comes to getting the job you want, performing successfully at interview is absolutely essential.
No matter how solid and impressive your background and experience may be, the way you are perceived and how you come across during your interview will determine what will happen next – the ‘accept’ or ‘regret’ decision.
Many well-qualified candidates are rejected for a job because they do not present themselves effectively during their interviews. Sometimes, it is because they talk too much, at other times it is because they did not answer the questions. Whatever the reason, mistakes can be avoided with thorough and tailored preparation prior to interview.
Most importantly, it is important to find out as much as possible about the organisation and the job or role for which you are applying, then you can target your development and preparation in the right areas.
Learn a few basic interviewing skills and ways of improving in these areas.
Some key points worth remembering are:
- Answer the questions asked, clearly and succinctly: be time sensitive
- Be prepared and know the organisation, interviewers, job and role
- Learn to listen (actively): don’t jump to conclusions, don’t interrupt, concentrate, listen for main themes
- Improve your vocabulary: words are powerful, the way you communicate is important
- Attend to non-verbal communication – yours and that of the interviewers
- Know your skills, strengths and any areas for development
- Be prepared to talk about yourself, your experiences, knowledge, strengths and your weaknesses
- Be future-oriented – talk about learning from experiences and don’t dwell on the past
- Have a number of relevant examples prepared and ready to discuss
- Be honest
- Be positive, solutions-focused and upbeat
- Relax as much as possible so that most importantly you can be yourself
Below are some books which might help you to prepare:
- “Successful interviews every time” – Rob Yeung, 2004
- “The Perfect Interview: How to get the job you really want” - John D. Drake, 1997
- “Interviews Made Easy” – Mark Parkinson, 1994
- “Teach Yourself: Winning at Job Interviews” – Igor S. Popovich, 1994
- “60 Minutes Success Skills Series: Successful Interviewing” – Mike Levy, 1998
- “Selection Interviewing: The essential guide to thinking and working smarter” – David Walker, 1998
- “Interviews: Skills and strategy” – John Courtis, 1988
Some useful websites for more information on interviewing are: