Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but knowledge of certain basic interview-handling techniques would enable you to get the most from the experience.
Here are some tips to assist you in handling any interview successfully:
> Do the necessary background research on the company (i.e. its mission, values, organizational culture, products/services, etc)
> Ensure that you have the pertinent interview details (i.e. the date, time and venue for the interview, the interviewer’s full name, the correct pronunciation and his or her title)
> Prepare the necessary documents to bring along for the interview. These documents would include extra copies of your resume, educational certificates, your identity card/passport, photographs, etc.
Know yourself :
> Assess your strengths and weaknesses, vis-à-vis the requirements of the position that you are applying for, so that you can market your job fit effectively during the interview.
> Be prepared to share on your career aspirations, motivation and other interests to demonstrate that you are a well-balanced individual
Be proactive :
> Prepare some questions to pose at the end of the interview to show your interest in the company.
Don’t be late :
> Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the interview
Dress appropriately :
> Always wear neat and clean clothing
> Check your breath, teeth and appearance before entering the interview
> Avoid any dressing that would distract the interviewer, such as loud colours, heavy make-up, gaudy accessories/nail polish, tight /see-through clothing, etc
Be professional :
> Offer a firm handshake
> Sit only when offered a seat
> Sit upright
> Maintain eye contact with your interviewer (s), as this conveys your sincerity and commitment.
> Speak with a well-modulated voice that conveys an appropriate level of enthusiasm
> Avoid unnecessary derogatory comments about your present or previous employers/colleagues.
Be sincere and confident, not overbearing :
> Avoid appearing desperate or overly confident for the position.
> Smile, and show your enthusiasm and interest in the position.
> Listen attentively to the interviewer.
> Answer questions truthfully and sincerely.
Think before you speak :
> Only ask the questions that will steer the conversation in your favor (e.g. if you wish to highlight certain experience/skills that are relevant to the position you have applied for)
> Give clear and concise answers to the questions posed to you
> Watch for non-verbal cues from the interviewers.
> Know the intent behind the interviewers’ questions. Ultimately the interviewers need to assess your suitability for the job and your fit with the organization.
> Do not be too aggressive in enquiring on the salaries, benefits, etc, on the first interview. If the interviewer asks for your financial expectations, you may indicate your last-drawn salary but you should stress that you value career opportunities over a specific salary. Alternatively, you can inquire what salary range the job falls in, to give you a better sense of how to position your financial expectations.
After The Interview
> Thank the interviewer for his time and consideration.
> Enquire about the next step in the process.
> If you are interested in the position, indicate your interest to the interviewer. Do not be discouraged if no immediate commitment is made, as the interviewer may need to interview more candidates before making a decision, or may be testing your reaction.
> Send a Thank You letter immediately after every job interview, to indicate your interest and commitment to the position.