Before the Interview
Dress for success: a suit, clean shoes, tidy hair, clean fingernails, small things convey the message you care about your presentation.
Learn about the company – its people, products and industry by looking at web-sites, reading industry magazines, and asking your consultant.
Learn about the role – read the job description thoroughly so you can anticipate questions and determine what skills you have that are applicable.
Know who you are meeting with, how to pronounce their name correctly and what position they hold in the company.
Mentally rehearse the interview procedure. See yourself at the interview in your mind.
Think of questions you may be asked in interview and what your answers will be:
- What do you know about our company?
- Give me an example of…
- What are your strengths/weaknesses?
- What management style motivates you?
- Prepare questions to ask in interview
- Why is the role available?
- What training is given?
- Where is the company going in the next 5 years?
- Self assessment: think of your strengths/weaknesses, what type of environment you work well in, as these are common questions that many people have trouble answering.
Arrive early to the interview so you can settle in. Being 5 or 10 minutes early also shows that you have respect for the interviewer and how valuable their time is.
During the Interview
- Fill out any application forms given to you neatly and correctly. Make your first impressions count!
- Shake your interviewers’ hand firmly. Limp handshakes don’t convey confidence.
- Sit upright in your chair, look alert and interested at all times – smile!!
- Maintain eye contact with your interviewer.
- Nervousness often shows by fiddling with things such as pens. Also in unconscious movements such as rubbing your nose and looking at documents constantly, so try to avoid these.
- Actively listen to everything that is being told to you and ask appropriate questions such as: What makes a successful person in this company? What induction and training will be provided? What is the vision for the organisation and how will the individual in this role be expected to contribute to that goal? What do you expect the successful candidate to achieve in this position within 6 months? 12 months? 2 years? Don’t just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, elaborate as necessary, but don’t overdo it.
- Don’t make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers.
- Remember you are in an interview talk politely and appropriately.
- Don’t smoke, even if the interviewer smokes and offers you a cigarette. Avoid alcohol prior to the interview.
After The Interview
- Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration for the role.
- Decide whether this is a company or job that you are actually interested in.
- Phone your consultant and tell them honestly how you thought it went and what you thought of the company.
- Be ‘up-front’ with your consultant if you have any reservations or potential conflicts e.g. other job interviews. Adopt a ‘no surprises’ policy, as the consultant will be taking your details on face value (but will reference check). If subsequent conflicting information results this will potentially undermine the consultants’ confidence in presenting you to prospective employers.
- Your consultant will be in contact with you as soon as they have feedback for you. Even if you are not successful in obtaining the role you applied for the consultants feedback can be used to help you in your future interviews.
Treat every step as a learning experience. Although we may not succeed in placing every candidate we interview, it is our aim that your contact with O’Neils Personnel adds value to your career aspirations. Even if this handy hints sheet is the only thing you take home we hope that it helps you in the way you approach your next interview.
NB: Stay in touch with your consultant and work with them. This will help you stay at the top of their mind – very important for non-advertised roles.