Before the interview:
- Check the map and directions
- Get a copy of the job spec
- Re-read your CV again
- Print of further copies in case the interviewer needs more copies
- Get a good nights sleep
- Leave in plenty of time
- Remember to have telephone numbers and names of interviewers on you in case of delay
- Remember Murphy’s Law. If it can go wrong – it will. Don’t leave anything to chance.
- Who do you ask for?
- The interviewer may be nervous too! Have some “stock” questions to relax both of you. You may have far to walk to the interview room. Perhaps someone else will pick you up and take you to the interviewer?
- Talk about your journey
- Talk about their journey..? People like to talk – get them to do the work!
- Discuss the building, their products, successes, their Founder etc.
- Will you be offered a drink? Don’t hesitate in telling them what you want
- Have your papers to hand and your questions ready. Use a folder for your documentation.
During the interview:
- Listen, Listen, Listen. You have two ears and one mouth. Heard that before? Remember it.
- Some interviewers are better than others. Help them to get the best out of you
- If you need to, take control – ask them if it’s OK to talk through you CV with them
- Body language is key. Don’t slouch – and think about what you will do with your hands.
- Don’t interrupt. If you think of something important, make a note immediately and come back to it later
- If you believe that you would be very good at this job, tell them exactly why
People buy from people
Sure, this is an interview – but if you genuinely get on with the interviewer and like them, the chances are they’ll like you too. They will be calculating if you will get on with the existing team – and will your future success help them.
As part of your final preparation, here’s a checklist. Can you answer “YES” to all these questions?
- I’ve spent at least 30 minutes checking out the employers website
- I know the names of the main character in the company
- I know the main milestones regarding the companies achievements
- I have the directions and map committed to memory – and it’s printed out ready
- I have enough copies of my CV on standby for any eventuality
- I have all the contact details written down including the telephone number of the agency
- I have arranged all the time off that I shall need
- I understand the job spec
- If I’m asked, I know what my “bottom line” is in terms of money
- I have a list of questions ready to ask in the interview
- I know at least five strong points regarding my skills and character
- I can list my weaknesses (at least 5) and how I can turn these into “positives”
- I can speak intelligently why I want to leave my current employer – or why I left
- I’ve practiced some of the “harder” questions that I may get asked
- I don’t have any emotional garbage clogging up my brain before the interview!
But above all, it is the person they want to buy. Sure, you have skills and various attributes. Skills can be trained and employers will make allowances for that. But legislation or not, in our experience, employers rarely make allowances for people who will not fit into the existing team.
So sit back, and enjoy the ride. What will be – will be.
It’s a very good idea to get your mind prepared for your interview! Think about the weak areas in your CV and your life. Be prepared to talk positively about negative experiences.
But remember… DON’T do all the talking. Listen hard!
Here’s an exercise for you. Have someone ask you awkward questions as a rehearsal. Here’s some to get you started. Do you have answers for all of these?
- What attributes and skills do you think will be required for this job?
- What do you think can you contribute?
- What do you know about us?
- Why should we employ you?
- How long do you think it would be before you were making a significant contribution to the team?
- What drives you?
- What concerns you about the role we’re discussing?
- Do you like IT?
- Is this job similar to your current (last) one? What are the differences?
- Tell me about your previous role. What did you contribute?
- What did you find challenging?
- What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?
- How long have you been looking for a new job?
- Do you prefer to work in a small or large team?
- What would your ideal job be?
- Are you considering any other positions at the moment?
- What would your current manager say about you?
- What would your peers say about you?
- How would you describe yourself?
- Do you consider yourself successful?
- What has been your greatest success?
- Tell me about you bad points.
- Are you a leader?
- How do you handle criticism?
- Can you act on your own initiative? Tell me about that.
- What motivates you?
- What management style do you prefer? Explain.
- In your opinion, what’s the best way to motivate people?
- Are you competitive?
- Tell me about change management and how to drive change through organizations.
- Is there anyone who annoyed you in your last job? Tell me about that.
- How do you handle conflict? Talk to me about conflict that you have experienced.
- How do you perform under pressure?
- Would you relocate?
- Why do you want this job?