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<h1><strong>Interview tips</strong></h1>

Interview tips

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Interview Tips

Everyone gets nervous before an interview – it’s normal. However, becoming overwhelmed by the adrenaline due to lack of preparation and practice should be avoided at all costs.

The key to interview success is: practice, practice and more practice! The tips below should enable you to prepare and use the adrenaline to your advantage and enhance your performance.

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Interview Answers

The interview focuses on “what you say” and “how you say it”. In this step, we focus on “what to say”. As you know, there are many different types of interviews and interview questions. Let’s keep it simple. You’re going to be asked about:

What you know

About your work experience, education, training, goals, character, personal qualities, the job that you’re seeking, the company that you’re interviewing for, and the knowledge required to perform the job that you’re seeking

Identify a problem or issue

Given a scenario, identify the problem or issue. The question may focus on how you would handle a hypothetical situation or a situation that you’ve handled in the past i.e. a competency based question.

Identify a solution

Given the problem or issue, how do you proceed? The question may focus on a problem or issue that you’ve handled in the past or how you would proceed in a hypothetical situation.

The questions may be straight forward, or may be a combination of the above. For example:

“Tell us about a safety issue at your current job. How did you handle the issue and what reports were you required to file?”

Your goal is to provide an answer that not only answers the question, but also reinforces your qualifications for the position.

Examples of Interview Questions

Preparing for the questions you will be asked in interviews

People prepare for job interview questions in many ways. Often people will write specific answers to as many specific questions as possible and memorise the answers.

We recommend

Looking at categories of questions and using outline answers.

With practice

You will hit all the important points and although your answer will be slightly different each time, it will come across naturally and with confidence.

The key

Is to be able to think during the interview and adjust your answer to fit the question. For example, take the category of “General Experience”. The answer to the question, “How does your current position qualify you for the job?” is simply a variation of your answer to the question, “How does your experience qualify you for the job?”.

Examples of interview questions you may be asked.
  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Talk me through your CV
  • What are your daily duties?
  • What are your strengths? Give examples
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Give me an example of where you have influenced a customer
  • Give me an example of working to targets
  • How do you feel about working in a targeted role?
  • Give me an example of when have you dealt with a difficult customer
  • Give me an example of when you have delivered excellent customer service
  • What do you like and dislike about your present and previous roles?
  • Why are you looking for a new job?
  • Do you feel you work better in a small or large team and why?
  • When have you had to handle a demanding workload?
  • Give me an example where you have influenced people concerning the sale of goods?
  • How do you organise and prioritise your workload?
  • Would you describe yourself as ambitious and why?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why should I offer you this position?

Key Interview Success Points

As you answer the interview questions, cite your work and life experiences in examples to reinforce to the interviewers that you’ve already done what they’re looking for, and you’ve done it successfully.

The interview will typically focus on the job description. If the interviewer starts the interview with a description of the job, make sure that you relate your experiences to the job content.

Try to use the same wording as contained in the job description. If you use different wording, then you are depending on the interviewers to make the connection between the words you use and the job description. For example, if the job requires someone to supervise, use the word “supervise” and not the word “manage”.

Do you know the company and the job that you’re interviewing for? Check their website, financial sources, annual reports and news media for information on the company, their culture and current events. If possible, visit the company, their stores or offices to get a sense of the culture.

What salary are you seeking? What is the appropriate salary for the job that you are seeking, for your geographic area and for your industry? Don’t guess. A guess or inaccurate information can cost you real money.

Don’t use limiting words, such as “only” or “just”. For example, I “only” supervise five employees. You’re making an assumption that five employees is a small number. The fact is that you don’t know what the interviewers consider as a small number or a large number.

Use appropriate wording. You won’t receive extra points for every word that has more than 10 letters. Use technical terms only when appropriate to the question.

Use action words. Here’s a sample:

accomplish           lead                     achieve

manage               co-ordinate           negotiate

delegate              organise               develop

prioritise              direct                   recommend

establish              reduce                 evaluate

reorganise            execute                resolve

expedite               review                 expand

revitalise              implement            supervise

improve               train                     increase

transform             initiate                 upgrade

introduce             implement

Be concise, logical and to the point. Use short sentences.

Make sure you prepare the questions that you want to ask the interviewer: this can very often be a trap for the unwary who have not thought about intelligent questions they want to ask.

Preparation on the day of interview

If you’ve followed our interview tips, you should be ready the day before the interview. Don’t forget the following checklist of things to do on the day of the interview:

Always dress in a professional manner – never dress informally because you have seen the company’s employees in casual attire.

Take into account the time of your interview and traffic, go early to find parking – and make sure that you have money for parking meters.

Plan to arrive for your interview at least 10 minutes beforehand.

Our top tips when you are in the interview:

Don’t smoke, chew gum, tobacco, or anything else.

Make a positive and professional first impression by being assertive and giving a firm handshake to each interviewer and addressing each interviewer as they are introduced.

Reinforce your professionalism and your ability to communicate effectively by speaking clearly and avoiding “uhs”, “you knows”, and slang.

Use appropriate wording. You won’t receive extra points for every word that has more than 10 letters. Use technical terms only when appropriate to the question.

Use positive words. Instead of “if”, “I think”, “I feel” and “I wish”, use “when”, “I am” and “I would”.

Establish rapport by relating to each interviewer. Note the wording that is used by each interviewer and when appropriate use similar words. Maintain eye contact with each of the interviewers throughout the interview.

Sit comfortably. Sit straight, but don’t sit stiffly or sprawl over the chair.

Project confidence and a positive attitude. Maintain awareness of your voice, posture, energy level, and enthusiasm. Make hand gestures to emphasise important points, but avoid distracting gestures or making too many hand gestures.

Smile confidently, but not to the point where you would appear to be too casual. Smiling will also help you relax and establish a rapport with the interviewers.

Emphasise your strengths and qualifications that make a compelling reason that you are the ideal person for the job.

Don’t dominate the interview. Time does not equal quality.

Manage weaknesses or barriers so that they appear to be indications of your strengths

Be attentive. Listen to each question carefully and don’t interrupt. If you aren’t sure of what is being asked, politely request that the question is repeated.

Close the interview with a strong closing statement of your qualifications for the job.

Thank the interviewer. Shake their hands individually and thank each interviewer by name.

Interview – The wrap

An interview wrap captures the important points of your interview so that you can evaluate your own performance. If you want to improve your interview technique, review the interview using the checklist below:

Write down the questions you were asked.

Review your responses. What would you have worded or answered differently? Why would you have answered differently? And what would be a more appropriate answer?

Review your own behaviour during the interview. Did you fidget? Use any “uh’s” or “you know’s”? Did you smile? Did you use hand gestures to emphasise important points?

Did you establish a rapport with the interviewers? How did they act during the interview?

Did you carry out the “Interview Game plan”?

Did you practice, practice, practice? One practice interview is not enough. If you have somebody help you, have at least three practice interviews. You’ll be able to use their feedback to correct mistakes, strengthen weaknesses, and build upon strengths.

Now that you are fully prepared to give an excellent interview, please forward your details to Hart Recruitment where we can inform you of our current vacancies and help you with your CV Writing.

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