Successful Interview Techniques Guide
Good Work! Your CV and cover letter convincing conveyed that you have the skills and qualifications required for your dream job. Out of many applications, the potential employer has invited a selective few, including you, to participate in the all important interview. While this is a major step in successfully securing meaningful employment, it is much too early for self-congratulations, it’s time to get to work to win the job.
During the interview, you’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate to the employer or their recruitment agency recruiter that you are well matched for the position; that by meeting or exceedingyou meet or exceed the formal qualification as well as possessing the personal attributes to seamlessly fit into the company’s corporate structure. Additionally, you should be well prepared to discuss, confirm and verify the information you presented in the recruitment documentation.
Before the face-to-face meeting, many employers conduct a preliminary, prequalification telephone interview. Your success in mastering the conversation will determine if the recruitment process will continue or be put on hold.
Our career advisers are glad to share their tips with you to prepare for a successful interview, let’s start with the telephone call.
Tutorial: Interview by Phone. Steer the conversation to successfully get a formal interview
A phone call can be as important as the direct interview and preparation pays!
- Make your phone your personal assistant. Listen to your voice mail recording and rerecord it if it is unclear, outdated or too informal. Avoid a humorous or inappropriate voicemail greeting. You may wish to disable any musical call waiting feature on your phone.
- Remember that a potential employer may call you anytime on the contact number you provided. Train yourself to answer all your calls in a professional manner, by avoiding slang greetings.
- If you receive a recruitment call at an inconvenient location or time, politely ask if you can return the call at a mutually agreed upon date and hour. This will give you time to prepare and to give thoughtful answers to the questions without distractions.
- Smile while talking! The physical act of smiling is proven to give your voice a more friendly, open and warm tone. Listen to the verbal cues from the caller and accommodate their speaking style. If highly formal, reply in kind, if the conversation is less formal pay attention not to slip into slang or take the informality too far.
- Interviewing by phone is a difficult job, so you need to make it easy for the interviewer, or you may could be unfairly rated. Answer questions directly, clearly and without digressions.
- Listen actively! Treat the phone conversation as you would an actual meeting. If in doubt, ask questions, paying attention not to interrupt. Make sure you clearly understand the callers name and other contact details. A verbal summary of the discussions at the end of the call will ensure that you are both on the same page despite the distance. Confirm the next steps, such as a meeting date and address.
- Try to always have a means to take notes during or immediately after the conversation. In the event that the conversation is interrupted, for examplexample, duee to lack of mobile phone coverage or dead battery, the notes can bring the conversation back to life where it previously ended. The notes also help prepare you for the eventual meeting.
- Consider writing a follow up e-mail, thanking for the call as well as summarizing the conversation.
We are confident that our tips in telephone prequalification interview will get you the actual meeting, now it’s time to put a face on your resume, cover letter and telephone conservation with the actual interview. Let’s get ready!
Tutorial: Winning interview techniques
Work Service is Poland’s largest recruitment agency. Our recruiters are glad to share with you their advice for conducting a successful interview.
- When your resume and cover letter generated interest in arranging an interview, the company is already investing considerable time and expense in getting to know you. Make sure you know more about them then they know about you! At a minimum, you should be conversant with the following topics
- How long the company has been in business,
- The company profile, their goods and/or services, their unique market position and major competition and challenges,
- How many employees, branches and international locations,
- Industry awards and distinctions,
- How your skills and experience can help the company accomplishes its established and published mission statement.
- Make sure you fully understand the position so you can target your answers directly addressing future job responsibilities. This shows that you are a perfect fit for the position. Obtain all information available regarding the position, including:
- Specific job responsibilities,
- The required experience and skills,
- Personal aptitude required to succeed in the position. Be prepared to directly answer any questions about any potential weaknesses.
- There is no excuse for being late to the interview. Arrive in plenty of time to compose yourself. If an actual ‘force majeure’ situation arises, inform the interviewer as early as possible to reschedule.
- Turn off or silence completely, including vibrations, your mobile phone.
- It is essential to remember the name of the person arranging the interview, in many cases this is the same employee that will be conducting the interview.
- Research the company’s culture for hints on the accepted attire. This varies widely depending on the enterprise and sector. For example, the leading internet retailer Amazon recommends ‘Dress nicely but comfortably. A suit and tie won't impress anyone here’. The clothing should also reflect the position you are applying for. A Citibank executive shares that ‘attire is determined by the position in the company. I wear a suite and tie, while the majority of mid-management is business causal’. Generally men cannot go wrong in a suit and tie. Grooming is essential to make the all important first impression. For women, a jacket with pants or skirt complemented with shoes with a conservative and professional appearance. Avoid loud colors both on the wardrobe and make up. Too much jewelry is a distraction, let the recruiter concentrate their focus on you and not your accessories. The type of hairstyle should match the job description. For example if you are applying for a professional position at a financial institution, a conservative cut and hair color would be the most appropriate.
- The introductions most likely will be accompanied with a handshake. Knowing and following the culturally accepted norms is an advantage.
- Wait to sit down until invited by the recruiter.
- Bring a copy of important documents such as letters of reference, diplomas and certificates. Proper preparation increases your chances in the eyes of the employer.
- During the interview, maintain eye contact. Be active in the conversation. If you follow the advice of being fully conversant regarding the company and the position, it will inspire confidence and make you appear less nervous.
- Answer the questions directly and do not veer off the topic by discussing issues unrelated to the position you are applying for. The employer has time constraints for the interview. If your answers are vague and meandering, you may find that you fail to convey the messages that are most relevant to the conversation. Indeed, you may not even have the chance to answer all the standard questions.
- Get ready for questions about your financial expectations. You should know the national pay averages for the same or similar position. Consider the whole compensation package and whether you would be willing to give up part of the expected monthly wages for other non-salary remuneration. Clarify bonus and other performance awarding schemes during this discussion.
- Prepare the questions you would like to ask the employer. Intelligently placed, factual and logical questions not only help you learn more about the job, but also make an excellent impression on the employer. For example: ‘does this position report to the division head that recently won (an award, contract, etc…)’.
- At the end of the interview, thank all the participants for their interest in your candidacy. If the interviewer does not mention it, be sure to inquire about the next steps, who will be in contact with you in which time frame.
Now that you’ve followed the suggestions for a successful interview, learn more about a successful post-interview strategy.
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