Take time to research the company to gain an understanding of how you are able to contribute to the strategy and objectives. You will be able to answer questions with insight, and ask questions which will engage the interviewer. The more you know, the more confident you will be during the interview!
The company website includes the company’s mission statement, history, products and Services, management team and information about the company culture. The information is usually available in the About Us section of the site.
LinkedIn company profiles are concise and current – you will be able to see employees connected to the company, and, with some investigation – study the profile of the person whom you will meet for the interview. This will give you an insight to their function at the organization and background information.
Check Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Like or follow the company to get updates. You'll find current information delivered to your inbox!
Search both Google and Google News for the company name.
Be selective with the information that you bring the interview – the facts must be relevant to the role and the organization, supporting your confident personality!
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Preparation – confirm the date, venue and time of the interview in advance. Take pride in your appearance and dress in a professional manner – first impressions count. Eliminate the unknown – plan your route, allow time for parking, arrive early! Leave your mobile phone in your car – this will ensure that the Interviewer will have your undivided attention.
- Being on time is very important, try and arrive to the interview at least 15 minutes earlier however only go in to the offices 5 minutes before the interview.
- Conduct research on the company and who you are meeting with.
- Ensure you are well presented and professionally dressed (grooming and personal hygiene)
- Introducing yourself with a firm handshake and eye contact is important
- Ask questions relevant to the organization and the role; always have questions that are relevant in the interview as this will show your research or interest in the position and/or Company.
- Prepare yourself for the most commonly asked interview questions and answer only what is asked; going on in a full life time history will not be in your benefit e.g. "tell me about yourself?, why are you currently looking for alternative opportunities? Etc.
- Watch your body language (more than 60% of our communication is nonverbal) and your self-presentation is just as important as answering questions e.g. Sit up right, keep your hands to your side or on your lap, and answering confidently but with a balance of not being arrogant.
- Turn your cellphone off before you going into the interview.
- Keep your answers concise (remember the 60/40 rule).
- Sell yourself but don't be arrogant.
- Don't be the first to bring up the salary topic- ensure that you know your salary details if you are going to discuss this and what your realistic expectations are.
- Create urgency by asking about the next step in the process.
- Ensure you have copies of your documents with you (CV, Payslip, ID, Qualifications, reference details).
- Thank your interviewers for meeting with you
Tell me about yourself – have your elevator pitch ready! Use this introduction to sell yourself – without being arrogant! Know what you have to offer.
Competency based interview techniques are widely used to ensure that the process is objective.
The job description for the position will form the base of the questions you may be asked.
These interview questions usually start with “tell me about a time when...” use the STAR acronym to structure your response:
Situation - set the context for your example. How did the problem arise?
Task - what was required of you? What was your responsibility in finding alternative solutions?
Activity - what you actually did. You must demonstrate your ability to take action!
Result - what was the outcome?
It is important to be specific in your response – use actual examples, qualitative objectives met, conveying your achievement in the minimum time. Close question in a positive manner – underpinning your skill set!
Practice using the STAR response by formulating questions from the job description. This will allow you to respond with accuracy and confidence.
Do not create a negative response – never say “I can’t” or “I haven’t” or “I don’t”. If you've never trained someone, don't say, "I've never been in charge of training." Say, "I did not fill that specific role, but I coached my peers for a new product launch".
Share applicable experience and find the positives in what you have done. No matter what the subject, be positive: Even your worst mistake can be your best learning experience.
In closing the interview you will be given the opportunity to ask questions. Questions which indicate your interest in the company/ position may differentiate you from the other candidates:
What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days?
Great candidates want to hit the ground running. They don't want to spend weeks or months "getting to know the organization." They want to make a difference - right away.
How has this position evolved?
By asking this question, you will be gaining information on how this role has grown over the years and whether the position is a dead end with no growth or a stepping stone which will help you reach greater heights within the company.
What is expected of me in this position? If you want to know exactly what the role you are interviewing for is about, this is the question to ask. It will ensure that you know exactly what is expected of you, directly from the employer and there will be no room for any surprises if you are hired. It will allow you to know exactly what you are signing up to do.
What are some of the challenges in this position?
This will give insight on some of the difficulties and challenges that you may face if you are hired for the job. It will help you go in with a better view of what to expect and you can prepare yourself to deal with these challenges in the best way possible.
What is the company culture and working environment like?
This important question will help you with insight on what the company is all about and if you will be able to fit in with the rest of the team. The interviewers' response will help you judge if the environment is a positive and friendly one.
Can you tell me about the company's growth plans? Asking this will assist you in finding out about where the company is headed in the future and if growth is expected. The plans will give you an indication of what they are implementing and if you will be able to contribute to it.
What are the common attributes of your top performers? Great candidates also want to be great long-term employees. Every organization is different, and so are the key qualities of top performers in those organizations. Maybe your top performers work longer hours. Maybe creativity is more important than methodology. Maybe constantly landing new customers in new markets is more important than building long-term customer relationships. Maybe it's a willingness to spend the same amount of time educating an entry-level customer as helping an enthusiast who wants high-end equipment. Great candidates want to know, because 1) they want to know if they fit, and 2) if they do fit, they want to be a top performer.
What are the contributors which drive results for the company?
In every position some activities make a bigger difference than others. Great candidates want to know what truly makes a difference. They know helping the company succeed means they succeed as well.
How do you plan to deal with...?
Every business faces a major challenge. You may have identified a challenge during your research of the company. Ask about the facts! A great candidate doesn't just want to know what you think; they want to know what you plan to do--and how they will fit into those plans.
And finally, ask for the position, based on facts. Focus on specific requirements of the position which makes you be best candidate!