Pitman Training Job Interview Tips
The Essentials for a Successful Job Interview
Be prepared…The biggest mistake in interviewing is not being fully prepared. Job seekers should use every conceivable means to prepare for the interview and to allow ample time to fully prepare. You must understand that interviewing is a skill; as with all skills, preparation and practice enhance the quality of that skill. Preparation will make the difference between getting an offer and getting rejected.
Assess Yourself…The right time is now for re-assessing your current skills, talents, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, and work values. In addition, you should re-examine accomplishments and achievements, particularly those that may be relevant to a prospective employer.
Update your CV…Bare-bone the CV by removing all superfluous and/or irrelevant material, all articles (a, an, the), and work at getting it onto two pages maximum. Use functional headings to help focus the reader on what you have done and what you can do for the prospective employer. Be absolutely certain it is error-free.
Research – Seek Out – Find Out…Depending on available time, use every possible means to learn all you can about the company and position. Use the public library or local bookstore to locate and read information about the company or organization you hope to work for. Prepare some questions to ask based on your research about the company and position - DO NOT ask about salary or benefits!
Practice typical interview questions…Be prepared and able to answer the ‘Basic 3’ interview questions.
- Why are you interested in this field?
- Why are you interested in this company?
- Why are you interested in this position?
Know your CV…Be prepared to discuss anything on your CV. You must also be prepared to answer questions or issues that you really don't want to answer. For example:
- your greatest weakness?
- your lack of related experience?
- your lack of leadership experience?
- your record of job-hopping?
Get a friend to help…Practice with a friend, career counselor or coach, or in front of a mirror. Video or tape your answers for future review. Think seriously about how you look and sound. Note the tone and inflection of your voice, your mannerisms and gestures, facial expressions, poise, energy and enthusiasm in your answers (how you sound) as well as in your body language. How can you improve, enhance, develop, or revise your answers and/or delivery? Practice is important too in reducing any level of fear and nervousness. However, some degree of tension is helpful in maintaining a level of alertness that causes you to sit up straight and forward in your seat, and lean toward the interviewer. You need to strike the ideal balance between ‘poise and calm’ and ‘energy and enthusiasm’.
Final preparations…Select appropriate dress long before the interview day. Know the culture of the organization for which you are interviewing and dress accordingly -- perhaps a notch above that -- especially if the company has espoused corporate casual. A business suit is always acceptable. Be certain that your clothing is clean and well pressed. Know the location of your interview. Do a drive-by or better still, visit the premises if possible. Plan to arrive at the designated office 10 minutes in advance. Allow ample time for traffic, the possibility of getting lost, and parking difficulties.
Thank you… Send a thank-you note letter within 24-48 hours of your interview. Send one to every person who interviewed you. Email is OK, but follow protocols for formal business correspondence, which is always more formal than typical email. Use the thank you note to reiterate your interest and to emphasize your specific qualifications for the position.