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Interviewing Do's and Dont's

Do's

  • Arrive 15 minutes early. Lateness is never excusable.
  • Make sure you know what you are ‘selling’. You are your own ‘brand’, understand it, i.e. know your strengths, your weaknesses, and know how you would describe your personality (answering ‘I am firm but fair’ doesn’t cut the mustard).
  • Answer the interviewer's questions as specifically and succinctly as possible. If you are unsure of the question, ask for clarity rather than guessing what they are after. Relate your skills and background to the position requirements throughout the interview.
  • Focus on your achievements and relate them as closely as possible to the job.
  • Be professional and upbeat, make eye contact with all interviewers, and maintain good posture.
  • Anticipate tough questions. Prepare to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths.
  • Dress appropriately. Make your first impression a professional one.
  • Prepare and then ask questions. An interview should be a mutual exchange of information, not a one-sided conversation.
  • Listen, concentrate not only on the interviewer's words, but also on the tone of voice and body language. Once you understand how the interviewer thinks, pattern your answers accordingly and you will be able to establish a better rapport.

Don'ts

  • Don't answer vague questions. Ask the interviewer to clarify fuzzy questions.
  • Don't interrupt the employer. If you don't listen, the interviewer won't either.
  • Don't be disrespectful. Don't smoke, chew gum or place anything on the interviewer's desk.
  • Don't be overly familiar, even if the interviewer is.
  • Don't wear heavy perfume or cologne. The interviewer may not share your tastes.
  • Don't ramble. Overlong answers rarely enhance your impression with the interviewer who will also quickly get frustrated at the time being wasted when he/she has lots more questions to get through.
  • Don't lie. Answer questions truthfully.
  • Don't express bitterness. Avoid derogatory remarks about present or former employers.

Closing the interview

  • Job candidates often second-guess themselves after interviews. By asking good questions and closing strongly, you can reduce post-interview doubts. If you feel that the interview went well and you want to take the next step, express your interest to the interviewer.
  • Try an approach like the following: "After learning more about your company, the position and responsibilities, I believe that I have the qualities you are looking for. Have I managed to cover off of your areas of interest this afternoon or you would like to discuss some areas further?"
  • This is an effective closing question because it opens the door for the hiring authority to be honest with you about his or her feelings. If concerns do exist, you may be able to create an opportunity to overcome them, and have one final chance to dispel the concerns, sell your strengths and end the interview on a positive note.

A few things to remember during the closing process:

  • Don't expect an offer to be made or salary discussed. The interviewer may want to communicate with colleagues or conduct other scheduled interviews before making a decision.
  • Leave on a positive note regarding the job you have been discussing.
  • Express appreciation for the interviewer's time and consideration

Follow-up

After your interview, follow-up is critical. When you get in your car, immediately write down key issues uncovered in the interview. Think of the qualifications the employer is looking for and match your strengths to them. And be sure to call us as we would rather know your views before we hear from or speak to the employer. If you had any specific ‘sweet spots’ or ‘sticky moments’ in the interview, best we know about them, and if you realise you missed telling them an important fact (or facts), we can help remedy this with the employer for you.

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