Interview techniques

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Your CV has done its job and you have reached the interview stage, this is where preparation is everything.

Types of potential interviews
It is important you know what to expect, so do not be afraid to find out in advance of your interview to allow you to better prepare. The most common types of interview are:

  • One to one interview
  • Panel Interview
  • Assessment Centre
  • Competency-based interviews
  • Case Study

Get To Know the Company
This sounds like common sense but you would be amazed at the amount of people who just turn up and ‘wing it’. A good employer will see straight through it and all that work on a polished CV is wasted. Research as much as you can about the employer; what they do, the scale of their operation, how many people they employ, what they stand for as a business, their profitability. Use the Internet, social media, newspapers, trade magazines to help build a picture of your potential employer.

Prepare Ahead
Some of the common questions you are likely to be asked fall into the following categories. Preparing your answers ahead of the interview will give you confidence and will help your performance on the day. Questions such as:

  • What do you know about the company?
  • What do you have to offer?
  • Why are you looking for a new position (be sure not to be negative about any of your positions or employers)
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses? (Don’t say you don’t have any as no one is likely to believe you)

Your Harmony consultant will be able to guide you in this area and help you to provide positive answers relevant to the job for which you are being interviewed.

Personal Presentation
This can never be over-stated: create the right first impression. Get to know what the dress code is for the company and the position for which you have applied. The best advice here is always err on the side of caution. If they are a ‘dress-down’ company, do not assume it is ‘Ok’ to turn up in jeans and a t-shirt. Always ensure you are smartly dressed. Again, your Harmony consultant can guide you in this respect.

First Impressions
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Get the interview off to the right start; make sure you know where you are going and allow extra time to get there but don’t arrive too early. A confident meet and greet, good eye contact and a firm handshake are essential. Maintain an open approach and a positive attitude throughout the interview.

Build a rapport with your interviewer
Never assume your qualifications and experience will guarantee you the job. Personality and ‘fit’ are of equal importance – sometimes more. Be confident about your skills, experience and ability but don’t over-state it! Your body language can always give you away. Be conscious of posture, sit up straight, maintain good eye contact throughout and remember to smile.

Ask insightful questions
Having done your research on the company and the job, ahead of the interview, prepare a list of questions to ask when you are invited to do so during the interview. Be positive, relevant and knowledgeable. Do not ask about salary, benefits or holidays at this stage. Your Harmony consultant will discuss these with you prior to interview.

A strong finish
You are on the final stretch so be sure to finish well. Make it clear that you are interested in the position, you have enjoyed the interview and if they could indicate when you will know the outcome. Thank the interviewer(s) for their time.

Remember your Harmony consultant will help you to prepare for the interview and allay any fears or concerns.