This interview is your opportunity to make an impression and convince the interviewers that you are a qualified and strong candidate. The following tips and pointers will guide you through the process so that you can confidently deliver a strong interview:
- Arrive in good time, but do not too early. The ideal is to get to the interview meeting place about 5-10 minutes prior to interview time. Don’t be late
- First impressions count with everyone. Always be polite with anyone you meet at the client site including people who may not be involved in the interviewing process such as the receptionist, HR representative, everyone
- A firm handshake communicates confidence. A death grip or a weak handshake can give other messages that may not reflect who you truly are
- Always make eye contact in a friendly, natural fashion when you first meet people and throughout the interview
- Listen, listen, listen to the questions so you can address what is being asked. Its very important to actively listen, so that your answers are definitely related to the questions. If you do not answer the question correctly and concisely, you cannot show your abilities to do the job. Also, do not go off on tangents. Marshall your ideas in a collected manner
- If asked behaviorial type questions, they are usually phrased in the past tense i.e.: how did you handle pressure, tight deadlines etc. Always give a specific example of a time when you had to handle tight deadlines, do not generalize.
- If you do not understand the question, ask for clarification
- Keep your answers pertinent and concise, if you have been responding to a question for longer than 3-4 minutes with no break, consider whether or not you are being long winded
- Don’t advertise weak spots in your resume, but if they arise, make sure you can acknowledge them. Do not try to cover them up, but rather compensate for them by addressing the question and highlighting strengths in other areas or how you have compensated for them in the past
- When the interviewer has finished asking you questions, and has talked about the role, you should fully understand the nature of the role. If that’s not the case and you’re unclear on any aspect, ask for clarification or for further information
- Questions are important. Ask about the role — if necessary — the organization, long term opportunities, the company strategy and why people like to work there
- At the end of the interview, express your interest in the role and the company and ask how you’ve done or where you stand in the process
- Never ask about the hours or benefits or vacation time on the first interview. This does not show the appropriate interest. An interview is an opportunity to showcase your talents and abilities, and you only have an hour to do that. Being overly focused on these details at this point only detracts from your overall presentation
- Don’t be negative or overly focused/bitter about previous employers. While you may well have just cause, an interview is not the correct environment in which to vent
An interview is an exciting opportunity to move you forward to your next career goal, be positive and relax and enjoy the moment.