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Interview Tips

Your performance at a job interview will largely determine if you are offered the job, so grab the chance to make a good impression! On average an interview takes 30mins to an hour, so ensure you do your homework beforehand so you can make the most of the time you have.

During a job interview the employer will be searching out your strong and weak points, evaluating your skills and qualifications and will be assessing your attitudes, motivation and maturity.

Read on to find out some tips to assist you...

Before the interview:

Do your homework:

  • Take the time to do some research on the organisation. Read through their website to familiarise yourself with their product, philosophy and vision. You can also find information and articles of interest about the company or reviews or feedback by searching the internet and social media sites.  It's a good idea to get to know some of their competition too. 
  • Read the job description thoroughly and ask your Recruitment Manager if they have any additional information to help you prepare a list of questions to ask about the role at the interview.
  • Review your resume and have a clear recollection of your work history.
  • Consider what questions may be asked at the interview. Be prepared for likely questions; and develop strong answers. Likely questions include:
    • What interests you about this particular role?
    • What is your ideal job?
    • What interests you about our company?
    • How would your previous manager describe your personality?
    • Give me an example of when you have gone the extra mile?
    • What is your major weakness? What have you done about this?
    • Describe your strengths.
    • What does "teamwork" mean to you?
    • Where do you want to be in 3-5 years time?
  • Be prepared to refer to situations you have overcome and personal achievements as employers commonly ask behavioural based questions which focus on your past. When answering these questions, provide examples of behaviour which demonstrate that you possess the desired skills or attributes for the job (these are usually outlined in the job description and selection criteria). Try to use concrete examples which include specific dates, times, places and numbers as this will add to the credibility of your responses. Some common areas covered by these questions are ways in which you handle:
    • Stress
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Oral Communication
    • Time Management
    • Problem Solving
    • Customer service
  • Use the interview as your chance to find out more about the job and company. Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer to ensure you are moving into a new job that fits your lifestyle and ambition for the future. Some ideas of questions to ask are:
    • How is the company structured? Hierarchical or flat?
    • Does the company have a supported mentoring program?
    • Do you support a work/life balance? How?
    • Do you support postgraduate study? How?
    • Do you have training program? How do you encourage your staff to grow and develop?
    • How up to date is your technology and methodology?
    • What level of administrative support is provided?
    • To what extent are menial tasks managed by support people?
    • How will this role develop?
    • What will the company expect of me and how will my achievements be measured and rewarded?
    • What is the history of this role? Is it new? If not, why did the last person leave?

Dress appropriately and ensure you are well groomed:

  • Its better to over dress than under dress at an interview. Wear a suit if you have one.

The interview starts the moment you arrive:

  • Always arrive at an interview 10-15 minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is not excusable.
  • Show courtesy and respect to everyone you meet, including the person at the front desk. Often they are asked their impressions of you.
  • Make sure your breath does not smell of cigarettes, alcohol or strong foods such as garlic.
  • Overpowering perfume, deodorant or after shave should also be avoided.
  • Always use a firm, confident handshake.

During the interview:

Use positive body language:

  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer
  • Keep your body open and relaxed.
  • Avoid any mannerisms which might be irritating such as pen clicking, leg swinging, knuckle cracking etc.

Project a positive and enthusiastic attitude:

  • Relax - it's a job interview, not the end of the world.
  • Treat the interviewer as a potential colleague. Show them respect but don't be scared or intimidated by them.
  • Show career ambition and focus. Have goals.
  • Look alert and interested at all times.
  • Listen carefully to the interviewer, make sure you understand their questions and answer them fully.
  • Express your thoughts clearly.
  • Emphasise how you can make a valuable contribution to the company.
  • Smile

Some things to avoid:

  • Don't lie, answer all questions truthfully.
  • Don't over answer a question or ramble on, answer fully but to the point.
  • Don't ever make derogatory remarks about your current or past employers.
  • Don't display an attitude of "what can you do for me".
  • Don't enquire about salary, holidays, bonuses etc at the initial interview unless the employer raises the subject. But be prepared to specify your required salary range if asked, but don't make it your main focus.

At the end of the interview...

  • Always thank the interviewer for their time and for considering you.
  • Let the interviewer know how interested you are in the position.
  • If they offer you the job on the spot and you would like time to think about it, be tactful in asking for time, giving an indication of how long you need.

After the interview:

  • Contact your inPlace Recruitment Account Manager after the interview to let us know your impressions and ask any further questions you may have. We may already have feedback from the interviewer for you.

Remember the interview process is not only for the interviewer to decide if you are the most suitable person for the job but for you to decide if the position and company will offer you what you are looking for in your next career move.