Getting the best out of your Interview

The Interview still plays a key part in the Selection process and there are some things that any Candidate can do to increase their chances of success:

Preparation is the key to a successful interview including knowledge about the Organisation and a full brief on the position which should, ideally, be provided in advance.

At the very least you should look at the Organisation’s web site and try and find up to date press articles or other information about the company before you attend the interview.

You should know who you will be seeing at interview with their titles and how much influence they will have on the final decision. Ideally you will also know how many other candidates will be interviewed and what format the interview will take, including any Personality or Aptitude tests.

Allow plenty of time for travel to the interview and arrive early, rather than late. If you cannot avoid being late, then let the interviewer know well in advance so they are not waiting for you – not sure whether or not you will turn up.

During the interview itself you are on show, however this does not mean that you are expected to do all the talking. Try asking insightful questions which can show that you have thought about the position in advance.

Listen carefully to what interviewers say about the company and the position and you may get the opportunity to feed back to them what they want to hear from candidates.

If you want to make notes during the interview ask your interviewers if they mind but do not scribble down everything they say. Always ask questions as you go along or when you are offered the opportunity to do so.

You could ask the following question at the end of the interview “Is there anything that I have said or not said that gives you some concern about my ability to carry out the job?”, especially if you feel that an answer was not what the interviewers expected or you feel that one interviewer has some reservations. This gives you a final opportunity to address any concerns.

Ask at the end of the interview ask about the decision making process and when a decision will be made and reiterate your interest in the vacancy – enthusiasm is very appealing whereas apparent indifference is not.

If you do not get the job you can still learn from the process by asking for feedback. Most interviewers will be happy to give feedback. Listen positively to any comments and never argue – you may not agree with your interviewer’s perception of you on the day but it is their reality and you can use the feedback to improve your interviewing skills and your own self awareness.

Always remember the adage “Two ears, one mouth”. Naturally you may be nervous but do not fill gaps with chatter. Smile and wait for the next question or ask a question of your own.

Likewise be aware of monologues. Never speak for more than a couple of minutes at a time

Body language can be critical, always maintain eye contact, avoid crossing your arms or any other closed or defensive body language and avoid fiddling with pens or anything else.

If you have the right skill set and have prepared well, you should have a great interview…so…SMILE, RELAX, ENJOY YOURSELF!!!