INTERVIEW SECRETS – to help you be Successful

CONGRATULATIONS!   You have secured an interview for the job of your dreams!      Well done.     

However gaining the interview is just the tip of the iceberg, the start of a long journey, the chocolate on a Tim Tam, the froth on a cappuccino – there are a few more steps and hurdles along the way to consider before you actually go to that interview.

So many times I have read a resume and thought “fantastic, can’t wait to meet this person, let’s ask them in for an interview” – and then sadly been very disappointed. We don’t want this to happen to you.

Firstly, what do you actually know about the company?   job interview

 Have you checked out their web site?

  • Do you know a little about the management team? (usually mentioned on web sites)
  • Where does the person that you are going to meet sit in the hierarchy of the company?
  • What is Company business? Have they listed any successes or long range plans, do they have a Company Value statement on their web site, what are their values?
  • “Google” the Company for any updates on new projects or media comments.

Remember this is the Company you want to work for, this is where hopefully you will be working in a short time, make sure you know everything about them before you even step in that door.

Now, do you know where the Company offices are located for that interview?

  • Would you be driving, taking public transport, or walking?
  • Is there parking, where does the bus/train etc stop, how far to walk? 

You absolutely cannot be late for the interview – and if by some horrible event you are running late, you need to ring and let them know in advance.

My suggestion is to go and investigate getting there a few days in advance so there are no slip up’s and I would also suggest paying attention to the employees coming and going from that office or building. What appears to be the dress code for instance?

Having done your homework on the Company, and are totally confident about getting to their offices you need to turn your attention to the star player in this theatre of events – YOU.

Dress as if you have the job already!    

Now not everybody can rush out and buy a whole new outfit so you need to look critically at the clothes you plan to wear. 

Are they appropriate for the role, and do you feel comfortable wearing them?

Do they need dry cleaning for instance?

Are your shoes scuffed or in need of a clean?

Do you plan to carry a briefcase or a handbag? Are they in good condition?

(Ladies, I know we tend to carry large handbags, in which we have our entire life, and even some food as well – well you need to rethink on that score.  Declutter totally or leave everything except for money, mobile phone, credit cards, any medication, back at your office, home or car. Go into that interview looking neat and contained!)

Turn off the phone when you enter their building!!!  Repeat Turn off the Phone!

I remember with some alarm, an interview when the candidate in front of me, actually answered his phone and took the call. I was effectively “put on hold” !! 

Rather unfortunate.        

Don’t let this happen to you.

Take a copy of your resume with you, several copies if you think this could be a panel interview, and make sure you have a nice notebook and a good pen.   Borrow a suitable pen if necessary; don’t take along a scrubby little pen you have picked up somewhere. (If you have donated to a good cause like the Cancer Council Daffodil day and have their Pen, this is fine, shows Good Citizenship)

It is reasonable to assume the Manager interviewing you would actually have a copy of the resume – but best to be totally prepared.  I mention this since recently a client of mine reported back on her interview that in fact when she sat down the Manager in front of her did not even have her resume. Fortunately she was well prepared and was able to give him a copy. So we need to remember it is dangerous to just “assume”.

Make sure you have already prepared a few questions about the role and the company. Write them down and have ready if you think you will get nervous and forget to ask. This is very important, since often I would go into great deal about the Company, the role, the Company Values and ongoing plans, and then brightly ask – “Well you must have some questions?”  Only to have no questions at all. This can leave the impression that you have little or no interest, in the role, or little or no personality.   You just want a job, any job. Think of some questions well in advance!!

Ask for the job! You have come all this way, covered all the points above, you look fantastic, the interview went very well indeed, you really want this job – so you need to tell them you want the job!  So simple, and so easy to forget.  We are just so relieved it is over and we have done well, we just get up, shake hands and leave.

Confirm they have covered all points of the position, that you are very comfortable with everything, and you are, more than ever, keen to be chosen to join the Company. The candidate who in effect “asks for the job” will be streets ahead of one that does not. 

Finally I need to remind you when you actually enter the office or premises to be “engaging” with the employees at the Reception Desk. Make eye contact, comment on something, (weather, décor of office, picture or trophies displayed) be “nice”.  And I am sure you would anyway, but it just a timely reminder.

You would be surprised at the amount of times a Manager, after escorting you to the door, or the lift, will ask the reception crew how you presented!!

I hope these “inside” tips will be of benefit, and now it is up to you.

Knock ‘em dead!!!