Part 2- Inside the interview

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Following on from Part 1- How to prepare for an interview, you should now be prepared, organised and confident to step into the interview room. Interviews can be scary, especially when your walk into the waiting area and see all the other candidates waiting as well. Don’t let this be your downfall. Yes, there are other people wanting the same position, but don’t get sucked into the hype and start second guessing yourself. You’ve got to go into every interview believing that you’re going to nail it!

Tip: On the way to your interview why not listen to some empowering and inspirational music to get your blood pumping. Not only will it help settle your nerves but it will give you a little confidence boost!

 

The following is a guide on how to rock you next interview:

Body Language:

Don’t underestimate the power of the nonverbal. You’d be amazed by how many people come in for interviews with poor posture, weak handshakes, and blank stares. First impressions, positive or negative, dramatically affect the ultimate evaluation. You can make or break a job interview within the first five minutes. So put your game face on from the moment you walk into the building till you walk out.

Smile and say hello to everyone. A positive reaction from the staff is an important factor in the evaluation. Many hires have been heavily influenced by what staff members thought. This doesn’t mean be fake; nothing is worst than talking to a person that is acting over the top and not genuine.

High self-esteem and self-confidence are the hallmarks of the successful individual. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. There’s nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself. Just know the line between being confident and being arrogant.

Body language counts for a large part of how people perceive us. Therefore watch out for waving hands, swaying, fiddling or face touching. Also be mind full of playing with pens or papers, as it will not only make you more nervous but it will also distract you and the interviewer. Be conscious about what you are doing, as all that fiddling can threaten job interview success.

Tip: Actions speak louder than words. Your interviewer will get distracted if you are fidgeting and will miss the important things that you are saying. Do yourself a favour; be conscious of your body language!

 

How to answer the tough questions:

 

Question time- this is your time to shine. Don’t be afraid by what they could ask but instead be confident in your abilities. You would have previously practiced possible questions they could ask you, now you just have to give the best response you can. When you are asked a question you don’t have to jump right in there and start talking. Simply pause, think, and answer. You don’t want to be talking gibberish and not giving a well thought out answer. Like I said, you should have done your research on what the company expects from the candidates before heading to the interview. Your answers should be addressing how your qualities and abilities are relevant to the position in question. Therefore, you should only convey information applicable to what is required for the job.

After the initial get-to-know you questions, come the harder questions. Questions like “Why did you leave your last job?” can be a tricky one to answer. There are probably various reasons for leaving your last job, but when it comes to the interview try and answer positively rather than complaining about what made you unhappy. Instead talk about your career goals and how the job you are applying for provides a better environment for growth than your previous job. As always, angle your reply in such a way that what you had learned in your previous job had enriched you with valuable skills for the current position.

Tip: As said before, practice makes perfect. Always prepare for any possibly questions you could be asked. That way you won’t be surprised by any hard hitting questions.

 

 

What questions you should ask:

It’s imperative to always ask questions, not just because everyone tells you to, but because it will help you out in the end. Job interviews are a two-way street and in a sense, you are also interviewing your prospective employer to see if they are a company you would want to work for.  The goal is to find out not only if you’re right for the role, but also if the culture of the organisation and their style of management suit you.

The best questions to ask are open-ended questions. This will help keep conversation flowing and help you gain better insight into the comapny. Remeber to listen in the interview as something the interview may say might be perfect for a question, such as  “You mentioned you work with X client and their X campaign, can you tell me more about other work you’ve done for them?”. This will not only show that you were listening but show you are also interesting in the company.

Also, try not to ask questions that can easily be answered by looking at the company website. For example, “Where are your other offices located?” or “What do you do”.  This proves that you didn’t do much research into the company ahead of time and aren’t really interested in the job.

 Tip: Don’t just Google possible questions to ask in an interview. Instead research the company and come up with a few that you would be genuinely interested in. This will help create great conversation and let the interviewer get to know you better. It will also give you the chance to get to know the company and the people that work there.   What NOT to do: Finally what not to do. There a many things you can do to hurt your chances of getting the job. Here is a list of a few things you should never do:

  • Don’t ask about your salary first up – wait for them to bring it up. Also don’t ask how many sick days you have. It’s not only weird, it doesn’t look good. You haven’t even got the job yet and you’re thinking of taking a sick day?

 

  • Don’t ask for the same information that they’ve already provided on their website or in the job description.

 

  • Bring in a coffee with you. You would be surprised how often people do this. It looks unprofessional and shows that you aren’t taking this interview seriously. So ditch the coffee before you enter your interview. If you need to fuel up, do it before you get to the interview.

 

  • Talking on the phone or receiving messages or phones call during it. Yes, people actually do this! Before you get to your interview, put your phone on silent. Texting during your interview is not only rude and disruptive, but it’s a pretty clear message to your potential employer that getting the job is not your top priority. For the same reasons, don’t answer calls (and certainly don’t make calls!) during the interview.

 

  • Don’t let your potential employer stump you with the question, “What do you know about this company?”It’s one of the easiest questions to ace, if only you do some research before your interview. Background information are on most company websites.

 

  • Don’t lie on your resume. You will be exposed sooner or later. For example, if you say you have experience in a certain program but don’t and your first day at work is to use the program then what are you meant to do? An easier way to get around this is by saying that you are a fast learner and are sure if you had a training day you would be able to use it. It will not only help you in the long run but it will let your potential employer know that you are willing to take the initiative and are willing to work.

 

  • Finally a big NO-NO is badmouthing or talking badly about your boss or co-workers. It’s sometimes a smaller world than you think and you don’t know who your interviewer might know, including that boss who is an idiot. Plus it won’t put you in a very postive light.

Now you have all the tips you need to make your next interview your last! Remember work hard and even if you don’t get the job, use each interview as a learning experience. You never know, your dream job could be around the corner!

 

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