How to Conquer Face-to-Face Interviews

Before the interview

Research: you'll want to collect as much relevant information as possible

(When you've been called for an interview remember to ask if there will be a task/test that you need to prepare for or if there is any specific information they would like you bring along).

The organisation: their services/products, reputation, history, key members of staff

Your interviewer: Their bio on the employer's website, their role, how it relates to the position you are applying for 

The role: the key skills and experience needed, daily responsibilities, how the role supports the organisation's objectives 

Where to find information: The organisation's website, news stories, google search, industry publications

Prepare: now use your research to identify key information and practice answering interview questions

Example

Job role: Marketing Executive

Potential Question from Interviewer:  What do you think are the most important things about press releases?

How to use your research to form your answer

In your research you should have found and read a few of the companies past press releases as well as reviewing any you have written and thought about why they were effective. You can then explain what makes an effective release using the companies and your own as an example. 

Be aware of interview structure: interviewers usually start with easier and personal questions.

Get ready: final steps

Mock interview: You can ask a friend or relative to practice with you. 

Plan your journey: Use Google Maps on your computer or phone to find the quickest route and ensure there are no transport issues  that may affect your journey.

Sort out your outfit: Decide what you're going to wear the day before, have it ironed and ready to go so you're not flustered searching for the right outfit the morning of the interview.

Smile: You've researched, prepared and you're heading out of the door, take a deep breath and smile. You're ready. 

 During the interview

Greetings:  You've arrived on time and have been shown into a meeting room, greet everyone in the room with a smile and firm handshake.

Listen: It's important that you pay attention to ensure you're answering the question in full. Do not interrupt, if you don't understand don't be afraid to ask - it's better to do that than answer a question incorrectly. Don't rush to answer, it's OK to take a breath for a moment to think about your response.

Explaining your CV: You may be asked to run through your CV, when explaining your volunteering or work experience, highlight your best attributes, experiences and achievements, based around the skills that you've identified are important to the organisation, and evidence them with practical examples.

Positive attitude: Relax and sit comfortably without slouching, body language is very important! Don't lean on the desk, keep your hands visible at all times (it's a sign of honesty) and remember to speak clearly, smile frequently and retain eye contact.

Ask questions: It's ok to bring notes with you, jot down relevant, thought-provoking questions, if there is an appropriate moment during the interview you can ask then or save them for the end. Take time to think about your questions as they show you're genuinely interested in the role and really listening to the interviewer. 

Lastly...

Always thank the interviewer, don't be afraid to ask about the next steps and let them know you are available for further questions. That's it!

Remember: the worst that can happen is you don't get the job, it's not the best news but it's not the end of the world so try not to be nervous and let your personality shine!


By Akanele Kalu
Posted on 17 March 2016
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