You may be desperately looking for any job going, or maybe you fancy a change after many years of ‘doing the same thing.’ Possibly completing and filling in applications has become the norm every weekend in this challenging employment time.
So how do you feel when you find out that all the effort you put into your job application has rewarded you with an interview? Do you feel excited and confident or do you feel scared and overwhelmed?
It is so easy to twist yourself up with negative thoughts and unfounded fears, and that is often picked up by your interviewer as a negative vibe. And that, of course, makes it even harder to be in with a chance against those who know how to market themselves confidently.
The key is in the preparation.
The more prepared we are, the less scary the situation. You have a chance to sell yourself to an employer who will see what’s in it for him or her to employ you. The confidence comes from exactly knowing what is going to happen and how you are going to handle every part of the process.
The interview is a two-way process of exchanging information in which both parties are ‘buyers’ and ‘sellers.’
So for the interviewer the preparation must include an analysis of the job description and the application form, creating a list of objectives and priorities and developing some major questions which will provide them with information that will help them make a decision.
The interviewer is responsible for providing an interview room where they will not be interrupted. They should avoid yes/no questions and instead ask for examples of incidents when you have achieved success and explore any organisational problems in your past and how you overcame them. At the end of the interview, the interviewer should invite questions and inform you what will happen next in the process.
As the interviewee, your role is to analyse the copy of application form/letter, advertisement, job description and person specification about your strengths and experiences. You should research the company background, and personalities ensure you know the time of the interview, the exact location, the names and positions of interviewers and likely time required. Find out about any assessment processes, how many candidates they are interviewing, when a decision is possible and any further information needed to be obtained at interview.
Once in the interview answer all the questions clearly and thoughtfully and by giving examples of previous work experience. Be ready to provide job-related examples of your strengths. If necessary coach your interviewer, show career commitment, the experience of travel, challenges met, team working, etc.
Your questions to them should be around personal promotion and development prospects, and what is going to happen next in the process.
The interviewer will be assessing the interview and comparing candidates before making a decision and notifying the results to the candidates. But you must evaluate what you have learned too. You must also decide – what did I learn about that? Do I want this job and do I want to work with these people?