For the long-term unemployed or those employees looking for a change, getting an interview in today’s market may feel like a win in itself. But once you’re in the door, interviewers often put you through an obstacle course of deceptive questions with double meanings or hidden agendas.
For job-seekers in today’s challenging job market, getting in front of an actual live person to interview for a job with a company is a major goal – second only to receiving and accepting an actual job offer! It seems like more and more these days, companies who are interested in a candidate begin their screening process with a phone interview – usually conducted by an internal company recruiter or an HR person.
To land the job, you'll have to appear professional, confident, and capable so does your CV. In most cases a properly drafted CV can land you an interview opportunity against the ones that are poorly drafted.
An ill drafted CV screams to an interviewer that you are not serious about the job you are applying for as you have not taken the effort to prepare you CV in a presentable manner.
Review the Basics: Try to review the basics in your skill sets before going for the interview.
Conduct Research on the Employer, Hiring Manager, Job Opportunity: Success in a job interview starts with a solid foundation of knowledge on the job-seekers part. You should understand the employer, the requirements of the job, and the background of the person (or people) interviewing you. The more research you conduct, the more you'll understand the employer, and the better you'll be able to answer interview questions. Information sources include the organization's website and other published materials, search engines, research tools, and your network of contacts.
Review Common Interview Questions and Prepare Responses: Another key to interview success is preparing responses to expected interview questions. First, inquire as to the type of interview to expect (which you can do by asking your contact person at the organization). Your goal is composing detailed yet concise responses, focusing on specific examples and accomplishments. A good tool for remembering your responses is to put them into story form that you can tell in the interview. No need to memorize responses (in fact, it's best not to), but at least develop talking points.
Dress for Success: Dress that fits the organization and its culture, striving for the most professional appearance you can accomplish. Remember that it's always better to be overdressed than under -- and to wear clothing that fits and is clean and pressed. Keep accessories and jewelry to a minimum. Try not to smoke or eat right before the interview -- and if possible, brush your teeth or use mouthwash.
Arrive on Time for the Interview -- and Prepared for Success: There is no excuse for ever arriving late for an interview -- other than some sort of disaster. Strive to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled interview to complete additional paperwork and allow yourself time to get settled. Arriving a bit early is also a chance to observe the dynamics of the workplace.
Make Good First Impressions - to Everyone You Encounter: A cardinal rule of interviewing: Be polite and offer warm greetings to everyone you meet -- from parking attendant or receptionist to the hiring manager. Employers often are curious how job applicants treat staff members -- and your job offer could easily be derailed if you're rude or arrogant to any of the staff.
First When it's time for the interview, keep in mind that first impressions -- the ones interviewers make in the first few seconds of greeting you -- can make or break an interview. Make a strong first impression by dressing well, arriving early, and when greeting your interviewer, stand, smile, make eye contact, and offer a firm (neither limp and nor bone-crushing) handshake.