- Always prepare well for an interview, and use all available information about the client company. Research the information from the job advertisement and any pointers about the company from the recruiter. The client website is usually the best source of information and will provide a fair amount of information regarding the culture of the organisation as well as its objectives and products.
- Check with your recruiter as to the dress code for the interview, even if you have seen the dress code in the staff photos on the website. Being neat and presentable is essential, and don’t forget fingernails! Don’t over-dress and put on all your jewellery!
- Check the time for the interview as well as the address and venue, and make allowances for heavy traffic on your way there. Ensure that you have the telephone number for the company in case you are held up or have a puncture! It is better to be early for the interview and to have to wait, rather than be late even if you could not help it. Also keep the telephone number for your recruiter on hand as well, in case you cannot get hold of the client.
- Obtain the names of the panel members or individuals who will be interviewing you, and also if you can, where they fit into the management of the organisation, so that you know who is the highest-ranking person, and be more attentive to his questions – he is the decision-maker generally.
- On being invited into the interview room, and if you need to shake hands, give a firm handshake, and introduce yourself by looking directly at each person to make eye contact. Eye contact, a firm handshake, and a SMILE are the keys to ensuring that you create a good first impression. With a smile, one’s eye’s become “alive” and more friendly and in the first minute of your interview, you will create a good impression, which generally catches the attention of the panel. Retain eye-contact with the decision-makers throughout the interview, as this does keep the momentum going.
- There is nothing wrong in taking a copy with you to the interview, of your CV, some notes, and even some questions that you may want to ask. Take a small folder or file into the meeting, but don’t sit reading it all the time! It is not a problem to be nervous, as many people, even those in senior positions, are nervous in these circumstances. Just remind yourself, that these managers are not “going to bite”! Just keep yourself focused and sharp, to hear what they are asking and what you need to put across. Don’t be shy to say, “I am a bit nervous” if you feel you have made an error. Take a deep breath, and Smile, and move on.
- When answering questions, make sure that you keep to the point of the question, and don’t be so verbal that everyone loses track of what you are saying. Keep answers brief, to the point, and using the right language, if it is a technical question. Don’t be too elaborate on personal points and try to keep the focus on the position, and your relevance to what is asked.
- Show interest and enthusiasm in what is said to you. If you don’t understand a question or it is put across in a manner you don’t understand – don’t be afraid to say “Could you clarify that” or “I don’t fully understand what you mean”. Or “are you asking X or about Y?”
- If they ask you questions about your salary, just give facts about what you are currently, or most recently, earning, and the benefits. If they ask what you are looking for, keep it “general” and answer something like “I would like to move up from my existing role”. Try not to give a figure – and defer the question if possible. Most times, they discuss salary with the agent and finalise it through the agency rather than in an interview, especially the initial interview.
- Just remember that the interview process is a two-way experience – the client is trying to assess you, and you also need to ask questions and contribute to the interview to find out about the client company. It should not be a one-way process from the client. In the final stage of the interview, you will possibly be asked if you have any questions, and it is positive if you have any issues to raise at this stage. Just don’t ask about salary if it has not been discussed – the agent will handle this discussion, and negotiation if it is necessary.
- At the end of the interview, thank each person for their time and show a positive manner by saying something like, “I look forward to hearing from you, as this position is one that I am really interested in, and believe I can make a strong contribution to the company from what we have discussed.”
- Do not make contact directly with the client after the meeting. The company has briefed an agency because they prefer the agent to handle all the contact with all the candidates. It is not seen as a positive move to receive queries after the interview directly from the candidate.
You are are not allowed to perform this action on demo site.