Before any of our candidates attend an interview, we invite them in for a briefing. We will provide them with as much information on the job as possible including a job description; the organisation; the culture and the person who will be conducting the interview. Where necessary we will give them advice on interview techniques and we will even help with travel directions to get them there!
We want to arm our candidates with as much confidence, knowledge and technique as possible so that they have every chance to succeed at interview.
Remember, interviews are a two way process - the interviewer needs to find out if you are right for the company and you need to find out if the company is right for you and whether it will provide you with the challenge and job satisfaction that you are looking for.
Hot tips for a successful interview
Get to know the Company
Do your homework on the company - learn as much as possible about its services, products, customers and competition. Search company websites for mission statements, product and service information. Print off any relevant information and interesting facts and figures. There is no excuse not to know something about the company before your interview.
Learn two or three facts about the company and/or its products, so you will sound well-informed at the interview.
If you don’t have access to the internet then telephone the company and ask for a company brochure to be sent in advance
You will impress the interviewer if you learn about the company - it shows you are genuinely interested in working for them. The more you know about the company and what it stands for, the better chance you have of selling yourself.
Plan how to present your skills and application to the role and what information you would like to know.
Re-read your CV and make any notes on your CV which are particularly relevant to the job in question.
Think of questions beforehand which you would like to ask i.e. is there on-the-job training; what are the prospects for promotion.
Dress to Impress
For the purposes of an interview, it is best to err on the side of formality (unless otherwise advised). Suits are ideal for both male and female.
Your objective is to project an image that communicates professionalism, competence and presence.
I was introduced to Delaney Browne through a friend who had previously had a positive experience with the agency. The service they offered to help find me temporary work was fantastic. The interview preparation and information about the jobs I was put forward to was thorough and really paid off in securing work. In general I have found the process of temping for Delaney Browne very smooth and easy, from being kept updated by my consultant to being paid promptly. I have always found Delaney Browne staff to be very helpful, always returning my calls and treating me with a friendly and upbeat manner. The encouragement and post-interview accolade I received from my consultant has also been invaluable in helping me to feel confident and progress in the workplace as well as painting a very positive picture of Delaney Browne in general.
Above all, dress for confidence. If you feel good, others will respond to you accordingly.
See also: What Not To Wear
What to take with you
A copy of your CV, any references, a notepad, pen and a prepared list of questions that you wish to ask at the end of the interview. Only take one bag with you - and don’t forget your travel directions.
Make sure that you allow plenty of time to get to your interview. If the time of your interview is in rush hour, then allow extra time for traffic conditions. If you are not sure how to get there, then carry out a dummy run the day before.
There is nothing worse than arriving stressed for an interview. Far better to arrive early, sit outside and re-read your CV, the company information and job description.
Turn your mobile phone off!
A ringing mobile phone is not acceptable during an interview. Turn it off before you enter the premises.
Always shake hands firmly with your interviewer and smile! Offer lots of eye contact. Do not sit down until invited to. A little small talk to start with is fine. Always appear open and approachable and show lots of enthusiasm.
There is nothing worse than people playing with their hair, clicking pen tops, tapping feet or unconsciously touching parts of the body.
Keep ‘talking with your hands’ to a minimum - if you tend to gesture a lot when you talk then try clasping your hands in your lap.
One of the most neglected interviewing skills is listening.
You are bound to be nervous, so make sure that you listen very hard so that you are able to answer the question being asked of you. Do not be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question if you do not understand. If you really do not know the answer to a question, say so.
Sometimes what is not said is just as important as what is said.
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Answering typical interview questions
Interviewers tend to use certain questions to relieve their anxieties about whether you will do the job competently and whether you have the right qualities to fit into the team.
See also: Typical Interview Questions
Many interviewees fail to ask questions. Therefore, it is a good idea to come prepared with some questions to ask at an appropriate opportunity and/or at the end of the interview. This demonstrates your interest in the job and your confidence. It also ensures that you have all the information you need to make a decision if you are offered the job.
Good general questions to ask include:
- What training would I receive if hired?
- How does the company plan to market its new (line, product, service etc.)
- What are your growth projections for next year?
- How much travel, if any is involved in this position?
- What is the usual promotion timeframe?
- How often are performance reviews given?
- What kind of assignments might I expect during the first six months on the job?
- What characteristics do the achievers in the company seem to share?
Too Eager for Perks
Questions about salary, holidays, parking spaces, sick days, free soft drinks and other benefits and perks should be discussed afterwards with the Human Resources Manager, and preferably after a job offer.
Good ‘closing’ questions
Asking a closing question shows your interest and commitment to the interviewer. Never fail to ask a closing question if you are applying for a sales job!
- What is the next step in the selection process?
- When should I expect to hear from you, or should I contact you?
- When would you want me to start in this position?
Stick to the facts, never lie - it may come back to haunt you.
Sending a thank you note after the interview is more than just a courtesy, it’s another opportunity to sell yourself. Ensure that you ask for your interviewer’s business card so that you have his name and details.
If at first you don’t succeed
While job rejection can be an emotionally painful process, you should distinguish between the issue of personal rejection and rejection as an employee for a particular position. Remember, the interviewer has to pick the person who will best fill the position. If you are not that person, use the rejection as an opportunity to learn, to change certain interview-related behaviours, or to acquire extra training and/or experience.
If you have attended an interview arranged by Delaney Browne, then we will give you honest feedback from the client (whether successful or not) and where appropriate give you advice on how to present yourself differently at future interviews.
Above all, remember that attending an interview in itself is a fantastic achievement. You may have been selected above many others. If you are getting second interviews you are obviously doing something right. Continue to work on your interview skills and as with many things in life, the more you do something, the better you get at it.