Your resume has earned you a job interview, and now you have the most highly competitive stage of the recruitment process to overcome.
The interview process, in general, has become less subjective and more structured - with increased use of psychometric testing as an example. Despite this, first impressions still count and the key to success still lies in being prepared.
- The time to start thinking about the potential employer, your aspirations and questions you may wish to ask, is not when you are sitting in reception immediately before the interview (or in the car afterwards!). Careful and effective thought before this stage will pay dividends later. Here are some pointers: Research the organization thoroughly - most organizations expect candidates to undertake research prior to the interview. Look at their website, read the annual report, press releases and brochures. Find out all you can about the organization, including company history, organizational structure, size, locations, profitability, and competitors. If at all possible, speak with colleagues who may have worked there.
- In advance of the interview, and immediately before, think about the likely questions you are going to be asked and how you will answer those questions, as well as the questions you would like to ask. Bear in mind the two most common formats are the Standard Interview and the Behavioural Interview. Give some thought to how you would answer some of the questions for each, then have someone ask them to you.
- Know where to go for the interview - be sure you can arrive 15 minutes early.
- Make sure, if possible, that you know who you will be seeing for the interview, what position they hold within the organization, the amount of time they have allotted, and the likely format of the interview.
- Dress smartly - you are generally less likely to offend by dressing conservatively. Put another way, it is generally wiser to be the best dressed person in the interview room than the worst dressed.