Research shows that applicants who are confident perform much better at interviews than ‘nervous nellies’. The secret of success at job interviews is to imagine you are attending an ordinary workplace meeting. This will help you relax and perform at your best. Another way to build your confidence is to prepare thoroughly. Here are a few tips to get you over the line.
Step One: Get the details right
Know exactly where you are to meet, with whom and when. Repeat these details when making the appointment on the phone and write them down. Ask about parking so you don’t get any nasty surprises ten minutes before your interview is due to start.
Step Two: Research the organization as much as possible
An interview gives you a fantastic opportunity to showcase your initiative. Demonstrate your knowledge of the organization by finding out the number of branches, their locations, the types of products and services, current projects, future company directions, and much more. Be aware of any issues facing the organization (or industry) and try to think of how your qualifications or background experience could be an asset.
Step Three: Send your references a copy of your application
Although reference checking is usually the last step in the selection process, it’s easy to get busy and forget to contact your referees. Tell your referees the names of people on the interview panel who may be contacting them so that they will be mentally prepared when they answer the phone.
Step Four: Practice answers to possible questions you may be asked
The format of the interview depends on the type of organization, but most recruiters use behaviour-based questions. For example, Tell us about a time when you experienced conflict at work. How did you handle it?’
Step Five: Prepare questions to ask at the interview
When you attend a workplace meeting, you usually think ahead about what questions you want to ask. After all, you’re there as a participant, not just a passive observer. Similarly, when you attend an interview, you need to actively prepare questions to contribute to this meeting.
Step Six: Assemble a folder to take to the interview
Prepare a business-like folder to take to the interview that contains a complete copy of your application and any supporting documentation. This helps to refresh your memory and build your confidence.
Step Seven: Clarify facts and figures about former positions
Don’t wait until you’re seated across from the interviewer before trying to remember relevant workplace achievements or how your current salary package is made up. You may get a case of ‘ummmm disease’. Remember to talk about your complete salary package that includes superannuation, car, sales bonuses, etc., not your take-home pay.
Step Eight: Plan what you’ll wear to impress
Don’t leave this until the last minute or Murphy’s Law will ensure the jacket you want to wear has suddenly become too tight, has a button missing or has wine stains down the front. There are no hard and fast rules about what to wear except to make sure you look businesslike. Never wear jeans to a job interview unless you are applying for a position with a jeans company.
This article was written by Dawn Richards.
John is a popular guest speaker at Careers Expos and is the author of best-selling career books, ‘Selection Criteria Toolkit’ and ‘Get That Government Job’. She uses her background in marketing to teach applicants how to sell themselves in their applications and at the interview.
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