Interview tips - 7 - BBC
Material from http://www.uknetguide.co.uk/Employment/Article/Five_Steps_To_A_Successful_Job_Interview.html
The Job Interview
An interview for a new job is rated as one of the most stressful events we have to face. This five-point plan can help you tackle the challenge with confidence. (There are many websites that offer advice on interview technique. You can find a number of them on UK Net Guide’s list of Job Information Sites (www.uknetguide.co.uk/Employment/Jobs/Information_Sites.html)
1. Be prepared
Consult the company’s website and ring for a brochure, job description and
even the latest press releases, if needs be. Most employers equate no knowledge
of their company with no interest in it. Also, the more prepared you are, the
less nervous you will be and the better you will be able to sell yourself. Many
interviewers make up their minds about candidates in the first five or ten
minutes, so you need to get yourself across quickly and clearly.
2. Look the part
dress smartly and appropriately for the post you are applying for. Making a
first impression is important, and good grooming shows you have self-respect and
know how to present yourself. Check your appearance before arriving for the
interview – it’s hard for the interviewer to concentrate on what you have to say
if you have a piece of spinach caught between your teeth.
3. Body language
Communication is often more about
body language than speech. Take a deep breath and walk in with your back
straight and head held high so you look – and feel – more confident. To achieve
a relaxed smile rather than a forced grin, imagine your facial muscles are being
Say the right things
It’s too easy to talk yourself out of a job. Have some relevant points about
yourself and career rehearsed – obstacles you’ve overcome and successes you’ve
enjoyed. Avoid yes and no answers, but don’t do too much talking, just stick to
the key points without making it sound like a list. The interviewer may have
already seen several candidates that day, so you want your points to be more
memorable than the others’.
5. Be ready for anything
Some recruiters believe, probably misguidedly, that the interview process can
be helped along with questions designed to put the candidate under pressure. The
Reed employment agency says queries are getting more and more bizarre, from
“what kind of fish would you like to be – and why,” to “how would you nail jelly
to the ceiling?” Don’t be thrown off-balance – simply remember that the
interviewer is trying to find out what sort of person you really are while your
guard is down.
Kick start your career today and find a role perfect for you with our comprehensive job search.
Being interviewed for a job can be a scary business. In one way it's great to get an interview. It means that your initial job enquiry, usually in the form of a letter and a CV, has been met with a degree of approval. Great! This is a really good start. But what do you do when you end up face to face with a panel of folk firing questions at you left, right and centre? Read on to find out what can be done to prepare in advance for what can sometimes be a real ordeal.
Do Some Research and Ask Questions
Let's face it, your average employer will interview multiple people for a single job. At least one other person besides yourself is likely to have the basic fundamentals covered. That is, they will be reasonably qualified for the job, presentable in appearance, and sociable enough to navigate through the interview without serious mishaps.
The real trick is in distinguishing yourself by appearing more acceptable for the job than absolutely necessary. One of the best ways to do this is to first do some research, and then ask questions during the interview.
First, research the company beforehand if you are not employed there. Don't get caught looking silly by showing ignorance about what the company does, or how it is positioned among its peers. For this, the first place to check might be the company's own website. While setting up the interview time, it is also considered appropriate in most fields to ask for corporate literature or information.
If the business is local and public, consider stopping by before the interview. You may be able to walk around the establishment or take a guided tour. If you are applying at a large company far away, you may consider checking financial news sources for information on the company. Both the Internet and library searches of newspapers may be helpful. The amount of research you do will understandably depend on the job and salary you hope to get.
Also, find out as much as possible about the job. You may be able to get some information while setting up the interview. If you are seeking a promotion within your own company, don't hesitate to start a casual conversation with someone in the department the job is in. They may have inside information on why the job is vacant, or what exactly the interviewer is looking for.
While being interviewed, you have the option of either demonstrating your knowledge or keeping your fact-finding a secret. In many cases, interviewers will be impressed if you know pertinent facts about their company. In other cases, they may be surprised if you specifically mention personal traits that match their needs when they have not told you what traits they are looking for. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification if you are asked an unclear question. In some cases, your question may demonstrate more knowledge than an obscure answer would have.
After the interviewer has finished with their questions, it is your turn to ask what your duties will be in the new post, what the starting salary will be, whether there will be opportunities for advancements and raises, and so on. If the job is technical in nature, ask a technical question or two as appropriate. This will make the interviewer feel that you are actively interested in the position, and will reinforce the feeling that you are very knowledgeable in your field. Do not ask more than a few technical questions, or the interviewer may start feeling annoyed or defensive.
Asking questions during the interview also subtly raises the interview relationship from one where you alone are being judged, to one where you are on an equal footing with the interviewer. While this is purely psychological, it is a powerful tool in interviewing. You may find the starting salary has been raised for you, or you were considered more qualified than the other applicants, purely on the basis of the interviewer's inner feelings that you are closer to being their equal.
If you are applying for a conservative company dress conservatively. Men should opt for a dark suit, plain shirt, tie and good shoes. Women can go for a business like skirt or trouser suit. A calm hairstyle and discreet jewellery and make-up are essential.
However, if the company is a little more relaxed you can add varying degrees of colour. Still look smart and organised, because no matter how laid back the company may appear, you still have to make a good first impression as someone who will give 100% for the sake of the company.
Don't wear jeans, wrinkled/dirty clothes, anything that is in style (eg, hair bandana or giant hoop earrings) and take out any pierced jewellery that wasn't intended for the earlobes.
If the job you are applying for is summer work, then the best thing to do is dress smart casual; chinos, khakis, shirt and good shoes.
The Face - Advice from an Actor
The advice given in this section deals with how to create that perfect corporate face and posture to make the interviewer feel at ease in your presence.
Take your Time
Allow yourself a good length of time to find a job. Consciously take the pressure off yourself by setting yourself a long-term goal if you can. That way you are going into interviews without thinking 'I have to get this job or I will have to start hunting all over again' because this job interview will be one of many so you can consider the merits of this company and their package against that of the last one and against the one you are going to see next week, etc.
Performing well in interviews is just like writing a good CV and covering letter - the more practice you get the better you become. The more feedback you ask for, the more you can work on your technique in a constructive manner. If you apply for a post which turns out to be handled by a recruitment consultancy, you will find that you have to be 'interviewed' by them before they will put you up for the job. This actually means that they will make you register with them - do typing tests or other tests relevant to your field, go through your CV in detail and discuss what you are looking for. This is very useful as it focuses your mind on what you actually want. It is useful to tell them the truth as ruthlessly as you can because, if they are good at what they do, they will try and find a job that will best suit what you are after. They will also go for the job that can get you the most money, because this is where they get their money from - a percentage of the salary that they negotiate for you (from the company - you don't pay them a penny).
Dos and Don'ts
Advice from Interviewers
Now it's time to look at the dreaded interview from the other side of the fence. The advice given in this section comes from the horse's mouth so to speak - the interviewers themselves. The information given here can mean the difference between the communal toilet and the executive washroom.
Questions you will be Asked
Below is a list of questions, supplied by one Researcher, that you can be expected to be asked in an interview. You have been forewarned.
One in three' bungle job interviews
One in three workers believe they have missed out on a dream job after making "basic blunders" in an interview, according to a survey.
Top mistakes included arriving late after getting lost, being caught lying on a CV, wearing inappropriate clothes and calling the interviewer by the wrong name.
Almost half of the 1,500 office workers polled by recruitment firm Office Angels blamed nerves.
But one in five admitted to having been over-confident.
Paul Jacobs, managing director of Office Angels, said preparation was the key to a successful interview.
"Interviews are a tense period of time loaded with expectation.
"The important point to bear in mind is to not let nerves or ill-preparation result in a blunder on the day.
"Interviews are by their nature challenging - so it's best to make sure you're as prepared as possible."
Office Angels urged jobseekers to dress smartly at interviews, research the company they hoped to join and allow plenty of time for travel.
This is similar to advice given on Careers Portal, part of the National Grid for Learning.
The top of its top five tips for interview preparation was to work out your route there and how long it would take.
Second was to research the company, and third was to choose an optimum time for interview if possible - ie, not the mornings if you are not a "morning person".
Fourth was "look good", and fifth was "be punctual" - or at least call if you know you are going to be delayed.
Story from BBC NEWS:
BBC Northern Ireland Learning
Employability - Go Get It
You should prepare carefully for each interview you have. Much of confidence comes from being prepared, and when you feel confident about an interview, you’ll perform well.
Before the Interview
Research the employer - use the Internet or local library to do this. Examine the company web site or read their press releases. If they’re local, ask an employee for advice.
Research the job - find out what skills, attributes and knowledge the employers are likely to be looking for and check out how you measure up.
Research yourself - find out how this job fits into your career plan and discover why you want it. It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Know what you have to offer that’s unique. You should prepare possible answers to problem areas in your record - have explanations for poor exam results, a gap in dates or a change in direction.
Prepare answers to possible question areas and have examples and data to back them up where you can. For example, if they ask you to talk about time when you persisted in something despite facing difficulties, you should have a specific answer such as ‘My class were organising an event for charity and had problems with setting it up. But I made sure we had a plan B and sorted it out. We raised £3,000.’
Question areas are likely to be
Practise possible answers aloud because they trip off the tongue more easily with practice. But don’t memorise answers - you’ll sound more convincing if you speak naturally.
Do at least one trial run with a trusted person and if you’ve not had an interview before, do at least three. You may be able to think on your feet but it’s best to save that for the unexpected and prepare for the likely.
What to wear
Dress appropriately. Visit the workplace to see what people who work in positions like the one you’ve applied for wear and dress like that or better. Ensure that your chosen outfit is clean and ironed the day before your interview.
Complete your preparation the day before the interview and get a good sleep the night before.
On the day
At the Interview
Some do’s and don’ts!
At the end of the interview
Keep any questions you have brief and relevant. There’s no point in asking about fringe benefits before you’re offered the job but you might like to know the main responsibilities of the post if they haven’t already made this clear.
Thank the interviewers. Smile again. Leave calmly
After the Interview
Make a note of the questions you were asked and an outline of the answers you gave. Could you have answered better; can you think of better examples for next time?
Review your performance during the interview. Did you fidget, smile, speak well? Did you establish rapport with the interviewers?
If you don’t get the job, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback to help you improve, most employers will happily do this.
Now you’ve got all the inside information on doing a great interview, have a go at our Virtual Interview and see if you get your dream job!
For more information please visit:
Peace and survival of life on Earth as we know it are threatened by human activities that lack a commitment to humanitarian values. Destruction of nature and natural resources results from ignorance, greed, and a lack of respect for the Earth's living things... . It is not difficult to forgive destruction in the past, which resulted from ignorance. Today, however, we have access to more information, and it is essential that we re-examine ethically what we have inherited, what we are responsible for, and what we will pass on to coming generations. Clearly this is a pivotal generation... . Our marvels of science and technology are matched if not outweighed by many current tragedies, including human starvation in some parts of the world, and extinction of other life forms... . We have the capability and responsibility. We must act before it is too late. Tenzin Gyatso the fourteenth Dalai Lama.