The formal definition of an interview is a meeting during which someone is asked a series of questions to determine if they are suitable for a particular job. The informal take on that (and the way most interviews are carried out these days ) is that an interview is a conversation between two or more people where both parties are trying to figure out if the opportunity is a good fit.
The following interview checklist should help you to prepare in advance and offer some good insights to the different styles of interviews out there:
1. Preparation is Key: (A few essential points to notes here):
- Research the company: Study the company, it’s values, mission, structure and learn from their social media pages, press releases r.e any recent news/ developments
- Find out who the interviewers are – Look them up on Linked In and prepare some questions on their own individual backgrounds
- Study the Job Description – Know the parts of your experience and background that are particularly relevant and will add value to the position
- Know your CV – Be able to talk through your CV and experience with ease and confidence and be able to explain any gaps
- Practice your answers out loud – Prepare answers for the typical questions asked and practice these out loud – Why are you interested in this role? Why do you think you’d be a good fit for this position? What do you know about our company? What do you see as being your key strengths? What would your manager say about you?
2. Find out What Type of Interview it will be:
- Informal chat V’s structured competency/ behavioural interview. If competency based, then look through the requirements section of the job description and pull out the key competencies and prepare examples of these in advance. Don’t make these up. They need to be real work life examples. When giving your examples, try to think of the STAR approach – Situation, Task, Action, Result. So you paint the picture (S), highlight what the issue/ task was (T), what action you took (A) and what the result/ outcome was (R)
*Feedback we have received from clients is that all too often candidates are very strong on the S & T part of their answers (i.e painting the picture and explaining what the task was) however they tend to fall down on the A & R part of their example (what actual action you took and what the final outcome was)* (It’s Important to include all aspects of the STAR approach in your examples)
3. Dress the part:
- Whether it be in person or via video, what you wear and how you hold yourself says a lot about you. This is where things have changed slightly. The day of wearing a full suit and/ or tie is almost gone, however you still need to look professional at all times. So always err on the side of caution and dress smart/ smart casual. If it’s a virtual interview, it’s still important to dress smart.
4. Be on Time
- Plan your route in advance if it is an in person interview or if it’s online do a tech check
5. Tech Check
- Chose a quiet place in your home, make sure your internet connection is stable and give yourself plenty of time to log in early. The last thing you want is additional tech stress. Silence your own phone
6. Good non verbal behaviour
- If it’s an in-person interview, greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake. Keep good eye contact, sit upright and have an open body posture and look interested. Listen and interact with your interviewers. Smile and be aware of your body language. Be friendly and open and respectful. Same applies for virtual interviews
7. Question, questions, questions
- Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer questions of your own and be bold with these. Interviews are a two way conversation so always have some questions prepared in advance and put some thought into them.
8. Be Yourself
- Last but not least remember to be yourself, everyone else is taken!