Sharpen Your Interview Skills

Qualifications alone is not going to get you the job you have been wanting. This first step towards success the landing that job interview. But remember, excelling the interview is an art. The interviewers will test your skills and communication proficiencies. What you discuss during the interview will be above and beyond what is in your resume.

 

1. WHEN YOU ARRIVE FOR THE INTERVIEW
  • Stand when you are introduced to the interviewer.
  • Place your belongings like bags on the floor, only leave the your resume file on the table
  • If the interviewer extends his or her hands for a handshake – be firm, end with a single shake, maintain eye contact, smile and don’t hold the hands for more than two seconds
  • Thank them for the opportunity to meet and discuss your application
  • Try to connect with the interviewer – ask how they are, give out small compliments and be sincere.

Example 1: Thank you for having me today. I came in 20 minutes earlier because I thought the queue for registration will be longer at the lobby. But it took less than 5 minutes, as the security team was very respectful and quick. That was impressive.

Example 2: Hope you are doing well. I must say the office looks amazing. I want to thank you for this opportunity.

 

2. DURING THE INTERVIEW
  • When you start explaining and adding in examples, retrieve related documents easily and don’t flip through a messy file and get irritated when you can’t find the papers you are looking for.
  • Have copies of your resume and certificates ready – at least two (2) copies.
  • Show confidence when answering questions.
  • Have a friendly body language, yet still respectful and mindful that you are being assessed.
  • Show genuine interest by listening and asking relevant questions.
  • Answer the questions with direct answers coupled with examples from your previous experiences.
  • Anticipate common questions and practice your answers.
  • You are allowed a few seconds to compose yourself before answering.

 

3. BODY LANGUAGE DURING THE INTERVIEW
  • Do not fidget or move around too much
  • If you are in a panel interview, pay attention to the person asking you the question but when you reply make sure you make eye contact with everyone in the panel.
  • During an online interview, don’t play with your hair or be distracted by any other objects around you.
  • Eye contact, smile, eye contact, smile, eye contact, smile, eye contact, smile
  • Wear professional attire and light make up – to look professional.

 

4. ANSWERING COMPENSATION QUESTIONS
  • Wait for a lead in by the interviewer, don’t broach the subject on your own
  • Be clear what your expectations are but be ready to also negotiate.
  • You can also start by asking what the normal range is, in the organisation you are interviewing in.
  • Do your research on industry standards and salary scales for the position
  • Make sure you have valid explanation and examples of what you leverage you can bring to the organisation when defending your request to be at a higher end.
  • But remember not to push, be respectful, and please be realistic


5. TALKING ABOUT YOUR PAST EMPLOYERS
  • Don’t criticize a former employer
  • Don’t criticize a former boss or colleagues
  • Don’t say you did not enjoy the job or working in the organisation
  • Your reasons for applying for this new job should always growth and seniority – an opportunity you saw in the position you applied for.

 

6. DRINKING OR EATING DURING A LUNCH OR COFFEE INTERVIEW
  • Follow your interviewers lead, if they are not ordering anything to drink or eat, please avoid it.
  • You can have a cup of coffee or iced drink while you wait for your interviewer to arrive. But make sure to avoid a messy table.
  • Avoid alcohol where possible, but if you must just have one glass, but do your best to sip slowly. Do not chug down the drink in by swig.
  • Do not order a full meal, the best to have a glass of juice or a cup of coffee
  • Do not have a mouth full when talking
  • Do not check your appearance using the cutleries.
  • Please do not chew loudly or with your mouth open, again the best order would a cup of coffee or a glass of juice.
  • Please be careful of smeared lipstick, you can excuse yourself to the ‘ladies’ to check your appearances.
  • Don’t order anything overly expensive
  • Don’t fight to pay the bill, candidates are normally not expected to pick up the tab