With the recent upturn in the market, there seems to be more and more opportunities presenting themselves, in all industry sectors. Every opportunity means interviews, and lots of them. To be successful and confident at interview the most important preparation you can make is to read over your CV again and again.
You have to know your stuff!
Don’t assume you know your career history, you don’t. In the stressful atmosphere of an interview, you will be tense, under pressure and you can be absolutely certain you will completely forget most of what you intended to say.
The only antidote to this is in advance recall every task you have done, in detail. Recall how the events you document on your CV came to be, what was your involvement, who did you work with, what did you do, and what was the result. In other words: Refresh your memory in advance of the interview, don’t wait until you are asked to start trying to recalling a past event. Only by thinking through all your experience and achievements in advance, will you be able to relate these tasks promptly, in detail and with confidence.
Knowing your CV is obvious, but it’s amazing how many people assume they do, but don’t.
All the above is a given, but there are some other do’s and don’ts that must be noted.
Do remember that you are on a selling mission and at interview, you are the product, so you must sell yourself. It’s not a time for modesty; if you don’t outline your skills and abilities the interviewers will never know. Don’t be afraid to tell them about what you do, what you have done and your achievements. Telling these facts nicely will not be considered bragging, unless, you tell it in a bragging style, it’s what the interview is all about. That is deciding if you have the requisite abilities for the job on hand. So talk, plenty of talk so long as it’s relevant.
Do research the company you are applying to. Let it be seen, you know about the company’s products and progress over the last few years. If possible review their financial statements so you can make an intelligent comment when appropriate.
Do allow the interviewer to prattle on if they want. If you suspect you know more than your interviewer about any topic being discussed, don’t compete. Use your knowledge in the course of conversation but, never upstage the interviewer.
Do Bring with you everything you might need and that includes three or four copies of your CV
Do double check the address to which you are to attend. The ‘ABC Corporation’ may have several addresses around the city.
Do ask a few pertinent questions pleasantly and with a smile.
(One extra ‘Do’ that I nearly forgot. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!)
Do Not ever be late for an interview. There is no excuse you will ever think of, that is acceptable.
Do Not ever criticise past employers or colleagues. Speak with fond memories.
Do Not ever be personal, familiar or start a joke.
Do Not ever ask about salary.
Do Not ever get entrenched on an issue. Offer an opinion if asked, but do not argue. If you think you are arguing with an idiot………..SO DO THEY!
Do Not ever offer views about the company unless asked. Even then, be complimentary rather than critical.
The Never Ever’s
Never Ever smoke before an interview. A five minute chew on a piece of gum does not work. If you are a smoker, abstain for several hours before the interview and do not smoke in your car on the way. Your clothes will reek of cigarette smoke and this is frequently a complete turn-off for some employers. Suffer it for an hour or two.
Never Ever eat heavily spice or flavoured food before an interview. Your breath is your own, so keep it to yourself. Also do you really want a dose of the rumbles or worse, repeating in front of an interview panel? Ideally, eat lightly and well in advance.
Further information about the author, Colm Cavey can be seen below and also at: www.jobdoctor.ie