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15 Jun 2015

How To Ace That Interview: Top 5 Interview Tips For Job Seekers

So your resume and cover letter have impressed a potential employer and you’re now counting days before you are called to make a lasting impression and get hired. Now is the time to prepare for the interview and prove to the HR manager that you really are the right candidate for the post.

Job interviews are like a sales deal and you are the product. Here are the top five interview tips that will get you closer to your goal of getting that dream job:

  1. Research and Prepare:  What is the company’s background and history – its goals, mission and vision, and how well do you see yourself complying with its values?  Will you be interviewed by a Senior Manager or an HR executive? What are the interviewer’s accomplishments? The more you research, the better you will understand your potential employer, the job profile and requirements as well as the background of the person interviewing you. Research will help you prepare concise answers to questions, identify points from your resume that align with the employer’s business values and culture and be ready for the interview.
  2. Prepare: While preparing yourself for the interview, make a list of probable questions you might be asked and jot-down possible responses. Print-out your resume and highlight points and examples that you would like to elaborate; keep it handy. You need not memorize your answers; just remember them in the form of a story so that you sound fluent and confident and do not forget to talk about any accomplishments that will add brownie points to your candidature. On the day of the interview, remember to carry a copy of your work portfolio with you and don’t hesitate to draw your interviewer’s attention to it! Think of it this way – you are a premium brand and you need to sell yourself to your employer. It’s up to you to show yourself as a perfect fit for the company.
  3. Be On Time: You can never be late for an interview – period. It will jeopardise your reputation even before you earn one. Check directions before hand and understand how you’ll travel to the venue. Keep the contact numbers of the company as well as the interviewer and always inform them beforehand in case of an unavoidable delay.
  4. Dress to Impress: Just because you are going for an interview does not mean you’ll knot a tie around your neck and be stiff in a business suit. What you wear for an interview actually depends on the type of company and the nature of the job that you are being interviewed for. For a more formal work environment, sure, go for that business suit. But for a casual workplace, dress comfortably. If you’re not too sure about what to wear, you may ask the HR department about the proper attire. Your clothes should be clean and well-pressed. Go easy on the bling (keep jewellery and accessories to a minimum!) and do not bathe in a strong cologne or perfume.
  5. Don’t Forget Your Manners: ‘Manners maketh man’. Be polite, smile and greet the people you meet and shake hands confidently (neither in a flaccid nor a bone-shattering manner), make eye contact and remember your ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you!’ Switch off your cell phone and get rid of the gum you’ve been chewing. Do not slouch, fidget with a pen or your hair or look off in a distance. Finally, be honest, focussed and confident (not over confident!)

Here’s hoping that these tips will help you make a perfect first impression and ace that interview! Don’t forget to thank your interviewer personally, by an email or a post shortly after the meet. This small polite gesture will certainly give you an edge over other candidates who did not bother to send a ‘Thank You!’ note.

Need help preparing for an interview at a particular company? Talk to our expert head-hunters at www.s2m.com.au

 

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