The most important thing to remember about your initial interview, is probably the most obvious!
‘You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’
This is so true when it comes to your initial interview, the client will be watching you from the second you enter their offices. So always heed the following interview tips:
- Always research the company prior to your interview as much as possible, look at the company website, request brochures. Gain as much information as possible from your Recruitment Consultant, they may well have met the clients and have a good insight into their personalities and requirements.
- Always ensure you are on time. If possible try the journey to the office the day before, to check for distance, time and anything that may hold you up like roadwork’s, rush hour traffic, parking etc.
- Always be ready to present at your interview a copy of your CV. Also, if possible any supporting evidence of production figures, reference, testimonials, achievement awards etc.
- Appearance is vital to any successful interview, this will be one of the first points your interviewer will judge you on. So always ensure you are smartly dressed, ideally some form of business attire. If you are not sure what is appropriate, then always ask for advice.
- Create the right impression as soon as you enter the building. Receptionists, secretary’s and other members of staff have an opinion too, and are often only too happy to share it!
- When you meet your interviewer for the first time always maintain strong but friendly eye contact. Make sure your handshake is strong and firm. Introduce yourself and greet them with a warm and friendly smile.
- Your initial conversation should be again warm and friendly, ideally centered around your interviewer. Remember at this stage you are showing the interviewer your people skills.
- Your interviewer will have a number of questions that they will want to ask you. Listen to each question in turn, and think about the answers before you give them. Always think about what the interviewer wants to hear, and focus your answer around that. But always be honest about yourself and your own abilities.
- When answering questions, try and draw on past experiences, this will give the interviewer an insight into the way you handle yourself in various situations. Also never be afraid to sell yourself, that’s exactly what your there to do so talk openly about any achievements you may have had, business or personal.
During your interview remember the following points:
- Smile often and remain friendly and open in your approach.
- Be aware of your body language at all times. You should appear open, forward and confident.
- Sell yourself whenever possible. Give them reasons to offer you the position.
- Think about the question before you give your answer.
- Give clear and precise answers and don’t oversell yourself. Always try and remain aware of who is doing most of the talking during the interview.
- Avoid criticising previous employers or colleagues.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If appropriate follow up your interview with a letter of thanks, this shows interest and professionalism.
At the end of the interview
At the end of the interview you will normally have the opportunity to ask questions. Use any of the questions, or any others you have to ensure that you are comfortable and understand exactly what the position involves.
If you are happy then you should always ask for feedback from your interviewer. There are a few reasons why this is so important.
- It shows the interviewer that you are confident enough to ask for constructive feedback.
- It provides you with a final opportunity to overcome any concerns the interviewer may have about you.
- It should give you a good idea of where you stand in relation to other applicants the interviewer has seen, or against other interviews you have attended.
The easiest way to phrase this question is simply:
‘Do you have any concerns or reservations about me or my ability to do the job?’
If the client does raise any concerns then answer them! Ideally by giving examples of how you may have overcome this concern in previous situations. Then ask the question again, always remember your ideal outcome from first interview is a second interview (or occasionally an offer!)
Questions you may be asked
- Tell me a little about yourself
- What do you know about us?
- What can you bring to the table?
- Tell us about your previous experience
- How does this relate to our position?
- Give me examples of difficult situations you may have been involved with
- What do you hope to achieve here?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What motivates you?
- What demotivates you?
- Why should I offer you this position?
Questions you may want to ask
- How has the vacancy arisen?
- Can you tell me a little about the companies plans?
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
- Can you tell me what opportunities are available within the company?
- What sort of person are you looking for to fill this role?
- Who are your main competitors?