There are four key areas of preparation:
- Know yourself
- Know the organisation with which you are interviewing
- Know the details: time, location, and appropriate dress for the interview
1 – Know Yourself
To effectively sell your qualifications to an employer, you must first know what they are. Review all aspects of your resume. Know why you chose your major and your university. Know what classes you liked and disliked. Know what skills and accomplishments you have developed through your coursework, your work experiences, your activities, and your life experiences. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Be able to talk about yourself and your personal characteristics.
Know what you want to do and how your career goals relate to the organization with which you are interviewing.
2 – Know the Organization
There are several sources of information about organizations. Most organizations provide homepages on the Internet. TAC Recruitment also provides a client summary if you are attending interviews.
We have a library on information on our clients which will be open for you to research. You are also welcome to come to our offices and use our internet facilities to research on clients.
3 – Know the Details
TAC Recruitment will send you a document with all this information.
4 – Practice
Athletes who excel in their sport share one common characteristic—they practice, practice, practice until they get better. The same is true with interviewing. Practice will help you get better. There are several ways to practice for an interview.
Practice through a mock interview. Participating in a mock interview can help you become familiar with the interviewing process. It can also give you practice at providing spontaneous, logical answers to an interviewer’s questions as well as learn how to handle the pressure of an interview. Following the mock interview you are given a critique of your answers to help identify fatal mistakes as well as strengths and weaknesses in your communication skills. Another way to practice is to anticipate questions. Take an employer’s perspective and think about what questions you might be asked based on skills needed for that organization or position. Become familiar with and develop specific examples to talk about for all aspects of your background. This is called the S.T.A.R. interviewing technique. Specific questions about your background will be asked. You will need to relay the situation, the task, the actions, and the results of your experiences. Your answer should be focused on the actions—what you did. Your answers to these questions help the interviewer understand what skills you can offer the organization.
You are Ready to Interview
1 – The Introduction
Will be very short, but a very important part of the interview. Good body posture, a firm handshake, and steady eye contact should all be displayed during the introduction. Small talk will be on informal topics of discussion to gage your spontaneity and personal interests.
2 – Questions by the Interviewer
Your preparation and practice will pay off during this portion of the interview, which will be the longest part. Most interviewers will ask good, open-ended questions that will let you give information about your background. This is the time to present those specific answers that were talked about in the practice section. General answers, such as “I am hard working and motivated,” don’t mean anything to an interviewer until you tell them why you say that. What past experiences have you had that make you say that about yourself? If you do not understand a question, be sure to ask questions that will help you focus your answer.
3 – Questions by the Interviewee
Again, this is where your preparation and practice will pay off. Prepare a list of questions for the interviewer ahead of time. Be certain you don’t ask questions that were answered in the literature or at the information session the night before. However, it is fine to ask for additional information or interpretation of information. Clarify any aspects of the position through your questions. Just as you want the interviewer to ask you open-ended questions, your questions should be stated in such a way that you will receive helpful information from the interviewer. Do not ask about salary in your first interview. Your consultant will discuss the salary information. If asked, say you are negotiable. Do not price yourself out of the market with stating too high salary expectations.
4 – Closing
Four Final Tips for a Successful Interview
- 1 – Be Prepared
- 2 – Be Yourself
- 3 – Be Positive
- 4 – Be Enthusiastic