Practical steps to a successful interview

Jan 6, 2020 | General

Now that you’ve set up an amazing CV, here are some tips to follow for a successful interview.

  • Ensure you research the company and re-read the job description so that you can practise answers to common interview questions.
  • Write down 3 – 5 things you feel the Interviewer must absolutely hear about you before you leave the meeting.
    • These things should not be ‘’soft skills’’, for example: I’m dedicated, loyal and hardworking (these are all good, but most people say this).
    • Your points should rather be something about the work you have done, your experience, special project you were exposed to, achievements or a story that
      shows your dedication, loyalty and hardworking nature.
    • During the interview, when the opportunity is right, be sure to mention these things. If the opportunity doesn’t come up and you can’t slot these into one of your answers, at the end of the meeting say something like ‘’In preparation for this meeting I prepared a few points I wanted to mention, would it be ok for me to go through these with you now?’’
  • The first meeting is an opportunity for both parties to ‘’check each other out’’, when given an opportunity to ask questions – use it! Be careful which questions you ask though, as these could create an impression about who you are.
    • The number of leave days, lunch hours and working hours are all important things, but if asked too soon, could create the wrong impression. Rather keep your questions focused on the work – what will be expected of you in the first 90 days, what challenges you’ll face, training and the people you’ll be working with.
  • Use the STAR method in answering questions. Be prepared to answer questions when you used a specific skill and tell stories with clear Situation, Task, Action and Result.
  • Be prepared with examples of your work. You may be asked about work you’ve completed in relation to the position.
  • Prepare clever questions for your interviewers. The employer will want to know that you’re thinking seriously about what it would be like to work there. An example is: “Can you explain some of the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?”
  • Make a great first impression. Ensure that you are well dressed, arrive at least 10 minutes early. Don’t speak negatively
    about your previous employers. Focus on talking about what you’ve gained and what you want to do next.
  • Salary: We can’t stress this enough – do not start the negotiation! Allow the company to put the first offer on the table. You could go in asking for more than they were willing to offer or asking for less than they had in mind.

Tip: If you don’t know the answer to a certain question, it is perfectly acceptable to pause for a moment and simply state, “Let me think about that for a moment.” The interviewer will appreciate you taking time to give them a thoughtful answer. Be sure to provide specific examples wherever possible.
Taking time to prepare for an interview will ultimately help you feel more relaxed and confident during the process.