Tips CV Writing – Interview Guide

The interviewer hopes that YOU are the right person for the job.They are under pressure to fill the position so that they canget back to their own work. Therefore you are in a greaterposition of strength than you think. Concentrate on what youhave to offer in the way of qualifications and experienceinstead of feeling intimidated.

An interviewer has 3 aims:
1) To learn if you are the right person for the job
2) To assess your potential for promotion
3) To decide whether you will fit into the company environment

The key to a successful interview is in preparation
Be prepared: For the types of questions you will be asked
Be prepared: To ask questions yourself
Be prepared: To research the company
Be prepared: To look the part
Be prepared: To turn up on time

Questions you may be asked

Example question: How would you describe yourself?
Your answer: Should describe attributes that will enhance yoursuitability for the position. Have some ready in advance.Example question: What are your long-term goals?

Your answer: Should be career orientated. Make sure you havegoals to discuss.
Example question: Why did you leave your last job? Your answer:Could be more responsibility; better opportunity; increasedincome. Do not be detrimental to your previous employer. Hecould be the interviewer’s golfing partner.

Example question: Why do you want this job?
Your answer: Your answer should be: more responsibility orbetter opportunity or similar. Not: because it is closer to homeor the gym. Example question: What are your strengths? Youranswer: Should highlight accomplishments and experiences thatrelate to the position for which you are applying. Also giveexamples of situations where your strengths have beendemonstrated. Example question: What are your weaknesses?

Your answer: Should not be a list of deficiencies. Don’t mentionanything that could make the interviewer question your abilityto do the job, for example “I am always late for everything.”Instead, discuss a weakness that could also be a strength suchas “I am a workaholic!”

More Examples of Interview Questions

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Describe your current / most recent position.

What made you want to make this change?

What do you most enjoy doing in your current /most recentposition? Describe your future ambitions. How would you describeyourself?

Questions for you to ask

Asking questions at interview has a number of positive effects:It helps you find out more about the company and the position.It can be used to divert the interviewer away from a subject youmay wish to avoid. It can help build a rapport with theinterviewer. It demonstrates an interest in the job and thecompany. The questions must be about the position and thecompany. Avoid questions about salary, benefits and facilitiesuntil after you have been offered the job. You should alreadyhave researched the company and it’s products and services. Yourquestions should demonstrate knowledge of the company’s history,successes and problems. If the interviewer is a representativeof the personnel department the questions should relate to thecompany and be general. Specific questions relating to theposition should be kept for the line manager who will have amore detailed knowledge.

Example questions relating to the position What are the mainresponsibilities of the job? What are the most difficult aspectsof the job? How did the vacancy arise? What is the career pathrelating to this position? How will my work be assessed?

Example questions relating to the company What is the companyhoping to achieve in the next 12 months? What new products arethe company planning to introduce in the future? Are any majorchanges planned for the department/company? Who are your biggestcompetitors?

Where to find company information Information relating tocompanies, financial data, industries and business trends isavailable in business magazines which often publish on the WorldWide Web and allow you to order Annual Reports relating tospecific companies. Companies often have their own web site.Newspapers – search on-line press reports including archivedarticles. Local library

Presentation Tips Obviously you should be clean and smart inappearance but you should also dress appropriately for theposition, for example: a student placement that is moreexpensively dressed than the Managing Director may have anegative impact. Clothes should be on the conservative side,which is more acceptable to people of all ages, cultures andbackgrounds. After all, you are asking to be accepted into thecompany. Therefore always avoid extremes in hair, clothes,make-up and jewellery. Taking trouble over your appearance showsthe employer that the job is important to you.

Travel tips Arrive 15 minutes early. Make sure you have thecorrect address and know how you will get there: Parking? Publictransport access? Do a dummy run if you are not sure. Make sureyou have a mobile phone and a telephone number so that you canring ahead if circumstances beyond your control are making youlate. Be polite to everyone you speak to, it could be theManaging Director’s cousin! Have a copy of your CV with you.

Summary You should show interest in all aspects of the job andthe company especially if shown around the premises. Do yourhomework on the company and the nature of its business. Takecare in how you dress for the interview. First impressions stillcount!

Some of the main influences on the interviewer are: Yourexperience in other employment or life situations Your personalpresentation. How your personality comes across in the interviewYour background and references Your enthusiasm for both the joband the organisation. Relevant qualifications for the position.

E & O E – Copyright 2005


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