THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW
The interview is without doubt the most stressful point of the job search process for the job seeker and also the one that counts most. Your potential employer has received a pile of applications and resumes. These have been weeded through. Now it's time to put faces to the paperwork and ask probing, insightful questions to determine the perfect candidate for the prized position.
Identify four or five of your most valuable strengths, thinking along the lines of personal qualities. These could include the ability to stay calm while other around you are panicking; commitment; willingness to work long hours; lateral thinking; team leader, team player, sense of humor. Prepare an example of how you have demonstrated each of these strengths and make sure you get an opportunity to mention them somewhere during the interview.
SHOW YOU ARE A GOOD FIT
List the requirements of the job point by point; match your experience to the appropriate requirements. Learn them. But make sure that, when the opportunity arises, they come out naturally and spontaneously — don't regurgitate them in an obviously rehearsed way.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
If you can't demonstrate some interest in how the company makes their money, they're unlikely to offer you any of it. The more you can find out about the following, the better:
- company size, form, locations and divisions;
- products and services, target market;
- culture and reputation;
- financial performance and history, including turnover, profitability and exports;
- major competitors.
If it is a small company that is unlisted on the stock exchange, you could be limited to word-of-mouth. But if it is a listed company you can research in libraries, trade references and newspapers.
REVIEW YOUR RESUME
Read your resume carefully to remind yourself of your past achievements and identify areas to highlight at the interview. You got to the interview stage because the interviewer saw something in the CV that appealed. Identify what it is. Practice answering likely questions on your past history that show the following.
- A logical progression from one position to the next.
- Positive reasons for moving rather than negative ones or fickle rationales.
- How your experience has been built by each successive employer and is now available to the new company.