- Be prepared.
- Research the prospective employers company, websites often a good point of reference.
- Understand the role and put some thought in advance of any similar roles you may have had as it is likely the client will have a specific interest in that experience.
- Do your research on the location.
- Be confident and enthusiastic.
If your looking for work overseas it is likely your first interview will be a telephone interview. The telephone is not the best method of interviewing but when distance is an issue it is often used as a first point of contact to enable the prospective employer to discuss the role and to discuss your experience.
Telephone interviews, being a less formal point of contact are often carried out without a prior time being arranged. Bearing this in mind and as the interviews are often conducted on a mobile phone you can find yourself receiving a call at an unexpected time. Be prepared for this, carry a copy of your CV on your person along with a list of questions you want to ask the client. Don’t address salary in a telephone interview unless the client raises the question first. If it is inconvenient for you to speak, explain yourself and request the client call you back at a more convenient time.
Confirm your interest in the job at the end of the call with the client.
Face to Face Interview
If you are in the same country or you have the opportunity to fly over to meet a prospective employer in person it is essential you prepare for a face to face (F2F) interview as the F2F will likely be the final and most important interview with the next stage hopefully resulting in a formal offer of employment.
Our Top Ten Tips for F2F Interviews
- Make a positive first impression. Smile be positive and warm. Don't be negative or critical. Have positive and interested body language.
- Research the company their services, project portfolio etc. Get a brochure or visit their website and read it. At an appropriate time during the interview, make reference to something about the company that you have found out.
- Listen to the question asked and answer that question and that question only. If you must digress, make sure you clearly link to the question asked.
- Let them run the interview their way - even if you think they are doing it badly.
- Remain positive and answer their questions, giving them the information they want.
- Keep your eyes on their eyes. One of the most common breaks of eye contact occurs when people are thinking of an answer - that's no excuse. While you are thinking, remain attentive to the person you are speaking with by maintaining eye contact.
- Travel light. If you have the day off and intend to go shopping, do it afterwards. Going to an interview with as many bags as a pack mule makes you look cumbersome.
- Frame the answers to your questions in their language. Every industry has a favourite lingo. If you are crossing industries use their 'buzz words' instead of your old ones to show you have done your homework and can relate.
- Towards the end express your interest in the position and give them genuine tangible reasons why you are interested. Be positive and confident as you ask them for some feedback on your suitability for the role. Finally reinforce your interest and ask if you can be taken to the next stage.
- Relax and be positive. They are interviewing people because they need someone. Most interviewers are looking for reasons to employ people.
Your Personal Appearance
The key here is to dress to the level that would normally be required in the position. In a corporate role, this would be business suit for men or business attire for women. If you are apply for a role where you will be visiting rough or dirty places, wear what you would wear on a day when you were expecting to see an important client. Also, make sure that your clothes are clean and neatly ironed.
Personal grooming: Make sure your hair, make-up etc is at its best. Be sure of your personal hygiene - this means no bad breath, body odour, dandruff on the shoulders etc.
Know Your Product - You
Before you formally start your interview an interviewer may engage you in a general conversation. This may happen as you walk to the room, get a coffee or whenever.
They may not be consciously looking for it, but be ready to talk about your life outside of work in a way that shows 'you have a life' and not in a way that may indicate that your personal life impinges on work.
Without referring to your resume, be able to give a brief overview of your work history. Again without referring to your resume, be able to talk in detail about your last three positions. This will entail a couple of sentences on the company, a couple on what your role was, and then detailed information about your achievements.
To identify your achievements ask yourself:
- what was my task
- how was my job performance measured?
- what reasons did I have or would I have had to justify a pay rise?
- what were my key performance indicators?
- Then, think of a couple of examples for different situations that relate to your work experience. It is called behavioural based interviewing
[Q] What would you do if you where in this situation?
[A] Well I experienced a similar situation and did this...
It may be asked as bluntly as 'where do you see yourself in five years?' or it may not. Either way, there is a good chance you will be asked this question.
Have an answer ready that reflects some positive truth about you while not shooting yourself in the foot. Remember that you are being interviewed for a certain position; by the time you are employed, trained, and up and running, they want their money back in that position before promotion.