You have done everything you can to prepare for the interview, but what about the actual interview itself? Generally, interviews follow a set pattern. The interviewer will tell you about the company and the job, ask you questions to assess your abilities, personality and suitability to the role, encourage you to ask any questions and inform you of the next stage and when a final decision will be made.
Here are some key pointers to remember.
- Greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake. Sit down when invited with an upright but relaxed posture. Do not slouch. Look the interviewer in the eye. Be positive even if you conclude that the position is not for you. You won't necessarily know what else the company is, or may be, recruiting for.
- Speak clearly and concisely. Sometimes interviewers use silence as a means of tempting you to say more than you want to on a given subject. Do not be tempted to do so.
- In an interview panel situation ensure that you are speaking to the whole group. Do not direct your answers to the person who you believe to be the key decision maker of the group. He or she may not be, and often is not.
- Pause for a couple of seconds before you respond to each question. If a question throws you, make a common sense, honest reply. Create conversation as and when appropriate. Make your questions pertinent to the interview, the company and its industry sector. Leave the interviewer with a positive affirmation of your interest.
- Ask the interviewer some questions such as: What would my core responsibilities be? What training will I be given? What are the opportunities to progress within the company?
- Most importantly, be confident. This is your big chance to sell yourself, so don't be afraid to blow your own trumpet (without being arrogant!). Always expand. Never answer a question with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. The more interesting your answers are, and the better you back them up, the more memorable they'll be. And smile.
When the interview is over, thank the interviewer or panel for their time. Say a personal goodbye to each person you talked to. And acknowledge the receptionist as you leave. Little details like this can make all the difference.