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Following a few simple rules once you get to your interview will help considerably in convincing the interviewer that you are what they are looking for.
The first part of the interview can set the mood for the meeting on a positive or a negative. Follow the conversational tone of the interviewer and show enthusiasm about your background throughout. Be aware of your body language – smiling and making eye contact reassures the interviewer that you are interested. Ask well-informed questions based on research when given the opportunity to do so.
Types of face-to-face interviews
An understanding of the varying types of interview will help you to adapt successfully to each situation.
The screening interview ensures that candidates meet minimum qualification requirements, homing in on gaps in employment history or other inconsistencies. Highlight your accomplishments and qualifications, speaking directly and succinctly and give a range if asked for your salary requirements.
The directive interview is a rigid format used to ensure consistency between interviews. Directive interviewers use their questions to coax from you what they wish to know. Take your lead from their conversational tone.
A meandering interview style relies on you guiding the discussion and might begin with a statement like, â€œTell me about yourself.â€ This allows you to tactfully answer questions in a way that can best serve you.
The behavioural interview uses previous behaviour to indicate future performance. You might be asked to describe a time when you used problem-solving skills, adaptability, leadership, conflict resolution, multi-tasking, initiative or stress management.
Group interviews provide a sense of your leadership potential, style and peer interaction. Try to understand the reasons for a specific task being set and anticipate outcomes. Avoid power conflicts with other candidates!
At a dinner interview, take cues from your interviewer â€“ do not sit down until your host does, donâ€™t order anything expensive and donâ€™t drink if your interviewer is not. Only talk business when they do.
Follow-up interviews usually take place to confirm the decisions of the interviewer. They may be having difficulty deciding between a short-list of candidates or require the second opinion of a colleague before a hiring decision is made. Be confident throughout and have a prepared plan for negotiating your salary.
One major advantage of undertaking a phone interview is that you cannot be seen â€“ exploit this benefit. Have all your materials organised in front of you and take the call in a comfortable room away from potential distractions.
What NOT to do in an interview
Â· Arrive late
Â· Mumble or talk too much
Â· Hide any aspect of your previous record or overstate qualifications
Â· Refer negatively to your current employer
Â· Show ignorance about the company
Â· Initiate salary discussions
Shake hands with the interviewer, thank them for their time and follow up with a thank you note. Your recruitment consultant can then act as a mediator between you and the company, negotiating the best package should you be offered the post and gaining constructive feedback if you are unsuccessful. If you are turned down, donâ€™t take it to heart. Look forward to the next opportunity and concentrate on improving each time.