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Great, so you got yourself an interview, what now?

Getting Prepared

You have received the awesome news that you have been selected for an interview. Congratulations! There is a lot you can do from this point forward to maximise your chance of success. “Prepare, prepare, prepare”  cannot be over stated.

Collate all of the resources that you need to help you prepare, the job description, the company website, press releases and the company location. Consider how you will get to the job location on a daily basis so that you can answer that question if you are asked.

Read the job posting or job description again to remind yourself of the specifics, read about the company on their website, look at their products and services, press releases and also the ‘about us’ page. Build a picture of the company and what challenges and opportunities it might face and how your experience can help them within context of the job description.

Read over your CV and think about those elements that will be relevant to this job. If you are asked and even if you aren’t, you can draw these experiences out in the interview process.

Think about the questions that you might be asked and be prepared to provide a short and succinct overview of the company. It will impress the interviewers and show that you have done your homework.

 Now you need to prepare but what kind of interview is it, Telephone, Video or Face to Face? It matters because the preparation for each on is different.

62% of interviewers said candidates that made poor eye contact wouldn’t get the role

50% of interviewers said they would eliminate a candidate very quickly for wrong dress and behaviour

The Telephone Interview

A telephone call is usually a conversation in which you will be qualified before being invited into the office to meet face to face. It’s a great opportunity to sell yourself without the additional strain of having to travel and go through the meet and greet process. You can focus on presenting yourself in the best possible light, without distractions.

You will need to prepare for the interview as you would do a face to face interview, reading up on the company and the job description but you won’t need to consider:

  • ✗ Getting an outfit
  • ✗ Planning your route
  • ✗ Getting a haircut

But you will need to make sure that you are in a quiet place without any distractions. Somewhere that you have a good telephone signal. If it is a voice call but using a messaging service like whatsapp or skype, remember that you also will need a good internet signal.

Here are things you should consider specific to a telephone interview:

  • ✓ Quiet location, no door bells or dogs barking
  • ✓ Good telephone signal
  • ✓ Consider if you need to top up your phone before the call
  • ✓ Internet connection if using a voice over IP service like Skype
  • ✓ A headset if you think you might need one

The Video Interview

A Skype interview can be a useful method for introductions without either party having to travel. The interviewer has the option of doing the interview from their desk using a headset and they don’t need to book a meeting room if they chose not to. Video interviews can be a bit daunting especially if technical gremlins try to sabotage it for you.

Make sure that you have a quiet place without distraction, as you would with a telephone call. Consider your surroundings, what do you want to be in the background that the interviewer can see? Perhaps not the picture of a Ferrari or your bedroom wall? A blank wall usually works best and keeps the focus on you!

Make sure you microphone, and camera are working on your computer and test is so that you can see how it frames your face. Do you want to be further back, showing your body for example of would you prefer just to show head and shoulders? It’s entirely up to you but interviewers are hopping on to video conferences all day and usually aren’t too fussy as long as they can see and hear you.

Here are things you should consider specific to a video interview:

  • ✓ Quiet location, no door bells or dogs barking
  • ✓ Location with a neutral backdrop behind you
  • ✓ Working camera and microphone
  • ✓ Good internet connection
  • ✓ Select and outfit
  • ✓ Some grooming if required

It’s a good idea to have a headset to hand just in case and also discuss a back plan, perhaps share you direct telephone number so that you can speak to each other and make other arrangements if the technical gremlins do get the better of you.

The Face2Face Interview

The onsite interview isn’t your first interview for this role, it might indicate that you are moving up through the selection process and have been shortlisted. Now it’s time to dress up and walk the walk.

You have already done your prep on the client and perhaps spoken to them already. Meeting them in person is a chance for them and you to solidify their views and start to make a decision.

Look at the address and plan your route, double and treble check your travel plans and have a back-up option if possible. The best advice is to arrive early and perhaps wait in a coffee shop etc very close the where the interview will be. It is always better to be early and not late. Make a note of who you should ask for on arrival in case you forget when you arrive!

Here are things you should consider specific to a face to face interview:

  • ✓ Select an outfit
  • ✓ Grooming if required
  • ✓ Plan your travel route
  • ✓ Note the name of who to ask for upon arrival
  • ✓ Arrive early
  • ✓ Don’t look at you watch during the interview
  • ✓ Maintain good eye contact
  • ✓ Remember you deserve this job!



In The Interview Tips

In the interview

Talk about examples that had positive outcomes and remember that the interview will want to know about your successes, not other peoples, so say I and not WE when describing your successes.

You will probably be asked to describe challenges that you have overcome. Be prepared for this these questions because the interviewer may want to dig further into the mechanics of how you overcame the challenge and validate your exact role in the process.

Be able to describe your working methods, tools and techniques and be prepared to answer any questions. You can describe the benefits and value that your expertise in this area brings and how that helps you to be able to meet goals and deadlines.

If your phone rings, don’t panic! Just mute it and apologise and then carry on.

If there are multiple interviewers, make eye contact with all of them so that the interviewers feel that you are making a connection with them.

 Avoid negative words and phrases like, stress, to be honest, not sure, don’t know

Did you know that moving your eyes to the left can indicate that you are accessing the creative side of the brain and suggest that you might be making it up as you go along?  And that eyes moving to the right can indicate that you are recalling a memory of something that actually happened? Something to consider but don’t lose your train of thought worrying too much about which way your eyes are pointing!

Also a poise with fingertips touching each other in an upright position shows confidence but fidgeting fingers can indicate that you are uncomfortable.

Don’t be afraid to say “that’s a good question, may I spin that slightly and answer what I think you’re getting at by telling you…” this is where you can use you’re your prepared answer/anecdote and recall it with passion and confidence in your professional record.

 A question about the kinds of environments you like to work in, or if you’re the first to the pub or last to the pub on a Friday, or simply how sociable you are, are all designed to draw out how you might fit in socially. Be careful not to overdo it on the social side be do come across as being friendly, a team player and somebody that turns up to after hours events or gatherings.

Interviewers often want to hear about longevity that they can expect from a potential candidate and won’t be impressed if you tell them your dream of opening a restaurant the following year, so have an idea of the career progression that you wish to take, maybe even ask about what routes are typically taken by those in the position that you’re applying for.

Be friendly, ask the interviewer how long they have worked for the company and how they have enjoyed it this far.

Focus in on your responsibilities and ask what’s the most important thing required from you would be and how you could hit the ground running if hired.


Traditional Competency/Behavioural Questions

Competency/Behavioural interviews) are quite logical in approach. The questions look to validate your experience and skills. Expect to be asked questions that are situational, specific circumstances and be prepared to provide evidence based answers. Give structured answers that demonstrate your understanding of the questions, describe the specifics of the situations and how you managed it while drawing the specific experience and abilities that enable you to do so. Be sure to emphasise the success and its positive impacts. This type of interview is designed to predict how you might behave and perform in the future.

Some common questions to expect are as follows…

  • How did you deliver?
  • How well was it received?
  • Describe a significant challenge and how you overcame it?
  • What is a situation where you have to negotiate?
  • How do you deal with difficult people and situations?
  • What are the qualities that would make you ideal for this job