Saturday, 13 August 2011

Priciples Of Good Interview

1. Don’t seat unless you are asked to. This shows respect.
2. Greet and shake their hand firmly as you are introduced to the interviewers. Look them in the eyes, and say that you are pleased to meet them. These first few seconds are so important in creating a favourable impression. Remember: you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

3. Dress smartly and professionally. Even if the dress code is casual for the organisation concerned, it always pays to be smart for the actual interview. Over dressed is better than under dressed. Avoid bright colors! Limit accessories to 10. In every button count one! Don’t use necklace or bracelet. Use only watch. Make a smart lasting impression. First impression lasts.
4. Switch off your mobile or anything else (such as a pager or digital watch) that might make a noise. I once chaired an interview panel for a senior executive position and, in one of the interviews, the interviewee's mobile went off twice (he didn't get the job).
5. Take two or three slow, deep breaths when you are actually called into the interview room, to calm your nerves and your breathing if you are anxious about interviews.
6. Speak clearly and enthusiastically about your experiences and skills.
7. Answer the questions in a confident, firm voice. Don't mumble or rush or be too hesitant.
8. Answers should not be one word or one sentence, but equally should not go on too long. If you have a lot to say, having made the main points, you could finish by saying: "I could expand upon that, if you wish".
9. Keep your answers brief and concise. Don't be afraid of short pauses. You may need a few seconds to formulate an answer. Unless asked to give more details, limit your answers to two to three minutes per question. To practice you can tape yourself and see how long it takes you to fully answer a question.
10. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer(s). If there are two interviewers, give them equal attention. If there are three or more, slowly sweep your eyes from side to side like a radar beam.
11. Don't waffle (unable to make a decision). If you don't know, say so. Never, ever lie.
12. Be professional, but don't be afraid to let your personality shine through. Be yourself.
13. Mirror the interviewer’s action. Like begets alike! Image is often as important as content. What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you say. Studies have shown that 65 percent of the conveyed message is nonverbal; gestures, physical appearance, and attire are highly influential during job interviews.
14. Positive body language, smile, plenty of eye contact, firm handshake, don’t slouch when seated. Controlled enthusiasm (not like a puppy, and definitely not an excited puppy!).
15. Be positive. Employers do not want to hear a litany of excuses or bad feelings about a negative experience. If you are asked about a low grade, a sudden job change, or a weakness in your background, don't be defensive. Focus instead on the facts (briefly) and what you learned from the experience.
16. Be prepared to market your skills and experiences as they relate to the job described.
17. Research information about the company before the interview, like what activities are carried out by the employer, how financially stable the employer is, and what types of jobs exist with the employer. Researching an employer during the job search can help determine more about that organization and your potential place in it. Know how you can help the company and prepare questions to ask the interviewer about the company. Searching about the company will also prove to the interviewer that you are keen and that you are interested to work in their company.
18. Arrive early for the interview. Plan to arrive for your interview 10-15 minutes before the appointed time. Arriving too early confuses the employer and creates an awkward situation. By the same token, arriving late creates a bad first impression.
19. Bring extra resumes, and have a professional black sign pen and put it in a professional looking portfolio (black, dark blue, dark gray, dark brown). Carry a portfolio, notepad or at the very least, a manila file folder labeled with the employer's name. Know the employer’s name!
20. Do not be preoccupied with taking notes during the interview.
21. In many career fields, the lunch or dinner included during the interview day encompasses not only employer hospitality, but also a significant part of the interview process. Brush up on your etiquette and carry your share of the conversation during the meal. Often social skills are part of the hiring decision.
22. Ask questions. Always prepare 3 or 4 questions you want to ask. It shows you're keen and interested in them as an employer and can make a tremendous impression on the interviewer. Good questions require advance preparation. Don’t ask about benefits or salary.
23. Think of actual experiences that illustrate the qualities that you would bring to the job. A good interviewer will not ask the obvious or leading question such as: "Do you like teamwork?" or "Can you cope with stress?". A clever interviewer will instead ask: "Can you give me an example of how you have worked in a team and tell me how you interacted with the other team members?" or "Can you tell me a time when you were under particular stress and explain to me how you handled or resolved it?"
24. A common - but silly - question is something along the lines of: "Tell us three of your strengths and three of your weaknesses". Again be ready for this one by having planned mentally how you would respond. The strengths should be a reaffirmation of your opening statement. For example, "I have these skills ..", "I have this experience ..", "I'm the kind of person who .." As far as so-called weaknesses are concerned, do not actually admit to any, but instead express so-called weaknesses as strengths. For example, "I'm really stubborn about always being on time", "I tend to be a bit too conscientious and want to get everything right", "I'm really curious and always want to know more about things".
25. At the end of the interview, you may be asked: "Are there any questions that you would like to ask us about the company (or organisation) or the job?" Once again, be ready for this and have one or two good questions ready. As far as the company or organisation is concerned, ask a question which shows interest in the future prospects. For example: "Where are the growth opportunities for the company?" or "What do think will be the new markets that the company will want to enter in the next few years?" or "What are the key strategic objectives for the organisation in the next couple of years?" As far as the job is concerned, again ask questions that show keenness and interest in the future. For instance: "What are the training opportunities in this job?" or "How is the job likely to develop in the next year or two?" or "What chances are there for promotion in this post?"
26. Ask also if what’s the next step from here, and before leaving , thank the interviewer for his time by saying, “nice meeting you ma’am / sir and thank you so much for your time. I’m looking forward to work in this company.”
27. Again, if you are not asked this kind of closing question, you should gently take control of the interview by - before you leave - saying something like: "Before I go, could I just emphasise why I am so keen to do this job". Then use your closing statement.
28. If you cannot answer a question to your satisfaction, come back to it in your closing statement if you remember and you've thought of a better answer. Otherwise don't be afraid to phone up soon afterwards and say something like: "I'm not sure that I explained myself too well in the interview. What I wanted to say was …" You will lose nothing by this. On the contrary, it will show keenness and it will remind them of you.
29. Above all, show some enthusiasm and keenness for the job. However calculated the questions and however sophisticated the marking of the answers, most interviewers eventually make the final decision based on the overall impression and nothing makes a better impression than a positive demeanour.
30. After the interview, make an interview journal. As soon as possible, write a brief summary of what happened. Note any follow-up action you should take and put it in your calendar. Review your presentation. Keep a journal of your attitude and the way you answered the questions. Did you ask questions to get the information you needed? What might you do differently next time? Prepare and send a brief, concise thank you letter. Restate your skills and stress what you can do for the company. Also, take time to write down the names and titles (check spelling) of all your interviewers, your impressions, remaining questions and information learned. If you are interviewing regularly, this process will help you keep employers and circumstances clearly defined.
31. Follow up the interview with a thank-you letter. Employers regard this gesture as evidence of your attention to detail, as well as an indication of your interest in the position.
32. Think of the worst question you could be asked. Again plan how you would answer it. Then this question - and any other - is not going to be that tough for you.
33. Follow all these tips and you should get the job! If all this does not work and you do not win the post, ask for a debriefing interview or telephone conversation. This will impress the company or organisation and stand you in good stead for any future applications to them. Also, if you approach this exercise open-mindedly, you will learn a lot and your next performance will be even better.
34. PRACTICE! Practice makes perfect but don’t sound rehearsed!


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