9 Interview Tips to Land The Job
Being invited for an interview is a big deal, and should be treated as such. You have managed to make it past the first few hurdles, and now have the opportunity to showcase some of your qualities in person. It’s time for you to seize the day, and go get that job! Below are some interview tips to give you the best chance of success in your job search.
Be on time
Although being punctual will not get you the job, arriving late will make you look unprofessional, disorganised and disrespectful. What’s more, you’ll rob yourself of the full amount of time allotted to you. Get into the habit of arriving 30 minutes early. That way, if there is heavy traffic or parking issues, you’ll still be on time.
Know the company and it’s numbers
If you’re applying for a company that is required to publish quarterly reports, make sure you read them over. Get a feel for what metrics are important, and what the overall company strategy and culture is.
Know the division, interviewer and job
Not only is it important to know what the company does, but in the case of bigger firms, it is critical to uncover what the particular division or department is responsible for as well. The easiest solution? Speak to someone in the division before the interview.
Next, scrutinize the job specifications for the position you’re applying for. If you are unclear about any part, don’t hesitate to ask questions during the interview.
Finally, do some research on the persons that will be interviewing you using sites such as LinkedIn. However, be careful how you gather the information. It’s a means to advise and guide the conversation, rather than a topic for discussion.
Research generic interview questions, and prepare some responses
Generic interview questions pepper the internet. Prepare accordingly. However, if you’re thrown a generic question, don’t pull out a generic answer. Authenticity is extremely important during an interview, and most interviewers will immediately know if you’re reciting an answer you’ve read.
Ensure that you have a good grasp of company dress-codes before going to an interview. Although most businesses prefer a business-casual wardrobe, there is no harm in double-checking before you attend. Over-dressing can also be detrimental to your chances, but if you’re unsure, always err on the side of formal wear.
Switch off your phone
There is no reason for having your phone on during an interview. As much as you are waiting for the text from the girl or guy you met last Friday, they can wait.
Watch your body language
Keep a good posture at all times, whether sitting or standing. Make regular eye-contact (without creeping people out) and keep your palms open. Relax, breathe deeply, speak slowly and remain calm.
Listen carefully and answer concisely
Listen carefully to any questions and instruction from the interviewers. If you’re unsure of what they’re asking, feel free to ask for more clarity. When you get around to delivering your answer, be careful not to babble. A short, concise answer that covers all the points is better.
Have your own questions prepared
A job interview is not only about the employer finding out if you might be the right person for the job, but also for you to find out if you would like to work there. Make sure that you prepare a few questions regarding issues that are critical to yourself and your career. This will ensure that you are not surprised at a later stage, and indicate that you are a critical thinker who cares about their career.
Take the right documents with you
Make sure that you take the right documents with you. Here are some key documents that might be useful at an interview:
- Copy of your CV
- Copy of your ID and/or Passport
- Copy of your drivers license
- Copies of you qualifications
It is not necessary to give these to the interview when you arrive, but keep them with you just in case.
In the end, there’s a general culture of nonchalance in South Africa with regards to interviews. Why not stand out from the crowd by preparing properly?
We hope you enjoyed this piece. Stay tuned for more!
Martin is a running enthusiast with a Comrades Marathon in him (or two). Prior to co-founding Talent Magnet, he worked in Human Resources at Old Mutual and looked after HR initiatives across the unit. Martin studied at the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Reading and has an innate understanding of the digital landscape.