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The big interview demystified…….the consolidation of thoughts

The job interview is undoubtedly the most important aspect of the selection process. It is your performance that will either begin your journey to a new and exciting career or have you scanning the employment classifieds yet again. Unfortunately many people sell themselves short at the interview and potential employers are generally not very forgiving if you do not "come up with the goods".

If you have been successful in gaining an interview then you should take pride in the fact that your application has been competitive. The next step in the process is to win the job. Potential job seekers often think that the battle is over once they have achieved an interview, when in fact it has just begun.

What is an interview about anyway?


The interview provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate in person why you are the most suitable candidate for the job.
An interview should be looked at from two perspectives, YOURS + THEIRS! We tend to look at most situations from our own perspective most of the time. You can improve your interview technique a great deal if you remember to look at the process from the employer’s perspective as well. The employer will be trying to assess what you can offer the organization. Once this has been ascertained most will be concerned with how you will fit into the organization.

INTERVIEW RESEARCH:

News of an interview is a sign of your success as a job seeker. It is also a signal for you to check your research and prepare in greater detail for the next step. Applicants, who are well prepared, perform better in an interview. There are three ways that an applicant should prepare for an interview.
1.   The position.
Make sure you understand what the new position is about. Ask for a copy of the position description from the employer and make sure you understand all the information that it contains. If you have any questions about the position description ask the employer for clarification.
2.   The organization.
Research about an organization could include talking to other employees, competitors, perusal of an annual report, or just an enthusiastic phone call to a secretary requesting more information. More specific research prior to an interview may include gathering information about the interviewer(s), expected style and content of the interview. You may even decide to visit the organization prior to interview.
3.   Your application's strengths and weaknesses: 
Always review your application as you may need to refer to it during the interview. Be prepared to talk about your application in terms of the key selection criteria.


PRESENTATION:

We are judged by society every day. During the interview this judgment is magnified. Employers only have a short time to gather as much information about you as they can. The way you look and act in the interview will decide what that information is. Creating a good first impression is vital. You should find out what the dress code is for the organization.

As a general rule you should dress slightly better than their everyday dress code. If you are still unsure it is always safer to overdress. In short, look and sound professional and feel comfortable.

Be prepared to firmly shake the hand of your interviewer/s regardless of gender. If this situation does not occur, take the time to make direct eye contact with everybody in the room greeting them with a friendly smile. This introductory body language will sometimes be enough for some interviewers to make their minds up.

During the interview maintain eye contact with the entire group and not just the person at the head of the table. Adopt an enthusiastic posture by sitting up straight and slightly forward. Avoid crossing your arms or covering up your smile. A good place for your hands is in your lap. The best way to make sure your body language is working for you and not against you, is to have done your pre-interview research. If you do this your body language will reflect a confident and enthusiastic applicant.

With this kind of knowledge, I bet you are ready to take them on.


We at HCC wish you all the best.

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