Interviewing 101

Posted: 03.21.2014

Interviewing 101: 

Preparation is vital and it goes without saying that you should turn up for the interview knowing as much as possible about your prospective employer and the role that you are being considered for. Of course, no two interviews are ever the same and the line of questions that you take will be determined by the nature of the company and the people who are interviewing you.

I have always been more impressed by candidates who ask me questions. The process should never be one sided. Remember, however, the interviewer should control the interview. You want to make sure you answer questions well and provide examples concisely and in brief format. Definitely your questions should add value to the interview so plan accordingly.
There are at least three questions you should definitely have ready to ask for every job interview. Remember the aim is to sell yourself as a bright, motivated, confident, and ambitious individual - and not to be too obvious about it. The people who are interviewing you will have heard it all before and they will be looking for someone who has that extra ambition to excel or personality which sets them apart from the rest of the crowd.

Here are three questions to consider:
What qualities are you looking for in the person you are hoping to appoint? This may sound like a very obvious starting point but it is vital for both parties to grasp exactly what it is needed from the candidate in terms of skills and experience. Remember the whole point of the interview is to prove you are the person that they want and are looking for.

What scope is there for personal development at your company? It is important to show any prospective employee that you are the type of person who is ambitious and is looking to move their career forward. Any ambitious and forward thinking company will be looking for like-minded individuals. Ask a question which will give you the chance to show just how driven you are.

Is there anything you have seen in the other people on the shortlist that you have not seen in me? This is a great question to throw into the mix as the interview is drawing to a natural close. I remember a candidate asking me this once and I had to smile because it left me with nowhere to go. As well as turning the tables on the panel it is also a great way of gauging just how well your skills fit this role throughout the course of this selection process. You should always be looking to improve and getting feedback from an interviewer is a crucial part of this. It is a risky strategy to take because you might get an answer you are not happy with. But if you are prepared to take a risk, then this final question is a gamble that just might pay off.

Bob Underwood
Career Mentor, LCFHRA

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