How to conduct yourself during an interview

Preparation is the first essential step toward a successful interview.

It is important to

Do some research on the company interviewing you. You should know what its products and services are, where its plants, offices or stores are located, what it's growth potential is for the future. There are a number of publications which provide information about prospective employers. Most of them can be found in any college or public library.

Prepare the questions you will ask during the interview.

Remember that an interview is a "two-way-street". The employer will try to determine through questioning if you have the qualifications necessary to the job. You must determine through questioning whether the company will give you the opportunity for the growth and development you seek.

Preparing for the interview..

Some probing questions you might ask ...

  • A detailed description of the position?
  • Reason the position is available?
  • Anticipated indoctrination and training programme?
  • Company growth plans?
  • The next step in the hiring process?

Men should dress in a business suit (NO SPORTS CLOTHES),white or soft pastel shirt, conservative tie, dark socks, shoes well shined and a neat hair-style.

Women should dress very tailored and conservative (NO TROUSER SUITS).

Be prepared for a technical interview or possibly a written test

Be prepared to answer questions like these

  • Why did you choose this particular vocation?
  • Why do you think you might like to work for our company?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What do you think determines a person's progress in a good company?
  • Can you get recommendations from previous employers?
  • What contributions to profits have you made in your present or former position to justify your salary level there?
  • Can you take instructions without feeling upset?
  • What is your major weakness?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • How would you cope with relocation i.e. would you sell your house or rent it out etc. ?
  • How do you spend your spare time?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What type of books do you read?
  • What job in our company do you want to work towards?
  • What jobs have you enjoyed the most? The least? Why?
  • What are your special abilities?
  • Do you mind working long hours?
  • Are you prepared to travel within Australia , or abroad?

The interview

You are being interviewed because the employer wants to hire people - not because he wants to trip you up or embarrass you. Through the interaction that will take place during the interview the employer will be searching out your strong and weak points, evaluating you on your qualifications, skills and intellectual qualities and the interview will probably probe deeply to determine your attitudes, stability, motivation and maturity.

Some DO'S & DON'TS

DO plan to arrive on time or a few minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable.

If the employer presents you with an application form to complete, DO fill it out neatly and completely.

DON'T relax and rely on your CV or application, or assume it will do your selling for you. Most employers will want you to speak for yourself.

DO greet the employer by his/her surname. Give the appearance of energy as you walk. Smile! Shake his/her hand firmly. Be genuinely glad to meet the employer.

DO wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright in your chair. Look alert and interested at all times. Be a good listener as well as a good talker. Smile ...

DON'T smoke even if the employer smokes and offers you a cigarette.

DON'T chew gum.

DO look a prospective employer in the eye while you talk to him/her.

DO follow the employer's leads, but try to get the employer to describe the position and the duties to you early in the interview so that you can relate your background, skills and accomplishments to the position. Remember, although he/she is interviewing you, you should be interviewing him/her as well.

DON'T answer questions with a simple "yes" or "no". Explain wherever possible. Tell those things about you which relate to the situation.

DO make sure that your good points get across to the interviewer in a factual, logical and sincere manner. Stress achievements.

DON'T lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and as "to the point" as possible.

DON'T ever make derogatory remarks about your present or former employer or companies.

DON'T over answer questions. DON'T waffle.

DON'T enquire about SALARY, VACATIONS, BONUSES, RETIREMENT, etc. on the initial interview unless you are positive the employer is interested in hiring you. If the interviewer asks you what salary you want, indicate what you've earned but that you are more interested in opportunity than a specific salary at the present.

DO always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing. NEVER close the door to an opportunity. It is better to be in a position where you can choose from a number of positions - rather than only one.

Negative Factors Evaluated by an Employer

During the course of the interview, the employer will be evaluating your negative factors as well as your positive factors. Listed below are negative factors frequently evaluated during the course of the interview and those which often lead to the rejection of the candidate.

  • Poor personal appearance.
  • Overbearing - overaggressive - conceited "superiority complex"- "know-it-all."
  • Inability to express thoughts clearly - poor poise, diction or grammar. Too much waffeling not enough content.
  • Lack of planning for career - no purpose or goals.
  • Lack of interest or enthusiasm - passive or indifferent.
  • Lack of confidence and poise - nervousness.
  • Over emphasis on money - interested in only the best money offer.
  • Evasive - makes excuses for unfavourable factors in record.
  • Lack of tact - maturity - courtesy.
  • Condemnation of past employers.
  • Failure to look employer in the eye.
  • Limp, fishy handshake.
  • Failure to ask questions about the job.
  • Persistent attitude of "what can you do for me?"
  • Lack of preparation for the interview - failure to get information about the company resulting in inability to ask intelligent questions.

Closing The Interview For The Job Offer

If you are interested in the position, ask for it, or ask for the next interview if the situation demands.

Don't be too discouraged if no definite offer is made or specific salary discussed. The employer will probably want to communicate with us (the agency) first, or interview more candidates, before making a decision.

If you get the impression that the interview is not going well, don't let your discouragement show. An employer may be genuinely interested in your possibilities without you realising it.

Thank the employer for his time and his consideration of you. If you have answered the two questions uppermost in the employer's mind:

  • Why are you interested in his company? and
  • What can I offer ?

You have done all you can.

Last, and most important, call your consultant after each interview and tell him/her what happened, he/she will want to talk with you. If you are interested in the position the consultant will help you get it.