Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Improve your technique

Having done some interviewing today, something I do rarely, I think I can offer some advice to people preparing for an interview.

Firstly, do your research. Learn about the company and its products. Try and find examples of any marketing or PR activity. Visit the company website.

Look at the skill set required and compare it with your own experience and abilities. Identify the areas of your resume that will demonstrate your relevant capabilities and where there are gaps. Think about how you might address or overcome those gaps.

Be honest. If your interviewer needs to know whether you can speak Portuguese, and you can't, but you did go to the Algarve once, don't claim to be fluent.

Expect the unexpected. Your interviewer may be quirky and have a strange view of what makes a great interview question. You may also find that some interviewers see an interview as a kind of trial that you must survive to win.

If you are asked "If you were a sandwich, what sandwich would you be, and why?" then just keep your cool, don't panic, and think about your answer.

If you feel you are on the receiving end of a bad attitude with an extra dollop of rudeness, then retain your dignity and composure. You may want to consider whether this really is a company, or department, that would be the right environment for you.

If you are asked personal questions that have nothing to do with your ability to do the job, then choose whether to answer. There's no rule that says you need to answer all questions. You can also choose to be economical with the detail.

Don't be afraid to ask an interviewer why a question is being asked. If you know why a question is asked, it can help you compose the perfect answer.

If you have questions for your interviewer, then take a list into the interview with you. It shows you've prepared, and it also ensures you don't forget what's on the list.

Smile. It makes you and the person on the other side of the table relax.

1 comment:

R N B said...

I think you've seen it before, but my little summary of interview technique is here.

In two words: integrity, enthusiasm.