The secret to a great interview

July 26, 2020


The secret to a great interview


Most would say their goal is to sufficiently impress the decision maker (interviewer) and the goal for the interviewer is to find a suitable candidate who will fulfil the company’s need.
There must be a clear exchange of information between you, the candidate, the interviewer and the organisation. You need good solid information to be sure this move is progressional and that it is right for both you and your family.

You will normally focus on asking and providing answers to questions, then asking questions in return. All questions are specifically designed to hopefully draw out the right information.
There are two fundamental rules that you should abide by for interview:
Fully identify and handle both your objectives and those of the decision maker, not just his or yours.
Maintain control of the interview, but do it in a friendly, not overpowering way.

Naturally both interviewer and interviewee focus on themselves. The division between the two of you is about environment. However it is your job to close the gap between who you are and what they want you to be.
For most people, being interviewed is a subservient thing like visiting the headmaster’s office when we were at school. Interviews can turn the bravest into quivering wrecks. 
Don’t ever give control to the interviewer, it is unproductive and gives them an unfair advantage. The decision maker will not be aware of your goals or purpose for being there. The interview therefore must be a two way thing.

Control is maintained through the knowledge built in your pre-interview research, described below. Never allow the interview to be a series of questions which you answer. For every answer you give, practise a returned question. Use your returned question to demonstrate your knowledge, gained from your research, of the job, the company and the skills required. Make the returned question relevant to the answer you just gave, use it to show an interest in the company and how it would employ the skills which have just been discussed. This way you are creating a two way conversation from the interview. The interviewer asks all the questions required, but also gets immediate feedback that you are interested in knowing more about the company.
Your strategy and mind set should focus on the following:-
“I want to demonstrate from my CV and my interview that I have the Skills, Experience and Achievements which the employer needs for the future”“I need to discover if this company is where I want to work”“I want to meet the person who will be my Boss”

Pre-Interview Research:
Research the company, the interviewer (decision maker) and position in detail prior to interview. Vital information should include the duties, responsibilities, salary ranges etc.
When large companies are about to interview you it is well worth talking to the Human Resources dept in a similar company: they often have similar positions. Try to get a feel for the type of expectations they would have.

If, after looking closely into the company your research is quite sketchy, tell the interviewer that you have attempted to find out about the company with limited success and then ask politely if he’d be willing to answer a few relevant questions. This request should be made very early on in the interview and kept brief.
You should expect to be questioned about your ability to fulfil the opportunity on offer. How you handle specific situations, deal with people, handle problems, behaviour will also be investigated through questioning.
The interview questions will be guided by the job description and your CV, so there should be no surprises.
When a question is asked, recall the Skills, Experience and Achievements which you discovered when you worked with your CV Mentor to build your CV and extract the relevant information to answer the question. Practise with a friend. Permit your friend to write down some typical questions and you answer them.

We cannot emphasize enough about practising these important exercises. Job Hunting is an act. Writers have produced the script. Good Actors have memorised their lines and have practised them, put feelings into the words and statements. The interview is very much the same.

You may well be asked more about former employers, gaps that are visible in employment, specific and significant responsibilities etc. It is therefore important you practise your responses before the question is asked in interview. Develop a strategy and speak only in a positive manner. 

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