The journey so far has been long-winded. It started with the CV, then job applications, one or two telephone screens and endless consultant interviews. Don’t panic the finish line is in sight, you have been invited to a final interview. Well done!!!
You must have beaten a number of other candidates along the way, so you have obviously made a good impression. However, many candidates fall short at the final hurdle because another candidate ‘interviews better’.
‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. Successful candidates fully prepare before the BIG day and thus on the BIG day exude buckets full of confidence throughout the interview. Here’s a few tips from The People Podto help you reach the finish line first every time:
Plan for the BIG day
Know YOUR stuff
Find out as much about the company and job role as possible - ask your People pod consultant for a job description and an information pack. Look the company up on the internet. Ask around to see if any of your colleagues have worked for the company and ask for their views.
What is the type of business i.e. Retail, Sales?
What do they sell or manufacture?
What are their current projects?
Who are their customers/clients?
What are the companies expansion plans?
What is their mission statement?
What is the culture of the business?
What exactly does the role involve, responsibilities and job description?
Company history and financial details?
Please note, researching your potential employer is essential. However, the employer is truly interested in YOU. It would be embarrassing if you knew more about the employer than you do about YOURSELF. So please do the company research, yet really focus on YOU, YOUR experiences and YOUR achievements both personally and professionally.
Find out as much about YOU as possible – ask yourself a few questions, can I talk through my CV confidently? Can I demonstrate my biggest achievements? Why do I want to work for this company and what can I bring to the table??
The Interview pre-plan
Who is going to be facilitating the interview? Is it a panel interview or a one on one meeting with your potential direct line manager?
Will I have to take a Test? Find out before the interview and work on a similar kind of test for practice.
Are there any time constraints on the meeting? If so, rehearse beforehand ensuring that you remain within this time period.
What if any details do I need to bring along with me? (CV, references, certificates, testimonials or examples of your work) then get them prepared the night before and ready for when you leave. Take your Interview Confirmation. Don’t get loaded down with unnecessary baggage or documents.
Do I have to carry out a presentation? If so collate as much information as possible as to what they are looking for and ensure that you cover every point.
Do I require any specialist arrangements? Such as building access or a communicator for the deaf, if so contact your People Pod consultant prior to the interview to ensure they have the details before the interview date.
360 degree Questioning
The questions you are likely to face in an interview will completely depend on the style of interview. For instance, is it criteria based, competency based, culture based or even personality and character based. There are literally thousands of questions you could come up against. To help you, we have put together some of the Best Interview Questions. When you register with The People Pod further information packs are available.
The questions you are likely to ask the employer are just as important as the questions you are likely to be asked in the interview. When asking questions in an interview ensure they are constructive and relevant.
Questions like “do I get paid if I’m off sick?” and “how many holidays do I get?” are not constructive questions to ask at the end of an interview.
If you haven’t already been told the answer by your People Podconsultant, then just ASK, they will be happy to find out for you.
Make a list of 10 intelligent business related questions prior to the day, you will find over half of these will be covered during the interview leaving you with 4 or 5 to ask at the end. This shows you have really prepared for the interview and will help you make a commercial decision before you join the company.
Planning the Journey to Success
What is the worst thing that could happen after all your preparation? Yes you’ve got it, you are late for the final Interview. …..
Being late gives a potential employer a terrible impression. Even worse, it can affect the quality of your interview with you becoming all hot and flustered in a panic to explain why you are late. So the simple answer is…….. DON’T BE LATE.
Planning your journey is essential, follow these simple steps and the road to success will be a smooth one:
Ensure your People Podconsultant has mailed you the full address details of the venue and telephone number.
Carry out a dummy run before the day of interview at a similar time of day so that you can gain a true understanding of the time its going to take to get to the venue, anticipate delays.
Find out where you can park or flag a taxi.
Plan an alternative form of transport just in case the unexpected happens and something or somebody lets you down.
If you need any special arrangements, again check that the transportation that you have chosen will allow for this.
Research shows that an interviewer is likely to make their mind up on a candidate within the first few minutes of meeting them. This is important; you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression:
Ask your People Pod consultant what the appropriate attire would be to wear for the meeting. If you have applied to a fashion company a more casual appearance may be required than those attending an interview with a financial institute.
Whatever the form of dress is, ensure you look smart and presentable, if you are in formal dress it’s a good idea to try the outfit on the day before the interview to ensure there are no drooping hems or missing buttons. If you feel you have made an effort to look good, you will feel more confident and relaxed.
Ensure that you feel comfortable in the clothes that you have chosen; you do not have to buy a new outfit just ensure that you aim for a neat, smart, clean and uncluttered appearance.
Always shine your shoes, no excuses. Start from the bottom up.
Feel fresh; fresh breath, deodorant, perfume, aftershave, hair gel or spray if necessary.
On the BIG Day
Get up early giving yourself plenty of time to have breakfast and get ready.
Make sure that you have all the relevant paperwork that you prepared the night before.
If for some reason you are going to be unavoidably late, stay calm and telephone your People Podconsultant as early as you possibly can to inform the interviewer of the situation.
Aim to arrive 10 minutes before the allocated interview time.
Turn off your mobile phone.
Treat anybody that you meet within the company as your potential interviewer. So give good eye contact and big smiles.
Go to the wash room and check your appearance.
Relax, keep calm (you will probably feel more nervous than you look) and familiarise yourself with your surroundings.
The Interview Itself
Remember you will make an impression in the first few minutes of the interview. Once an impression has been formed, it is very difficult to change. It is vitally important to make a great first impression and give yourself the best chance of a job offer, by delivering a first-class interview:
Enter the room confidently.
Be polite and friendly, look the interviewer directly in the eyes and continue to make regular eye contact throughout.
Look interested, have an open nature and ask questions.
Engage with all parties in the room if more than one interviewer.
Answer all the questions fully and truthfully avoiding yes and no answers.
If you do not understand a question then ask for it to be explained.
Provide tangible results for your achievements.
Be prepared, questions are designed as a curve ball to throw you.
Ask your prepared questions.
Close the interviewer for a decision, find out if they have any reservations and overcome them whilst still in the interview.
If you are not given a decision then find out when it is likely to come or what the next stages are and the time-scales involved.
Sit until invited.
Fidget, cross your arms or slouch.
Over use your arms.
Play with your hair.
Interrupt the interviewer or talk over them.
Criticise former employers or blame other people.
Draw attention to any weaknesses that you may have without explaining your development plans.
If you have truly followed this advice confidently and methodically, you will be well on the way to receiving a well deserved offer of employment.
Finally, Good Luck!!!
Want to be one step ahead of other candidates?
A psychometric profile can be an excellent addition to your CV. Employers will get a better understanding about what makes you tick and how you behave. You will also be prepared if an employer asks you to complete a psychometric test as part of your application.