No interview follows the same format; it usually depends on the position and the organisation. However there are a number of key questions that are commonly asked in an interview, particularly at first interview stage;
Tell Me about Yourself
Why are you looking for a new position?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What motivates you?
What have been your greatest achievements?
What has been your biggest disappointment?
How well do you work under pressure?
Why do you want this job?
Why should I employ you?
What do you know about our company?
In order to answer these questions calmly and professionally you need to prepare by;
Thoroughly researching the employer, the market and the role
Understanding what skills you possess and how they can benefit the company - Be prepared to give examples
Know what your strengths and weaknesses are and how you can overcome your weaknesses –
When identifying your weaknesses try to turn a negative into a positive and explain what measures you have taken to overcome them.
Identify your achievements and how you achieved them
Look at decisions you have had to make, the thought process and the outcome from that decision
Consider what motivates you and why
Whilst it is important to let the interviewer dominate the interview it is important to ask relevant questions, it should be a two-way communication. However, be careful not to ask questions on topics already covered by the interviewer;
Why is the position available?
Who would I be reporting to?
What type of training opportunities would be on offer?
Is there opportunity for progression within the organisation?
How do I compare to other candidates you have interviewed?
How do you see my skills and achievements fitting into your organisation?
Do you have any reservations – this is better to ask at the end of the first interview so if there are any reservations you have the opportunity to use your skills to overcome them there and then.
The first interview is not a good time to ask about salary and benefits. This should be left until the second interview or until the client raises the question. If the client asks what salary you are on never answer them directly, suggest insteadwhat you would ideally be looking for. At the end of the interview thank the interviewer for their time. If you areinterested in the position tell them. Ask what the next steps are and what timescales they are working to. You should leave the interview knowing;
Am I interested in the job?
Is the company interested in me?
What is the next stage?
Remember to call your consultant straight after the interview. This is important as it gives us the opportunity to go back to the company to confirm your interest whilst you are still fresh in the interviewers mind. If we have your feedback when we speak to the company it demonstrates your interest and enthusiasm. The same day send a personalised letter/e-mail to the interviewer reinforcing your interest in the position and once again thanking them for their time.