In preparation for your interview, we’d like to invite you to view this segment that will help prepare you for that meeting. Our purpose is to help you determine if this organization is the right fit for you. And if during the interview you realise that this is where you want to be. Our purpose is to prepare you with enough information that you are offered a follow up meeting or perhaps even an offer. Now, it is 100% your right to decline moving forward, but we want that decision to rest with you, not with them.
First, we suggest that you do some research on the specific company and hiring manager. This may seem obvious, but it is important that you formulate some questions that show you did your homework prior to this meeting.
Second, create an initial list of questions you would like to ask during your interview. Really put some thought into what information you are looking to get from this meeting. In other words, what questions do you need answered to know if this is the right opportunity for you? What areas do you need clarified to make you feel comfortable? The purpose of this first interview is to get all initials questions asked.
Third, what are the three most important benefits you will bring to the new organization, above and beyond that of your colleagues. The essence is this, what are the three most important things that the hiring manager will take away from this conversation? What are the benefits, characteristics or abilities that you have which separates you from your peers? Why would they choose to hire you over someone else? If it’s because of your work ethics, creativity or technical ability, show some specific examples.
Fourth, be prepared to answer very common question like “Tell me about yourself?” and your response could be something like, “I’d love to, any specific area you are thinking of?” This is a perfectly acceptable answer, but at the end of the day be prepared to give an introductory summary of your background & experiences.
Avoid responses like, “Sure! What would you want to know?” Make sure your answer directly fits the concerns & objectives of the prospective employer. Briefly communicate professional accomplishment, not personal ones. Be brief. Take a minute or less to answer this question. Just offer two or three things that are interesting and useful.
Next, be prepared to answer the “Why are you looking?” question. Even though you may have been approached for a specific opportunity, your potential employer wants to understand your motivation behind making a change. There are some basic points to reflect over in this.
First, never speak negatively about a previous company, team or boss. It will probably give the opposite impact than what you intended.
Second, put the reason for being open to new opportunities in the best light possible. Reflect on what this new role requires and think about an answer that contrasts what your current company does not have but this possible future job does. You could say something like, I’m not actively pursuing other opportunities at this time but I’m open to possibilities because of A, B & C.
Another common question to be prepared to answer is – “Why do you want to work for our company?”
Preferably begin your answer with statements like, “Based on research I have done…” or “From what I saw on your website”. The bottom line is making sure that you establish why you are interviewing here instead of anywhere else. What is it about the work environment, the reputation of the firm, the type of work that they are doing or the type of projects they have that attract you?
The last question to be covered is your financial expectations. It is important to find a good number. Not too high, so you risk being ruled out from consideration, and not too low, because that leaves little room for negotiation.
To be transparent about your current salary is a quick and effective way to negotiate as it builds trust. Typically, salary increases ranges from 5-15% when changing to a similar role for another company. Another option is to put the responsibility for salary negotiation back on your recruiter’s plate.
Last but not least make sure you close on next step at the end of the interview. This does not mean to be overly aggressive but ultimately people like people who like them. Closing for next step is a key way to showing interest and leave the interview in a positive note.
A good way is to say something like: “I like what I have heard today and I am very interested in moving forward. I understand you are looking for someone in this role who has experience of (A, B and C) and as we’ve discussed, I have that. Before I leave, are there any more questions about my background or qualifications that I can answer or clarify for you to better asses my fit within your team?”
Finally, let’s just run through the basic check list of interviewing:
A navy dark grey or black suit is appropriate for most positions. Avoid combing or brushing your hair with your jacket on.
Avoid colognes or fragrances completely. Arrive no earlier than 15 minutes, but no later than 5 minutes prior to your interview.
Before entering the building chew mint, gum or a breath mint. Make sure your cell phone is turned off or in silent mode and avoid checking it during the interview. Bring a printed set of directions to the interview and your clients phone number in case you are late. Bring copies of your resume and paper to take notes on.
These are just a few suggestions for your successful first interview. All designed to keep the decision resting with you for the next step.