11 January 2016

The Interview – IT’S Game On

The key to a successful interview is research and preparation. Use any spare time you may have to find out about the history, performance and structure of the organisation you are interviewing with.

You will almost certainly be asked:

  • “Why do you want to work here?”
  • “What do you know about us?”

Find out as much as you can about the company’s market, their products, how they operate, their size, and the like. It may also be helpful if possible to find out a little about the background of the interviewer and how they fit in to the company structure.

Self Assessment
If you need some guidance in preparing for an interview please do not hesitate to Contact Talent Blueprint and we would be happy to assist.

The interviewer will want to know what sort of person you are in terms of your values and attitudes, and also in terms of your skills and abilities. An audit of these characteristics before the interview will help you answer any questions and relate these to your work practices and business ethics. It will also enable you to formulate the right questions to ask about the position and workplace.

Perhaps the single most important preparatory exercise you can do is to prepare an extensive list of your achievements. Achievements include problems you have overcome, issues you have addressed, demands you have faced, where your action has led to problem resolution, or value being added in some way to overcome the demand or issue.

Preparing Answers & Questions
You cannot possibly know for sure what questions you will be asked, however you can prepare for almost any question, by running through listings of interview questions found in numerous books or on the Internet. Review these questions and think about how you would respond, using examples from your work or personal life.

What To Wear
You should be well groomed and wear the kind of clothes most commonly worn in the job environment you wish to enter. If you are uncertain, err on the side of caution. Better to be slightly over-dressed than vice versa. It goes without saying that your clothes and hair should be clean and neat, and that your shoes should be polished.

Types of Interviews
Talk to your consultant at Talent Blueprint about what interview style the client will be using in advance so you can adequately prepare.

  • Interview styles may vary from:
  • Behavioral interviewing
  • Situational Interviews
  • Unstructured Interviews
  • Panel Interviews

It is critical you know in advance what you’re going to be walking into.

Active Listening
Active listening refers to communication techniques that help us to follow and understand each other. Foremost is that you must listen attentively, and confirm that you are listening by using clarification.Always seek clarification on questions you don’t understand as it conveys a powerful message in that you are trying to understand the role and expectations. The better your understanding of the position, through questioning and clarification, the better your capacity to selectively recall and respond with relevant material, including achievements, in relation to the position’s requirements. But remember – never interrupt the interviewer.

Asking Questions
It is quite acceptable to refer to your pre-prepared question list at this time, or during the session. This will demonstrate your preparation, some systematic thinking, and orderliness, all of which imply enthusiasm, and career motivation.

We recommend that you consider using some of the following questions:

  • What do you see as the main challenges facing someone in this role?
  • Why has the position become vacant?
  • How is performance measured?
  • Will goals be clearly defined?
  • How does the role fit into the structure of the department?
  • How does the department fit into the organisation as a whole?
  • What is the company’s culture?
  • What encouragement is given to undertake further training?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Where is the company going? Expansion plans?

Following Up
A politely drafted e-mail or letter to your interviewer thanking them for their time can work wonders in the decision process, however always discuss with your Talent Blueprint Consultant first as it may not be appropriate to your individual situation.

Under no circumstances telephone the interviewer directly to gain feedback, your consultant is better trained to discuss details and will always negotiate on your behalf from a neutral perspective.