Interview Checklist

interviewAre you going on a job interview soon? Follow our tips to ensure you ace the interview and land the job.

When scouting for a job, in true scouting style – Be prepared.

So you got an interview, no doubts you will not be the only one being interviewed. The best tip we can give you is to be prepared.  Do your research, the more you prepare yourself, the greater the chance of getting a favourable result.  No matter how experienced we may be at interviewing, this checklist will help review important points to remember.

Before the Interview

– Make sure your CV is updated and edited to focus on the job being offered.

– Make sure you have a clear understanding of the job being offered.

– Research – Go through the company’s website and get possible information about the company, the management and the job requirements.

– Prepare a list of comments and questions to ask the interviewer about the company.

– Find examples from previous jobs, so interviewers can see how you apply your knowledge in practice. What qualities do you have that make you a good candidate for the job? Why should they employ you? A potential employer wants to know why they should hire you, what skills do you possess? Or what qualifies you for the job?

– Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and think of what questions they might ask and draft answers.

– If you do not fit in the complete requirements be prepared to explain why you still think they should consider you for the job.

– Practice answering questions, the more you practice the more confident you will feel.

– Prepare a “closing pitch” for the interview that communicates clearly your desire for landing this job.

– Lastly, plan what you will wear. Dressing conservatively is always a winner at interviews.

– Make sure you know were the place is and how long it will take to get there so that you arrive early.

– Make sure you will be looking presentable – clean manicured nails, a new haircut or at least make sure it is very presentable. Same with your clothes, make sure they are ready the night before.

– Have an early night, safe in the knowledge that you are prepared.

Remember: There is never a second chance to make a first impression.

Interview Day

– Have breakfast; something light possibly avoiding coffee as it might just add to your nerves.

– Do not over dress, minimal make up, light perfume and not too much jewellery.

– Leave home on time to arrive early – it’s better to be early and wait than to arrive late. Arrive at least 15 minutes early.

– Check in with the receptionist and let him or her know that you have arrived and have an appointment. Be polite to everyone you encounter in the building – cleaners, secretary or receptionist. This is the unofficial part of an interview.

Remember the 80-20 rule for interviews , listen for 80% and talk for 20%  unless asked otherwise.

During the Interview

– Present yourself with a confident handshake, eye contact and smile.

– Keep all the documents you take with you in an organised folder

– Maintain eye contact during the interview and listen carefully in order to give appropriate responses.

– Show an interest in and knowledge of the company with the comments and questions you present and be honest.

– Use professional language and avoid using slang. Be passionate, while still remaining professional. Be careful of appearing cocky, arrogant or over-confident.

– Tactfully veer away from negative issues of the past. Keep it positive. Never bad-mouth past employers or co-workers.

– Avoid the following at all costs: chewing gum, keeping your phone on, smoking (even if interviewer is), sounding desperate for a job, using any form of slang, giving your views on controversial topics, sounding too full of yourself, talking about your personal life, long pauses and yes and no answers – give examples of your achievements.

– Be clear with the interviewer/s by telling them you want the job and asking about the next step in the process. Postpone discussing salary and other perks until the next step (second interview).

– Always close with a handshake, smile, and positive comment about how you look forward to meeting again to discuss the job further.

After the Interview

– Send the interviewers a note to thank them for their time and once again briefly highlight how you think you would be great for this position.

– Assess yourself and see what you could have done better for next time.

– Let a week pass, not longer, call the employer to check on the progress of the job search.

Good luck!

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