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The interview process

An interview works both ways, enabling the company to determine whether you have the right attributes and qualifications for the job, and also allowing you to decide whether the company is right for you and if the position offers the growth and development opportunities you are looking for.

Effectively you are interviewing each other to decide whether a mutually rewarding professional relationship can be formed.

Think of the interview as a business meeting:

Highlighting your relevant skills and abilities and asking smart questions will help both parties: allowing the hiring manager to evaluate your professional and personal skills and improving your understanding of the company culture and the role's responsibilities.

Presenting yourself in the best possible light maximises your chances of getting the job. This is best achieved by being yourself. Remember how you feel and act when you are ‘at your best’ and try to place yourself in the same frame of mind durring the the interview.

If you act differently or try to be someone you are not, you may find yourself in a job that doesn’t suit you and won’t give you what you are ideally looking for.

Important tips to ensure you make a great first impression:

• Dress professionally and appropriately for the company.

• Arrive a few minutes early and take in your surroundings as you prepare yourself.

During the interview your aim is to persuade the interviewer you are the ideal candidate for the role:

• Show confidence and that you are happy to have the opportunity to meet them by smiling, shaking hands firmly, making eye contact, listening and maintaining interest at all times.

• If you feel nervous, explain that you are a little nervous and try to relax and overcome it.

• Follow the interviewer’s leads, but be sure to ask them to describe the position and the duties to you clearly and early in the interview. This will enable you to emphasise your strengths and explain how your background, skills and accomplishments complement particular situations and aspects of the job.

• Do your research - Learn pertinent facts about the company such as principal lines of business, locations, number of employees, technology, etc. The company’s website can be a useful source of information.

• Discuss and consider what the opportunity could mean to you in your immediate and long-term career development.

• If the interviewer asks what salary you are seeking, it is best to mention what you are currently being paid and emphasise that while a suitable level of remuneration in important, you are primarily interested in a career development opportunity and that the final salary is negotiable depending on the agreed level of responsibility and future career path.

• You can bring a copy of your résumé, written references, and any relevant documentation relating to your previous work (the latter only if you are authorised by current or previous employers to have such material) which you can introduce when and if you feel it is appropriate, or if you are specifically asked by the interviewer to do so.

Remember as long as you conduct yourself in an assertive and respectful manner and approach the interview with integrity and enthusiasm, you can be confident you have given it your best shot.

Questions to prepare for:

You should be prepared to answer common questions such as:

• What interests you about our company?

• Tell me about yourself.

• Tell me about your background and accomplishments.

• What are your strengths and your weaknesses?

• How would you describe your most recent job performance?

• Can you tell us about an interesting project that you have worked on that is relevant to this role?

• Can you give me an example of how you have managed a particularly difficult client and/or technical problem?

• Can you think of a time when you faced a conflicting situation in the office and tell us how you handled this?

• Are there any outside activities that are relevant to your personal

• How do you keep your professional qualifications and knowledge of
technology current?

• Have you suggested any improvements to processes or procedures that have been adopted by other organisations, and if so, can you describe?

Being prepared for questions like these means you are less likely to be caught by surprise and can give more thoughtful and impressive answers at the interview.

Asking questions shows you are interested and well prepared for the interview.

Some questions that you might like to ask the interviewer include:

• What would I be expected to achieve in this position?

• What would my responsibilities and duties be?

• Can you describe a typical day in this job?

• What are the most difficult aspects of this position?

• What are the department’s plans for the next two years?

• What is the commitment to training and development?

• What projects would I be involved in within the first year?

• Do you think I am suited to your plans and the position?

Closing the interview and providing feedback:

Don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know if you are interested in the role. If you feel the position is right for you t, let them know that you are impressed with what they have had to say, that you feel that you are well suited, and are confident you would do an excellent job for the company. Thank the interviewer for his or her time and consideration.

If you feel that the interview has not gone well and that you may have been rejected, try not to let this show; it is surprising the number of positions offered to candidates who thought that they had not performed well in the interview. We are often our own worst critics.

Following the interview give your consultant feedback on how you feel the interview went. If you have a positive view regarding the position, we will convey this to the client along with any other information that you feel is relevant, as well as asking the client for some feedback on your performance.

If the outcome was that you were unsuccessful, your conclusions as to why this was the case are important, and by combining them with the client feedback, we can better target future opportunities.