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The Day of the Interview - Information to Assist

The Interview

General Interview Guidelines – The Do's and The Don't's!

Once your interview gets under way and the list of general questions that need to be asked by the interviewer are answered; and provided at his point you haven’t managed to throw your tea cup 6 foot into the air because you have the jitters, you should, if you have taken in what I have already said, begin to be feeling a little less nervous so you can really get down to business. Try and answer all of the questions the interviewer throws at you in a precise and confident manner. If your interviewer is asking a question and halfway through you wish to make a comment, don’t interrupt unless you really think that it is very, very appropriate. It is bad manners. Ideally wait for the question to be fully delivered to you and give your answer; even if it means saying to your interviewer “Can I just go back on the point you made in a previous question?” It is really difficult in this instance where you feel you want to pass comment on something you really feel passionate about but you have to try and bite your tongue. Nobody likes being interrupted and in my experience interviewers are all full of self importance and feel that their question is more important than your answer!

Answering Questions Posed To You By The Interviewer:

Your potential new employer is looking for a candidate that can do the job and will fit into his or her business. The chances are that the candidate is undoubtedly going to need to be a team player and a person who can listen and give enthusiastic and positive input into their job and daily work life. As the questions start to flow try and remember not to go on and on when giving your answers.

Try and keep your answers as precise as possible, but not yes and no answers. If you are asked a specific question that requires you to provide an example of how you have dealt with a situation or closed a sale then give an example that makes your achievement stand out. If you have won the salesman of the year award then give a little background into how you achieved it. Inevitably there will be times when you run out of steam and these moments can be quite frustrating, so just sit back and relax and take a few seconds to compose yourself before you deliver your answer to the question.

There are some people who think that talking is more important than listening, but they would be totally wrong. Being able to listen to a question without interruption is an art especially if you are genuinely interested in the subject. By showing this quality you will make a good impression. If you are asked a question, that you do not know the answer to, do not to be tempted to lie. If you do you had better make sure you keep your story straight. Answering a question with a lie can get you into big trouble and really achieves very little. After all, the questions have been laid down to see if you are the person the interviewer is looking for and if you can’t give a straight answer then the chances are you are not the person for the job. Don’t do it, it will all end in tears!

There are some employers that will ask you what you think of your current boss. This is a trick question. They are really not in the slightest bit bothered whether you think they are a complete moron. All they are trying to ascertain is whether you are a loyal employee and can act in a professional and neutral manner. After all if they offer you the job they will be your next boss! You also have to bear in mind that what goes around comes around; slating your boss won’t achieve anything other than making you look petty and bitter. Save that experience for when you are in the pub with your mates!

Different Types Of Interview Questions:

An interview will have a structured format and there will be several different types of interview questions set to enable the interviewer to gauge your response to technical as well as hypothetical questions. For example a Technical Question may involve specifics about the way a certain type of application is dealt with. Let’s say you are applying for a job in the construction industry there may be certain questions set out to see how you would deal with a particular problem within a mechanical process. Hypothetical Questions can apply to any type of job role and they are designed to ascertain how you would deal with a situation or chain of events. Some less professional interviewers may also throw questions at you which are deliberately set to get your back up, to judge how you deal with the situation.

This is fairly rare and in any event to be honest any interviewer who engages in this type of underhand maneuver I don’t think would be a particularly good employer. Just my opinion!

Types Of Interview:

If you haven’t had a lot of experience with attending interviews then you will not be aware of the different ways that employers are able to conduct interviews and the way that they are held. Aside from a traditional interview i.e. one candidate and one interviewer, there are three different types of interviews and dependent upon the position involved will depend upon the type of interview you may have.

Firstly there is the Telephone Interview. This involves an interviewer calling you up and having a chat with you over the phone to judge your telephone skills. This often happens where the job may entail working in a call centre and the emphasis is on how well you perform on the telephone. This method is also used if the interviewer is trying to shortlist a group of candidates in a quick manner and is often carried out by an external recruiter such as an agency. You may or may not be told that you will be having a telephone interview. It depends on the employer. If you have applied for a job where heavy telephone use is likely to be a major part of the job, then this may be the option chosen. The interview should be treated as any other and it’s a good idea to make notes as you go along if you can. If you are successful it may be that you will be asked there and then to attend a face to face interview, so make sure you have a pen and paper to hand.

Another type of interview is what is known a Panel Interview. These are a bit more tricky and stressful than a one to one interview. A panel interview will usually have anything from three to six interviewers sitting in on the meeting. Basically this is a way of cutting down on time where the decision for the applicant needs to be discussed by several different members of the business. It could be that you are applying for a sales post and the interview needs the Sales Manager, HR Manager, Head of Department and, if the role involves some form of IT work, one of the IT Managers. It’s always difficult attending these interviews as it can feel like you are one against many but it’s not set up like this for any nasty reason. It’s just easier for the company. If you are faced with a Panel Interview always try and answer each question posed by each member of the panel back to the individual who has posed the question, whilst casually glancing at the other people present. Also when you enter the room you will obviously shake hands with the head of the panel or the person who has taken you in but whether you decide to shake all of the panel’s hands is a decision you will need to make at the time. If they all stand and offer their hands your decision will be made easier.

The final type of interview is a Sequential Interview. This can also be a tough type of interview leaving you feeling absolutely drained. Basically how this works is you will be interviewed by a series of different people. It might be that the HR Manager interviews you first, then the Sales Manager and then the Local Director. The chances are that each member of staff will have different questions but there may be some overlap so you might find yourself answering the same questions twice!

Closing And Leaving The Interview:

Once the interview has finished and this should be fairly obvious as the interviewer will intimate that it has, you will want to stand, pick up your briefcase or handbag from under the chair, if that’s where you put them; and then shake hands with the interviewer. Again, in a firm but not grip wrenching manner. Try and avoid the temptation to wipe your sweaty hands on your clothes in front of the interviewer. A better tactic is to just clench your hands together and rub them a couple of times gently to remove any wetness. Thank the interviewer for the time that they have afforded to you, say goodbye in a nice smiley manner and leave the room. Some people will escort you out onto the main floor; others may see you out of the building, but whichever, try and stay as professional as possible. Remember the job is not yours until you have signed on the dotted line!

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Quick Jump ...

  1. Preparing For The Interview
  2. How To Prepare
  3. First Impressions
  4. During An Interview - Coping With Nerves
  5. During An Interview - Projecting The Right Image
  6. The Interview
  7. The Most Popular Interview Questions
  8. The Tough Interview Questions
  9. Your Questions For The Interviewer
  10. Psychometric Testing
  11. Assessment Centers
  12. Second Interviews
  13. What To Do While Your Waiting To Hear
  14. What To Do If You Get The Job
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