Preparing for Your Interview

Preparing for an interview and how you conduct yourself in the interview are critical to determining your success in being offered the position. It's important to remember that an interview is a two-way process. The interviewer is assessing you and you're also assessing the interviewer.

Below are the key areas that the interviewer wants to establish during the meeting with you:

  1. Your experience, skill set and prior history. This helps them to determine if you're able to do the role and how successful you will be. Your previous work history and reasons for moving, help the interviewer to predict what might happen if they hire you.
  2. Your interpersonal skills and ability to fit into the culture of the business.
  3. Your level of interest and engagement with the company and available position.

There are a range of interview formats that a company may use:

  • One on One interview
  • Group interview
  • Behavioural Based Interview (BBI)

Behavioural Based Interview is an interview technique that is widely used by companies.

Behavioural Based Interview (BBI)

This type of interview technique focuses on the candidate's experience, skills and behaviours using a range of different questions. The theory is that a persons past performance is an indicator of their future performance in a similar situation.

A common technique that's used to ensure you're answering a BBI question, is the STAR method:

  • Situation: Provide a brief example of the situation to the interviewer.
  • Task: Outline your responsibilities. Make sure you use "I" not "we" as the interviewer wants to know what you did, not the group.
  • Action: Explain what you did in the task or how you overcame the challenge.
  • Result: What was the outcome of your action.

Below are some typical BBI interview questions that might be asked:

  1. Describe a situation when you were in conflict with someone and how did you successfully resolve it?
  2. Explain a situation when you tried to achieve something, but failed?
  3. Describe a situation when you have been stressed and the steps you took to deal with this?
  4. Outline a time when you anticipated a potential issue and what steps did you take to mitigate the problem?
  5. Tell me about a time when you believed something was important in a work situation and you had to use your influence to change someone's opinion?
  6. Provide me with an example of when you have helped build team morale in your previous role?
  7. What steps do you use to establish your work priorities?
  8. Describe a situation when you knew you were going to miss a significant deadline and how did you deal with this?
  9. Provide an example of when you have had to implement significant change?
  10. Explain a time when you had to give a spontaneous answer to an important decision?

Preparing for your interview

  • Review the job description in detail. Think about how your experience can be used to demonstrate that you can do this role.
  • Make sure you have the name and title of the person that will be interviewing you.
  • Ensure you have the full address and a contact number in case you need to contact the person.
  • Review the company website to gain a detailed understanding of the company, what they do and their current financial performance if this information is available.
  • Do a web search on the company to see if there is any recent news about the business.
  • Review LinkedIn to gain an insight into the person that will be conducting the interview.
  • Think about the questions that you might be asked during the interview and how you will respond to these questions.
  • Prepare a list of questions that you want to ask during the interview. Make sure these are relevant to the person that will be interviewing you. The questions should be impressive and demonstrate a real interest in the position and the company.
  • Dress to impress. It's important that you dress in corporate attire for an interview.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to your interview. You should plan to arrive near your interview location 20 minutes before your scheduled interview time. This gives you the opportunity to sit and relax somewhere for 15 minutes and ensures you have some buffer time should you get delayed on your way. You also need to allow time to clear security depending on the building.
  • Arrive at the company a few minutes before your scheduled time. It's vital that you don't arrive too early. Running late for an interview is a terrible start to the meeting. If you're running late, make sure you call the person beforehand to let them know why and the revised time you'll arrive.
  • Be confident, relaxed and happy before the meeting.

During The Interview

  • Make sure you stand up and have a firm handshake and good eye contact.
  • Assess the person that's interviewing you and match their body language and communication style, but still demonstrating your personality.
  • Answer the questions in a clear, concise way.
  • Give examples of your prior experience to support your response and make sure you say this in the first person using "I".
  • Let the interviewer control the interview.
  • Make sure you discuss your previous employers in positive terms. Talking in a negative manner will impact you.
  • Never discuss remuneration unless asked by the interviewer. If a search/recruitment firm is representing you, then let the interviewer know that you would rather they discuss this with the consultant.
  • Always ask questions even if you have had a number of interviews with different people across the company.
  • At the end of the interview, thank them for their time and ensure you leave the interview on a positive note.

Post the Interview

Call your consultant and provide them with detailed feedback on how the interview went. This should include:

  • positive aspects,
  • level of interest,
  • any areas of concerns with the role and
  • other information you feel will help the consultant manage the process and represent you in the appropriate way.

If you have received a business card, send a thank you email to the person. Make sure you proofread the email and spell check it.

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