A businessperson knocking on a door

Interview Tips

Interview Do’s and Don’ts

Research company beforehandBe late
Dress neatly and professionallyBe unprepared
Be prepared to learn something newlie or exaggerate
SmileSay “I am only here because my agent made me”
Be enthusiasticInterrupt or finish sentences
Be courteousChew gum
Be prepared to sell yourselfSmoke
Take a second to compose your answersLounge in your chair
Be contentious of your own voice/speechBe discourteous or rude
Be prepared to discuss your strengths and accomplishmentsBe evasive
Be prepared to discuss your weaknesses and failuresTalk about politics or controversial issues
Listen and allow the employer talkBlame or bad mouth others
Focus on job related topicsTalk too much
Emphasize your attributes to the jobOversell
Ask relevant questionsFocus on money, benefits or “what’s in it for you”
Get a commitment for the next stepMake hasty decisions

Prepare for Your Interview

Having an interview is like taking a test; the more prepared you are, the better it will go. And, as with any test, cramming isn’t nearly as effective as taking the time over a number of days to ensure you know your stuff. Here’s how to spend your time leading up to the day of the interview.

Get the details

When you schedule the interview, make sure you accurately record the date, time, location and name(s) and titles of the people who will be meeting with you.

Research your potential new employer

Get background knowledge about the company, it will go a long way in your interview. Your knowledge shows that you have an interest in the company. It will also help guide you in giving appropriate answers to the questions you are asked and help you ask appropriate well though out questions too. You should have a good understanding of the following:

  • The company’s corporate history, structure and philosophy – when and how was the company founded; what is the reporting structure; what is the corporate vision; etc.
  • The company’s core business – what products or services does the company sell.
  • Recent performance trends – is the company expanding or downsizing; what trends are expected in future. Your C. G. Consulting Group contact will be able to provide you with some of this information. Most companies have a web site, and one visit will likely give you all the information you need. Other sources for background are the library or the local media. Do a quick periodical search to see if anything has been published about them recently.

Know the position

You should have a solid understanding of the position you are being interviewed for. What are the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the position; what qualifications are being sought; what personality traits will benefit the position. Answers to these questions can often be found in the job description, but speak to your C. G. Consulting Group representative for more details.

Check your Resume

Your resume is what got you the interview in the first place, and as a result there’s a good chance the interview will be structured around it. You should know your resume inside and out – after all you prepared it. Avoid contradicting yourself. Make sure your interview answers closely match the information you have already provided in your resume. Be prepared to discuss both personal and business accomplishments, and always attempt to relate these accomplishments to the needs of the position and the company.

Prepare a list of questions

An interview is a two-way process. It’s as much an opportunity for you to learn about your potential employer as it is for them to learn about you. Furthermore, the questions you ask say a lot about your research skills, your understanding of the position, and your level of interest in the company. Ask the employer to describe the role. Ask questions about the functions of the position, goals and challenges of the job, and overall values and direction of the company. Steer clear of questions about salary, holidays, benefit packages, and other perks offered by the company unless the employer does. Your C. G. Consulting Group representative generally covers these issues beforehand and later during the offer stage.

Practice your responses

Anticipate the questions they will ask you, and how you can best answer them to convey your qualifications as they relate to the company’s needs. One or two rehearsals are a good way to prepare for the interview. They will likely ask you questions about your specific qualifications for the job (education and experience); your technical knowledge; your own expectations for the position; and your personality traits. This is where your research of the position will be invaluable. Think about how your skills and experiences correspond with the traits they are looking for in a candidate. Be prepared to discuss your strengths, and to identify weakness areas where you know you can make improvements.

On the Day of Your Interview

Look your best

Appearances do count! They contribute to the first impression you make on your prospective new employer and most people decide whether they like you or not in under one minute. You should not only look your best for the interview you should be dressed appropriately for the position. If you are unsure of the exact office culture, lean toward the conservative side. This way you’re sure not to offend anyone. It goes without saying that you should also pay attention to grooming and be well rested. Avoid running shoes and be careful not to use too much cologne or perfume.

Arrive with a smile

Arrive early. This will allow you time to relax and to approach the interview with a positive attitude and a smile on your face. Approach the meeting with the attitude that you want the job. You should be enthusiastic without appearing overzealous – confident but not boastful. Be truthful with your answers.

Bring what you need

Arrive prepared by bringing with you a couple of extra copies of your resume, a working pen or pencil, and a notepad. Its also a good idea to prepare in advance the questions you wish to ask during the interview. If you have a portfolio of relevant work, it may be beneficial to bring this along too.

Body language matters

As with your appearance and attitude, your body language tells an interviewer a lot about your personality. Greet everyone in the room by looking them in the eyes and giving them a firm handshake. Repeat peoples’ names as you are introduced to them, as this will help you remember them throughout the interview. Maintain an enthusiastic and alert demeanour, positioning your body toward and face the person addressing you at all times. Sit upright, maintain eye contact, and by all means don’t yawn during your interview.

After Your Interview

Follow-up with your consultant.

Follow up with your recruitment consultant right away while the interview is still fresh in your mind. This is a great way to communicate your interest in the position, talk about next steps, and mention any critical points you may have omitted during your interview. In addition, your consultant can provide you with valuable feedback about your performance in the interview. Take advantage of this advice, and make each interview better than the last.