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If you are well prepared you can handle anything
In order to answer any question properly you need to very carefully listen to what you are being asked. Communication can be defined in a number of ways and someone’s ability to listen and understand a request for information first time is a highly valued quality.
Interviewers don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking, your listening skills, comprehension and response are all being carefully considered and measured.
You may very well report to your interviewer and the way you answer questions is an early indication of how you might respond in a working environment.
Overall delivery at interview can be assessed in a number of ways. Tone, volume, pace, timing and diction need to be carefully considered...
Conversation needs to be two way and long rambling answers will not only lose direction but also prevent your interviewer from exploring the points you make or asking further pertinent questions.
Does your voice have an enthusiastic tone or do you sound dull and uninteresting?
Are you enthusiastic to the extent that you run the risk of being considered insincere?
Is your voice overbearing or are you hard to hear?
Do you speak too quickly when nervous?
Are you painfully slow and almost too deliberate?
Do you speak carelessly or rush over your words?
The very best interview performances are carefully delivered and often adjusted naturally in accordance with someone’s perception of the interviewer’s style or preferences. Learning to naturally reflect with the person you are speaking to is a skill that separates the best apart from the rest.
Time dictates that you will only be able to ask a few well thought out questions. Of course you will be expected to ask about the responsibilities of a role and need to be certain you have covered the basics. You have further opportunity to ask questions that may not be asked as standard by others interviewing for the position.
Interviewing a fifth person for a vacancy can become somewhat arduous if asking the same question always generates a similar standard response.
You have an opportunity to show you are a creative thinker. Alternative angles and interesting discussion will help you to stand out from the competition.
Make sure your questions are easy to understand and interpret.
Answers need to be carefully thought out. If you don’t understand a question, ask for it to be repeated.
All answers need to be structured and must address the question being asked. Taking a second or two to consider your response is likely to help you think about your answer. When speaking, share eye contact with everyone at the interview – everyone present has a say in your suitability.
Never run down your former or present employer. Be clear about your reasons for leaving. Make sure you explain yourself in a calm way.
Make sure you have answers to the following questions:
How long would you like to work for our company?
Do you get on with your present manager?
You’ve got a good job, why would you want to leave your present employer?
What don’t you like about your present job and company?
What has been your most notable achievement in your present job?
Why do you want to work for us?
Where do you expect your career to be in three years time?
What attracts you to this particular position?
What do you know about our company?
What are your strengths – what are your weaknesses?
You probably really want this job, it’s the next step for you and it would take your career in the direction you want it to go. This can make some people feel nervous about the interview, sometimes days before the big day.
Take the pressure off slightly and remember that everybody realises that interviews are artificial situations – even the person that is going to be interviewing you.
Your prospective employer has had time to examine your CV and would not be wasting time interviewing someone that he or she felt was unsuitable for the role.
Much as you are going to the company so that they can decide whether you are suitable for the position available, you are going to the company to make sure that the company and the position are right for you.
Having said that, treat the interview seriously, do not relax too much and always remember to keep your wits about you. This is a very real opportunity and you don’t want to waste it.
It’s natural to feel slightly nervous, most people do – slight nervousness is there to help you get through something that’s unfamiliar to you. Your prospective employer is not looking for an actor – he or she wants to see the real you. Try to stay relaxed and show him or her what sort of person would be joining the team.
Your interviewer will bring the interview to a close but you need to make sure that you express your interest in the job you are interviewing for if of course the opportunity is one you’re genuinely interested in.
Expressing your interest confirms to your interviewer that you are still interested and keen to join the company. Expressing your interest not only indicates your desire to progress to second interview stage but also displays the assertiveness that an employer is likely to want to see.
Confirmation is positive, and positive first interviews usually go on to second interview stage.
Your interview is likely to finish with a handshake - make sure you make eye contact and thank the interviewer for interviewing you.
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