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Job Interview Success - Be Prepared
Jobseekers now face more varied job interview set-ups than ever before – from phone interviews to killer questions. Find out how to prepare for job interview success.
Securing a job interview should be cause for celebration, but the hard work isn’t over yet. In today’s competitive recruitment climate, jobseekers may face a variety of different job interview situations and they’ll need to be specifically prepared for each one. So what sorts of set-ups might you face at job interview, and how can you achieve job interview success in every scenario?
No matter what sort of interview you’re up against, it’s vital to research your employer as part of your job interview preparation. As soon as you’re invited to a job interview, begin learning as much about the organisation as you can. Use all the sources you can find – the internet, newspapers, libraries, well-informed friends and corporate literature – to find out what your potential employers are all about.
A crucial aim of your research is to find out exactly what problem your employment will solve for your employer. In almost every instance,people are hired to anticipate and solve problems within a particular area of expertise. Think of the problems you tackle in every aspect of your current job and you’ll be thinking along the same lines as your employer’s line of questioning. You might identify the typical problems you tackle on a daily basis. Come up with plenty of specific examples and recall how you solved them. This will provide a useful foundation for achieving job interview success.
But what about specific preparation for more unusual job interview formats? Employers use all sorts of different interview formats these days, including group interviews, panel interviews, telephone interviews and so on. Candidates are almost certain to come across the ‘traditional’ job interview during the course of their career, which is likely to be one, or maybe two people asking fairly broad questions. But jobseekers might also be invited to group job interviews involving ten or more other candidates, or a one-to-one interview over the phone.
When preparing for a phone or team job interview, it’s worth knowing that generally these job interview formats have the same goal, which is to cut down large groups of applicants through reasonably formulaic fact-finding methods.
Telephone and group job interviews are generally used as screening processes, which are then followed by more thorough one-on-one interviews if you pass. Therefore, to achieve job interview success during group or phone interviews, you should prepare by revising the job advert or candidate criteria extra thoroughly and ensuring you can easily communicate how you meet what the employer has asked for. Research the company, but there’s no need to over-prepare at this stage as by their nature screening-type job interviews are very basic.
Increasingly, job applicants may find themselves invited to ‘killer question’ job interviews, where interviewers ask odd or challenging questions designed to deliberately disorientate applicants such as: “What question were you hoping we wouldn’t ask?” . The motivation here is for employers to determine if candidates are confident enough to cope under pressure.
For interviewees unfortunate enough to encounter this technique, relaxation is essential – and this means both before and during the job interview. Undergoing a relaxation exercise, such as meditation or yoga, before a job interview is good practice no matter what sort of situation you’re going into. Employers are not trying to catch people out in these ‘killer’ job interview settings. There are no right or wrong responses; just inappropriate ones.
Whatever questions you prepare to answer at your job interview, part of your preparation should involve coming up with a few of your own questions to fire back at the end. Come up with some intelligent questions about the organisation, questions about strategy, the way they operate or how they deal with particular problems, before the interview. The harder your interviewers will need to think about their answers, the better they’ll remember you.