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12 Tips On The Elements Of A Successful Interview

Throughout the many years of my recruiting experience, I have collected feedback from employers and candidates alike. Fact: You will get hired because of the solid job you do during the interview. Remember: The interview is your opportunity to present yourself at your best. It is an opportunity to make a positive impression about you. How do you make your interview a successful one? From many feedbacks as well an my own personal experience, please allow me to share with you a few of these elements of a successful interview:

Be prepared - research the company you are meeting with.

With the enormous amount of information available today, organization except any potential candidate to know about the organization. Read the web site which will supply you with a lot of information. In the event that there is no web site, call the company and ask to pick up annual reports, employee newsletters, promotional material and a corporate brochure. Where applicable, ask your recruiter for information. You need to find out what the company does, what a person in your position might be doing, and whether the company has growth potential.

Bring extra copies of your resume. Print your hard copy resumes on 100-gsm-weight paper, either white or ivory available at any office supplies store.

Be presentable, clean, tidy, and neat. Ensure that you dress for the position you are applying for.

Be punctual! It is good practice to arrive 10 minutes prior to the start of the interview. In the event that you are running behind, stop and make a phone call! Tell the interviewer that you will be late, ask whether that is suitable with their timetable. In the event that it is not suitable, re-schedule! When you arrive, apologize profusely!

Be courteous and pleasant. Include the individuals who will not be interviewing you, i.e. the receptionist. A good impression passed on to the interviewer will only work in your favor.

Greet the employer. Introduce yourself - extend a warm and firm handshake, make direct eye contact. Wait until you are invited to sit down. Be friendly. Smile. It is o.k. to be nervous. Let the employer know that you are nervous, that will "melt" the ice. Speak clearly. Build rapport. Get the interviewer to talk about the organizations past successes, future plans, and present resources. This will give you context for the interview.

Never smoke or drink alcohol before your interview. The smell is strong, and the aroma will follow you for a long time.

Be prepared to talk about yourself in general and your personal qualities - your "soft skills". Discuss your education and training skills. Be positive. Discuss your work experience - why you accepted positions, why you left positions. Make sure you have an answer as to why you want to work with the company you are interviewing with. Ask a lot of questions about the position you are being interviewed for. Remember that an interview is like a baseball game. There must be lots of back and forth communications.

Do you want the position you are being interviewed for? ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE! Effective interviewing is a two way process. Ask many questions. Remember: Your goal is to get the job. A candidate that does not ask leading questions is generally seen as weak, indecisive or uninterested. There are signs that the interview is just about over. The interviewer will shuffle papers, look at the watch, ask you whether you have additional questions, and so on. Interviewing is like swinging a bat in a baseball game. When you do not swing the bat, you don't get a home run. Experience taught me that you must say the word hire during your interview! Thank the interviewer tell the interviewer: " I appreciate your valuable time, and the care with which you outlined the position. I am most interested and excited about this opportunity. I know we can work well together. From what you have seen in me, am I the person you would consider hiring for this position?" (Providing this is what you want). Ask, "When will I hear from you next"? This will leave the interviewer with the impression that you are genuinely interested in this opportunity.

Remember: First impressions are made in the first 10 seconds and may never change. You have ONE chance at an interview use it well! You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Think confident thoughts and you will act confidently. Blue seems to be the right color for interviews. Black is a poor choice of color. NEVER wear casual shoes to an interview. Ensure your shoes are clear and in good shape. Shoes happen to be one of the first things that interviewers remember about an interviewee. To make sure you arrive dressed properly, ask your recruiter what the dress code is. In the event that you are going to the interview not through a recruiter, pick up the phone, introduce your self to the receptionist and ask for the company's dress code.

Jewelry like shoes, speak volumes with first impressions. Chose a couple of classy pieces. In the event that you have pierced more than just your ears, take all the rings off and leave them at home.

Do not wear too much perfume or cologne. When in doubt avoid using it all together.

Check your breath. Carry with you at all times a breath mint. Make sure you do not chew on it during the interview.

Never speak negatively about any of your former employers. Share the reasons as to why you have decided to move on. Do not hesitate to tell the interviewer the reason or reasons which prompted you to seek new employment.

Sample of questions you may be asked during the interview:

Regardless of the question, ensure your answers are concise and will be collaborated by your business references: Why are you leaving your current company? Tell me about yourself How do you describe your personality? What did you like best about the current company you are working for? What did you like least about the current company you are working for? Describe your current job duties Describe one of the best ideas you ever came up with, what was your approach to implementing the idea? What are your major weaknesses? What are your major strengths? Describe a major project with which you had difficulties and how you overcame these difficulties. Describe your working style. (Do you enjoy working independently, in a team setting, etc) Give an example of when you were not happy with your performance and what did you do about it. Describe some projects you generated on your own. What prompted you to begin them, and what was the end result? Why have you chosen the field you are in? What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing this field and the industry? What are your short-term goals? What are you long term goals? Do you consider yourself a leader? Please provide some examples. Why are you attracted to this position? How would your current supervisor describe you and your work habits? How would your peers describe you and your work habits? How long have you been searching for a new position? How did you manage to get the time off for this interview? Why are you interested in working for this organization? What kind of remuneration package are you looking for? Why do you believe you are the best candidate for this position? It is now your turn: Questions You May ask in the interview:

Remember: an interview is a two way process. This is your turn to throw the baseball. By now you have done your homework. You know about the position, the company and the people in your future employment situation. Always ask open-ended questions. Ask questions to define the position; Organization structure and operating philosophy; Corporate objectives; Business Prospect; Strategic and Operating Plans; Dealing with Company Founders and Owners.

Here are some examples:

What is the scope of the position's responsibility, authority, and accountability? How challenging is the position? How is performance measured by whom and how frequently? Who will be my direct supervisor? What is his/her management style? What caused this position to be vacant? How long has it been vacant? Are there any internal candidates for this position? In the event that I am the successful candidate, how will they feel and act? What is the organization of the department? What are some significant things that need to be accomplished by this position within the first year? What are some of the challenges in achieving these goals? What career growth and promotional opportunities are available for this position? How would employees describe the extent to which they are informed, involved, developed, and promoted? How are decisions reached in the department and in the company as a whole? What is the nature of the planning process and decisions concerning the budgeting process are made? Outline the organizational structure, and corporate structure Who are the corporation's major competitors? What are the company's 5-year and 10 year sales targets? How does my background meet your needs? When will you be making a decision? What is the next step? It is good practice to follow up with a thank you note. Those with good handwriting - hand write your note. Unless your handwriting is totally unbearable - type the note. Make it short. Ask for the job once again!

Always believe in yourself and trust the process! We wish you best of luck in your job search!

Submitted by:

Tali Nizic

Tali is the President & CEO of Controllers On Call (http://www.controllersoncall.ca). She has been in the recruitment field since 1996 & brings with her extensive experience in the placement of middle to executive level Accounting, Finance and Human Resources Professional in contract and full time positions.




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