HR Manager, Haanim Gamieldien has these tips for nailing that interview.
Interviews have a lot in common with first dates: hours getting ready, awkward small talk when all you both really want to know is whether you are compatible. I’m no dating expert, but I have interviewed hundreds of people. Having witnessed firsthand what will land you a job and what will get you hauled out by security, here are my top 5 tips for mastering any interview:
1. Practice makes perfect: before you hit the interview rounds think about some answers to general interview questions. Like most things, interview questions go in and out of fashion. While you may be surprised with questions asking you to liken yourself to a fruit, you can easily prepare for the staple questions involving your working style, skills and experience. Practising your answers aloud or even asking a friend to role-play the interview with you is a great idea, especially if it’s been a while between interviews.
2. Research: before you go in for any interview, make sure you research the role and the company. Websites and social media make this really easy for you – see what you can find in Google and recent news articles.
3. Dress Appropriately: if you have done your research you should have a fair idea of the company culture and expected dress code. Once you know the dress code, dress a notch above what is expected. It also pays to watch the details. I once interviewed an impeccably presented woman in a very expensive suit. However when she sat down her skirt rode up to reveal lace top stockings and suspenders. She was embarrassed. Suffice to say, the rest of the interview got very awkward.
4. Be Punctual: plan your route to the interview beforehand and arrive with a reasonable buffer. Don’t go overboard though, an hour early is just creepy and says you have nothing more important to do than wait in a reception area.
5. Answer the question: if you’ve practiced your answers you shouldn’t struggle with this part but so many candidates do. Make sure you answer each question directly and provide an example where possible. Make regular eye contact and keep you body language open. Anecdotes can be good to illustrate a point, but use common sense. When it comes to stories about shagging a client or tabletop dancing at a board meeting, remember that some things are better left unsaid.