The dictionary describes an interview as a face-to-face encounter for consulting purposes. In other words, it is a conversation about two or more people about one cause or another. Organizations, businesses and institutions use this form of meeting and debate to help them select the right applicants to be hired. Imagine that you have been applying for work lately.
Then there is an invitation to an interview. How do you feel when you read the letter? Elated, inspired, and strange to getaway? Or afraid, resigned to your fate and overwhelmed with a feeling of imminent doom? Does this second definition sound like the way you would feel about it? Feeling down on your chances, writing off your talents and experience, and telling yourself that you will not go anywhere? Maybe that is the way you have reacted to being called to interviews in the past.
There is nothing more apt to make that bleak forecast come true than psychologically closing your chances of success right from the start (Corfield, 2009). People who interview you for a position are likely to be total strangers, unless you apply for a vacancy in a company you currently work. Many of us would like to meet someone we do not know about at the interview.
Hence, it is possible to explain oneself openly, putting the angle we want on our responses. However, not all panels consist of unknown names. Having ex-or current bosses on the interview panel can be disconcerting.
It can sound constraining while attempting to explain our best behavior as the panel members may have had a shot at our worst!
How to prepare for a job interview
Job interviewing is potentially the most important step you will take on your job search journey. It is only a chance to convince the hiring manager or management firm that you are the best choice to do their work (How to prepare for a successful job interview | Robert Half, no date).
Knowing how to prepare for a job interview begins with the following:
- Check the job description
- Researching the business deeply
- Thinking about what you will wear
- Planning your journey to the interview
- Preparing for questions you will be asked
- Preparing your questions for the employer
- Sell yourself out to the hiring committee (How to Prepare for an Interview | Indeed.com, no date).
- Following up with the employer.
INTERVIEW DO’S & DON’TS
- Your homework! (On the organization and in your preparations)
- be confident
- Practice! Good interview skills take practice
- Ask questions that are thoughtful and intelligent
- Follow up to thank interviewers within 24hrs
- Take your time to think when responding to a question
- Make sure to discuss how you are going to apply your skills to the job you are interviewing for
- Use every interview as a learning experience. Every interview (good & bad) helps you learn and makes you better
- Dress appropriately (when in doubt, overdress)
- Arrive early • make eye contact
- Bring extra copies of your resume (just in case)
- Bring copies of your reference list
- Be aware of your nervous habits
- Be concrete
- Shake hands on arrival and departure
- Be YOURSELF.
- Be overconfident/aggressive
- Ask silly questions that waste time or have an obvious answer that you would know if you did your homework
- Forget to ask any questions at all
- Chew gum
- Stare or avoid eye contact
- Arrive late
- Leave your cell phone on
- Bring a coffee (Student and Centre, no date).
- Corfield, R. (2009) Successful interview skills. Available at: www.koganpage.com.
- How to prepare for a successful job interview | Robert Half (no date). Available at: https://www.roberthalf.com.au/career-advice/interview#preparing-questions (Accessed: 2 January 2021).
- How to Prepare for an Interview | Indeed.com (no date). Available at: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/how-to-prepare-for-an-interview (Accessed: 2 January 2021).
- Student, T. and Centre, L. (no date) ‘The Student Life Centre ’ s Interview Preparation Guide’.