The subject of today's talk is interviews.
The key words here are preparation and confidence, which will carry you far.
Do your homework first.
Find out all you can about the job you are applying for and the organization you hope to work for.
Many of the employers I interviewed made the same criticism of candidates. "They have no idea what the day to day work of the job brings about. They have vague notions of 'furthering the company's prospects' or of 'serving the community', but have never taken the trouble to find out the actual tasks they will be required to do."
Do not let this be said of you. It shows an unattractive indifference to your employer and to your job.
Take the time to put yourself into the interviewer's place. He wants somebody who is hard-working with a pleasant personality and a real interest in the job.
Anything that you find out about the prospective employer can be used to your advantage during the interview to show that you have bothered to master some facts about the people who you hope to work for.
Write down (and remember) the questions you want to ask the interviewer(s) so that you are not speechless when they invite your questions. Make sure that holidays and pay are not the first things you ask about. If all your questions have been answered during the interview, replay: "I did have several questions, but you have already answered them all."
Do not be afraid to ask for clarification of something that has been said during the interview if you want to be sure what was implied, but do be polite.
Just before you go to the interview, look again at the original advertisement that you answered, any correspondence from your prospective employer, photocopies of your letter of application or application form and your resume.
Then you will remember what you said and what they want. This is very important if you have applied for many jobs in a short time as it is easy to become confused and give an impression of inefficiency.
Make sure you know where and when you have to report for the interview. Go to the building (but not inside the office) a day or two before, if necessary, to find out how long the journey takes and where exactly the place is.
Aim to arrive five or ten minutes early for the actual interview, then you will have a little time in hand and you will not panic if you are delayed. You start at a disadvantage if you arrive worried and ten minutes late. Dress in clean, neat, conservative clothes. Now is NOT the time to experiment with the punk look or (girls) to wear low-cut dresses with miniskirts. Make sure that your shoes, hands and hair (and teeth) are clean and neat.
Have the letter inviting you for an interview ready to show in case there is any difficulty in communication.
You may find yourself facing one interviewer or a panel. The latter is far more intimidating, but do not let it worry you too much. The interviewer will probably have a table in front of him/her. Do not put your things or arms on it.[/en]
If you have a bag or a case, put it on the floor beside your chair. Do not clutch it nervously or, worse still, drop it, spilling everything.
Shake hands if the interviewer offers his hand first. There is little likelihood that a panel of five wants to go though the process of all shaking hands with you in turn. So you do not be upset if no one offers.
Shake hands firmly - a weak hand suggests a weak personality, and a crushing grip is obviously painful. Do not drop the hand as soon as yours has touched it as this will seem to show you do not like the other person.
Speak politely and naturally even if you are feeling shy. Think before you answer any questions.
If you cannot understand, ask: "Would you mind rephrasing the question, please?" The question will then be repeated in different words.
If you are not definitely accepted or turned down on the spot, ask: "When may I expect to hear the results of this interview?"
If you do receive a letter offering you the job, you must reply by letter (keep a photocopy) as soon as possible.