Attending an interview can be daunting at the best of times; whether it's your first interview or whether you have attended several before, it's not uncommon to be nervous or apprehensive. We have put together this basic guide that we hope will help you prepare for and present yourself in the best possible light to your potential new employer...
90% of people who go for an interview do so without sufficient preparation.
Be one of the 10% who do prepare thoroughly and give yourself a big advantage over the others.
When anyone attends an interview they are being judged not only on their qualifications and experience but also on how they present themselves and the impact made on the interviewer.
It is a fact that people who are less experienced but are better prepared will have a far higher chance of securing the job.
Useful Tips on Preparation
- Get as much information as possible about the Company that you are visiting.
- Prepare as many questions as possible to ask about the company, the role etc.
- Put together a personal presenter:
- A copy of your current CV
- Industry & education certificates
- Mentions in despatches
- Internal or external letters of praise
- Other accolades
- Performance league tables
- Commission tables
- Copy payslips or P60's
- Other validation of earnings
- Internal magazine articles mentioning you
- Appraisal or review reports
- And any other documentation which shows you in a good light and as an achiever in life!
- Think about questions you are likely to be asked and prepare thoughtful responses.
- Make sure you know exactly where the interview is and how to get there. Leave plenty of time.
- Review your strengths & weaknesses.
- Convert your strengths into benefits to the company - people buy benefits!
- Think about how you control your weaknesses? What have you done to overcome any weaknesses and develop your skills?
- Use all your skills as a Salesperson to sell the product...YOURSELF!
The usual format is for the interviewer to ask questions based on what the company usually looks for.
These will usually fall into 10 categories including:
- Excellence - in work and customer service.
- Teamwork - influencing others and developing relationships.
- Leadership - inspiring others to achieve.
- Communicating - internally and externally and at all levels.
- Development - of self & others.
- Problem Solving - understanding issues, gathering facts & presenting solutions.
- Achievements - what successes have you had and how do you measure success.
- Value Creation - innovation in process and service provision.
- Negative Issues - Dealing with complaints, rejection or pressure.
- Sundry Questions - What do you do in your current employment? Why are you applying for this position? What can you bring to this company?
Typical Interview Questions
- Tell me a little about yourself
- Why do you want to move from your current job?
- Why have you applied for this job?
- What do you consider to be your greatest achievements in your career?
- What are your main strengths?
- What weaknesses do you have? What tasks do you find the hardest?
- What motivates you?
- Tell me about a typical week in your current role.
- What do you enjoy, and also dislike, about your current role?
- What 3 words would your colleagues use to describe you?
- What kind of decision do you find most difficult? How do you ask for help?
- What performance standards do you set for yourself?
- How do you measure good service? Give me an example of good service.
- You are not achieving your targets or your target is increased. What actions do you take?
- How do you plan for the future and what have you done to develop your role?
- Are you reactive or proactive? Give an example.
- What positive attributes do you bring to a team?
- What leadership, management or coaching roles have you undertaken?
- What issues have you experienced in the last 6 months? What action did you take?
- How do you deal with rejections, failure or criticism?
- What have you done over the last 12 months, to develop your skills and knowledge?
- What do you know about the role and the company? Why should I offer you the job?
- Find out as much as possible about the Company and the role before you go.
- Go to solve the employer's problems.
- Be an equal. It's your meeting as well.
- Make sure you secure another meeting.
- Think carefully before you answer every question.
- Indicate to the employer how you are going to do the job.
- Tell them about your achievements and skills. Show them your folder.
- Be positive and proud throughout.
- Highlight your strengths.
- Give the employer plenty of reasons to want, eventually, to offer you the job.
- Attend any interview without proper research and preparation.
- Go to the meeting just to get a job.
- Behave like a subordinate.
- Forget that getting another interview is your main reason for being there.
- React to questions by saying the first thing that comes into your head.
- State, or imply, that there is any part of the job you cannot do.
- Be too modest about your successes.
- Give negative vibes about your abilities.
- Volunteer your weaknesses.
- Provide any ammunition that might cause you to be rejected.