Understanding the Lifecycle of Employee Risk: Part 2 – The Interview
May 12, 2016
The interview – a dreaded step in the job hunting process that can make any confident person break out in a cold sweat.
Following on from last month’s article on preparing yourself to apply for jobs, part two of our series will explore exactly what it takes to ace your interview and secure that essential job offer.
The job interview could potentially mark the beginning of your life with the company, so making a great first impression is essential to ensuring you stand out against other candidates. Take, for example, John, our millennial job hunter who, after having his CV verified and cleaned up his act on social media, has finally applied for his dream job.
Thanks to his efforts before applying, John has been invited to the first round of interviews. His biggest challenge now is to make sure that he’s completely ready to wow the interviewer and earn himself a place at the company. By following a few basic guidelines, you too can find yourself at the top of your game and ready to secure a job offer.
Dress up for the occasion
It’s an often repeated trope when it comes to formal interviews (and life in general) – first impressions are everything. The best way to put your best foot forward is to look your best. If this sounds simple, well that’s because it is. Something as basic as the way you dress to your interview can directly affect the interviewer’s perception of you. Walking through the door in clothes that are creased or dirty will immediately put you on the back foot, especially compared to the previous candidate who showed up in their Sunday best.
Do your research
It goes without saying that if you interview at a company without knowing what they do, who their clients are, or even just a basic overview of the organisation as a whole, then you’re not likely to get very far in the interview process.
One of the biggest mistakes candidates make is not asking questions. There’s a reason every job interview contains at least one occurrence of “So, do you have any questions?” Interviewers are always trying to see if you’re attentive, on top of how good a fit you are for their particular company culture. With that being said, it’s important to not ask questions for the sake of asking them. Make sure your question will add value to the interview while demonstrating that you have done research.
Know your resume (and don’t lie)
Let’s go back to John for a second; he’s in the interview and the interviewer brings up his academic qualifications, particularly his time the University of Johannesburg. If John had no idea what they were talking about, how do you think that would reflect on his integrity? Pretty poorly of course.
The most effective way to avoid situations such as these is to be truthful on your resume, don’t garnish qualifications or work experience and you’ll have nothing to hide (or lie about). Make sure that you know everything that is listed on your CV and can expand on this information if required.
Get your Passport to Employment
Having emphasised the pitfalls of padding your CV with information about qualifications you’ve never received or listing companies where you have never been employed, a potential employer will be easily impressed if you take this process one step further. iFacts offers individuals looking for employment, a self-verification CV service. In other words, John sends his CV to iFacts requesting a CV varication. iFacts runs all the necessary checks and provides John with a certificate of proof that his CV information has been independently verified. This immediately show’s John’s potential employer that he is confident is his skill set and abilities, and that he has integrity. Two factors that will unfailing put him ahead of the pack.
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Practice the common questions
We all know them – those questions that pop up in every job interview. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, “Why do you think you’d be perfect for this job?”, “Tell us about yourself!”, or the dreaded “What is your greatest weakness?”
Nothing can be more intimidating than having to justify yourself to an interviewer. In order to beat the nerves and win your potential employers over, practice your answers to these questions before you even set foot in the interview. Being prepared can help you to only answer these curveball questions, but also better understand why you are applying for the job at hand. Just remember that employers are looking for confidence, not arrogance.
Courtesy in this context involves a number of things that can make you seem more appealing to your potential employers. For starters, don’t be late to your interview. This is a cardinal sin that, in most cases, can eliminate you from contention before you even get there. Scout out the location beforehand and ensure that you know where you are going and how to get there in time.
Another form of courtesy is to simply thank the interviewer for taking the time to see you. Don’t leave this too long, but rather try aim to do so within 1-2 days of the interview itself. Much like thank you notes from a newlywed couple, a simple email can make you seem sincere and confident.
Thanks to his adequate preparation, John was able to walk into his interview full of confidence and win the company over. As the old adage goes, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” If you follow these relatively easy steps, you too can land your dream job and secure your future.
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