The person who gets the job is not necessarily the most qualified, but perhaps the one who knows HOW to get a job.
Although we have headed this section as Interview Techniques and indeed the word interview often appears, we at Harrison Scott Associates, when working with clients and candidates do not refer to the word interview, preferring the word meeting. As we treat candidates differently than most recruitment companies, we feel the word "interview" conjures up traditional images of the days when employers had queues of people wanting to join them and could look down from a higher seated position with statements such as "Well Mr Jones, what makes you want to join ABC Company Limited?" Harrison Scott Associates operate in market sectors where our clients represent the market leaders in their respective fields. The candidates we deal with are at the top end of the market; therefore the word "meeting" is a fairer representation of the exchange between both parties rather than one having the upper hand.
Part 8: What questions should you ask in an interview?
Make sure you are "prepared" to ask questions about the position and the company. Generally you will be given an opportunity near the end of the interview. The interviewer usually asks if you have any questions - you should at least have about two or three prepared. If you don't, the employer may think you are not really interested in the company.
Use this opportunity to ask questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the industry - show that you are interested in a long-term career that is "mutually beneficial". Don't allow this to be an interrogation, therefore, no more than four questions.
Do you know what questions you can ask at the interview?
It certainly depends on your situation; the position you are applying for, and your relationship with the interviewer (s) and organisation - below are some common questions.
- What would a normal working day be like?
- Can you explain the position and the type of candidate you are looking to hire?"
- What do you expect from the successful candidate in the first two months?
- Is this a newly created position? If not, what happened to the person that held this position?
- Who will the new employee be reporting to?
- Do you see any major changes within the company that will effect this position?
- How often are performance reviews given?
- Is it possible to tour the facility?
- Does the company provide any educational benefits?
- What is the dress code?
At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. Make a short, concise summary of your qualifications and stress your interest in the position. Here is an example:
"This interview has convinced me that my abilities match your company needs. I am extremely interested in the position -- I know it's a perfect match." "Can I ask what the next step is." (or) "When can I expect to hear from you?" or Could I call you in a few days to check on the status of my application?"
The same day or the next day, send a personalised thank you letter to refresh the interviewer's memory of you. This is your opportunity to mention any experience or skills that were not discussed in your interview. If possible, try to offer new information or discuss something that went on in the interview.
A "post-interview assessment" can help improve your technique and build your confidence and perfect your interviewing skills. After each interview you will be able to fine-tune weak areas - practice creates perfection. Analysing the interview and discussing your feelings during and after it, can be very helpful in preparing for the next interview.
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