I believe the interview starts at the point when you are selected from your written application and invited to meet with the employer to talk further about your suitability for the vacancy. Every interaction thereafter is ‘on the record’, and applicants should expect to be under constant evaluation.
The moment you receive that call, e-mail, or letter confirming that you have been shortlisted for interview, your focus should change from what you said on paper to how you will live up to the claims of your CV and covering letter.
Accept that the interview has started, even though it may be several days or weeks away. In my opinion, the first thing you should do is reply to the organisation, confirming (if you can) that the appointment offered is acceptable, with your thanks. I suggest keeping this very short and right to the point – this is no place for new information, or waffle.
The most important thing throughout every stage of the recruitment process is to avoid being rejected – you have to make the ‘last three’ in the mind of the recruiter before you can be offered the job and subsequently appointed. If you haven’t done so already, clean up your social networking sites (or check their privacy settings). Employers do look on the Web for further information about their prospective employees. What they find may influence – positively or negatively – their opinion of you before you even enter the interview room.
On interview day, interviewers hope to see all the candidates they have shortlisted. If you change your mind about attending the interview – perhaps because you have secured an alternative job – have the courtesy to let the company know in good time so it can consider inviting other applicants. It doesn’t want its valuable time wasted, and your paths may cross again one day.
Confidence comes from preparation – everything else is beyond your control. Nothing boosts the former like the latter, and the door of opportunity won’t open unless you push it. You can only prepare before, not after – and you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Read the interview invitation letter very carefully. There will likely be facts or clues as to how the interview will be conducted. You may find out how many people will be interviewing you, and who they will be. If the interviewers’ names are there, you can search the Internet for further intelligence and background information on them. If the duration of the interview is indicated, you can estimate how this time might be used. Unless the letter advises otherwise, this is a good guide:
What to wear and getting there
Good advice is ‘keep it simple’ and dress for the work you seek. This is no time to experiment with your wardrobe. Wear a dark suit and a white shirt, or blouse. A sharp tie or scarf will make you look very distinctive. Get a haircut if you need one, and shine your shoes. There are some good ‘dress for success’ tips on the Web.2
I’m no fashionista, and there’s a fair chance that your interviewers will not be, either. We had a chap show up in a pink shirt and a flowery pink tie. My colleague interviewer and I could not decide between ‘inappropriate’ or ‘hideous’ as our overall visual impression. Either way, it didn’t help and after conducting all of the interviews, he was the first we rejected – it seems we remembered him for all the wrong reasons!
If you are driving to the interview location, park in a designated car-parking space and report to reception. Sign in neatly, and smile at the receptionist, perhaps saying something pleasant but neutral. This is important – interviewers (including me) often ask the receptionist for their views on those who have attended. When our receptionist, Cherry, said that an earlier candidate had been rude to her, we ruled him out right away – if he could not be polite in our office, we imagined how he might deal with our clients.
Employers offer jobs to great candidates – those who can apply properly, and who can measure up to their written submissions, and live up to their CVs. I am an employer and, in these two articles, I have shared with you my honest views concerning what it takes to successfully negotiate these two steps of application and interview. Appointment to my company follows for those of you who can navigate these to my satisfaction. Good luck in your job search, and I hope you find the job you love.
Credit to : Mr Harry Teh ( KPM -FB GRPUP )