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Interviews can be nerve-racking, and can take place in a variety of different styles. Ensure that you are well prepared for your interview and practice beforehand with perhaps a family member or friend. Find out as much as you can about the company – i.e. turnover, other business in addition to core business, culture etc. and also about the position you have applied for. The more you prepare, the calmer you will be which will enhance your performance in the interview.

What Influences the Interviewer

The more you know about how you will be perceived, the more you can prepare. From a survey of recruiters the qualities which influenced them were, in priority order:

Priority Order

  • Your personality, how you present yourself in the interview;
  • Your experience;
  • The qualifications you have for the position;
  • Your background and references;
  • The enthusiasm you have towards the organisation and the job

Major Concerns

  • Can this person do the job?
  • Will this person do the job?
  • Will this person fit in?

Types of Interview

Interviews can take place in a variety of formats. Make sure you know what kind of interview you will be having. For a telephone interview make sure you have your CV to hand, you are free from distractions, you have a pen and paper handy and also your diary. A panel interview will involve being interviewed by several people. Address your answers to the chairperson unless you are asked a question by another member of the panel. Anassessment centre can involve a wide range of tests and exercises – group exercises, psychometric tests for example. The interviewer will be looking for personality traits and how you relate to others.

Self Presentation – Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do make sure you and your clothes are clean and odour free;
  • Do dress suitably for the position – a suit being the most formal and standard interview wear;
  • Do have plenty of eye contact with the interviewer;
  • Do be confident and well prepared;
  • Do make sure your speech is clear and audible;
  • Don’t get flustered or panic;
  • Don’t get frustrated with the interviewer if they don’t understand your answer;
  • Don’t lie

Frequently Asked Interview Questions

Now you have more information on interviews, consider the following interview questions and prepare answers for them.
  • Tell me about yourself;
  • Tell me about your current / most recent position;
  • Why are you looking for this change?
  • What functions and tasks do you enjoy the most?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your plans for the future?
  • What was your last manager like?
  • What is the hardest job you have ever had?
  • How would your colleagues describe you?
  • If you had to use five adjectives to describe