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Every time you talk to someone who is part of a recruitment process, you are being
assessed for your professionalism, your communication and interpersonal skills, and so
on. Performing well in these pre-screening processes as well as at the formal interview
will increase your changes of winning a job.

This page will give you tips on how to prepare for a face to face interview, however
many of these tips can be applied to the pre-screening process also.

Dress Well
Dress well for your interview. Wear the type of formal clothing that you would need to
wear when you were representing the organisation in your role. For example, if you
know your role will involve you presenting at a conference, meeting suppliers in
negotiations and interacting with customers, dress as you would for the most formal of these situations. The interviewer will be keen to establish that you are a suitable potential representative of the organisation.

Be Friendly, but Professional
Let your personality come through in a professional way. Be ready to make some small
talk if the situation arises. The interviewer needs to establish whether there will be a
cultural fit between you and the employing organisation. You don’t want to enter a
culture that’s not right for you, so show your personality.

Be Honest
Honesty lets the interviewer ascertain whether there is a fit between you and the role.
That doesn’t mean you need to pour your heart out about everything and shoot yourself
in the foot. But, definitely do not lie or make things up. You want to end up in the right
role for you, so be honest about what is important to you in a role and an organisation,
and be honest and very positive about what you can bring to the role.

Don’t Criticise your Previous Employers
While honesty is important, convey your messages in a positive way. As such, do not
openly criticise your prior bosses or employers. This can convey a sense of negativity
about your personality. For example, rather than saying “I really dislike working with my
manager. She is a micro manager who never lets me have ownership of anything I do”, you might say “I am looking for a role where I have greater ownership of decisions and the leeway to implement those decisions in my own way. I have less of this than I would like in my current role”.

Be Well Prepared
Research the organisation and the role. Use the internet, and ask friends and industry
contacts so that you find out as much as you can before the interview. Be prepared to
talk about the organisation, the role and your thoughts on these.

Be able to talk easily about your skills, talents and experiences as they relate to the job.
Think about the questions you’re likely to be asked and prepare answers. Think of
examples of things you’ve done. Practice saying these answers and examples out loud.
You might even want to do a couple of interview role plays with someone.

Ask Questions
Prepare and ask some of your own relevant questions. You want to look interested
without turning it into an inquisition.

Be on time
Don’t be too early, which puts pressure on the person you’re meeting, nor late. Arrive
about 7-10 minutes before the appointment so you can sit and compose yourself.

Recruiters and employers want to bring the best out in people. They are not trying to
catch you out.

Stay positive if you don’t get the role – and learn from the interview
There will be many applicants for a role and you may not be successful the first time around. Learn from the experience by asking for feedback on how you did in the interview – things that came across well and areas where you could improve – both in terms of your
interviewing performance and your skills and experience.

If you’d like some help to improve your interviewing skills, call Saffron Shores on (02) 9440 4337 or click here to make an enquiry.

DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION   Preparing for an Interview

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