• Customer Services
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Front of House
    • Call Handling
    • Complaints Management
  • Sales & Marketing
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Account Management
    • New Business Development
    • Call Centre
    • Tele-marketing
    • Area Sales
    • National Sales
  • Information Technology
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Digital Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimisation
    • Link Building
    • Web Development
  • Supply Chain
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Planning
    • Purchasing
    • Logistics
    • Warehousing
  • Accounts
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • AAT
    • ACCA
    • CIMA
  • Administration
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Secretarial
    • Office Administration
    • Sales Administration
    • Data Input
  • Legal
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Paralegal

Face-To-Face Interview Tips

Sally September 28th, 2012
By Sally

Prior to any interview we arrange for you with our clients, your point of contact at Transparency Personnel will ensure you are fully prepared with information such as the business strategy, organisational culture and the macro and micro requirements of the vacancy.

Furthermore, following our initial meeting we can provide feedback and guidance on interview technique and etiquette to give you the best possible chance of securing the position.

In the meantime, here are some general interview tips to get you started.

Pre-Interview Research

Prior to any interview it is always necessary to conduct company research. This information gathering doesn’t have to be too detailed at first interview stage, but to create a good impression you must be able to demonstrate and understanding of some basic company facts such as:

  • Years established.
  • Products manufactured, services offered.
  • Markets served.
  • Size of company.
  • Recent company news.
  • Some background understanding of the interviewer.

Most of this information is likely to be available on the company website.  Once armed with these basic facts, you will be prepared for the typical interview question “What do you know about our company?”

Pre-Interview Checklist

  • Plan your travel route to the site well in advance.
  • Plan to get to the interview 10 minutes before the scheduled interview time.
  • Dress in professional attire.
  • Have with you any certificates of education and proof of identity such as birth certificate or passport.
  • Upon arrival ensure the receptionist knows who you, who your appointment is with and at what time.

Make A Good First Impression!

  • Maintain good eye contact.
  • Give a firm handshake.
  • Don’t talk over the interviewer, interrupt their questions or talk too much.
  • Ensure you are professionally dressed in business attire.
  • Smile!

Communication Styles  

Without effective communication it is impossible to make a good impression.  By considering the style of the interviewer and “mirroring” this style, you can improve your chances of connecting with the interviewer.

  • If the interviewer is direct and straight to the point, answer directly.
  • If the interviewer is very personable, pick up on their interests/ background and discuss.
  • If the interviewer is very business focussed, keep your conversation business related.

Common Interview Blunders

  • Not preparing for the interview.
  • Showing up too early; puts the interviewer under pressure and makes you look too keen!
  • Arriving late without calling to keep to keep the interviewer informed.
  • A poor handshake. Either too limp wristed or a “finger tip” handshake.
  • Treating the receptionist rudely (the interviewer may ask for their opinion of you).
  • Talking negatively about current or past employers and showing them disrespect.
  • Asking about salary and company benefits without first having won the interviewer over.
  • Using too many conversation “fillers”.  You know, umm and like are often used to fill spaces in conversation when people are thinking. Instead pause for a few seconds to think and consider your answer, silence can be good at times and demonstrates self confidence.
  • Not enough or too much eye contact. Avoiding eye contact gives the impression you have something to hide or are disinterested in the conversation.  Good eye contact shows confidence. Excessive eye contact will make the interviewer feel uncomfortable.

The most common mistake people make in an interview situation is not being conscious of how they are communicating with the interviewer.  Always listen each question asked without pre-empting and make your answers specific.  Keep your answers short, concise and informative without waffling.  In this way you will appear more focussed and you will help maintain momentum in the interview. Never try to lead the interview by giving your life story and cramming in too much information.  The interviewer needs to feel in control.

Final Points

If you are interested in the job then make sure you tell the interviewer! Give them feedback on the reasons why.  Always try and agree a forward action plan, whether it is when you should expect feedback or even the date of a second interview! View the article Executive Appointments: What to expect during second interviews

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