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The Job Interview Guide

  • by: Amandine Foucher
  • On: 4, Jun 2019
5 min read

Looking for a new job? VHR’s Job Interview Guide reveals the top tips to help you find your next job and your ideal career.

How to Research for a Job Interview

Before the day, ensure you do your homework about the company and the industry you are applying to join. Your potential employer will almost certainly ask you the question, “What do you know about our company?” and you don’t want to be stuck for words. The best information to come prepared with is:

· The company’s role in the specified industry

· The company’s clients, partners and competitors

· Knowledge of the most recent projects, case studies, news, blogs and press articles.

Researching a company’s website and social media channels is the easiest way to research this information, because these will show the most correct, relevant and important information about the company. Complement this research by looking into what other publications, such as online newspapers or magazines, have said about the company: perhaps they have won an award, opened a new brand or commented on an important industry event.

Discussing your research is your opportunity to prove you understand your potential employer and are truly interested in the opportunity.

Body Language

Recruiters will not only pay attention to the the way you speak but also the way you behave. Your body language will be analysed by the recruiter, and will determine their perception of your character.

Ensure you do the following:
  • Sit upright in your seat
  • Use hand gestures while speaking
  • Plant your feet on the ground
  • Breathe deeply and speak on the exhale
  • Nod your head while listening
  • Smile
  • Walk in confidently

Appearance

The way you dress for a job interview is crucial as it is the first impression you will give to the interviewer. Dressing in the right way for an interview shows that you are serious about the job and genuinely interested in the position. Dressing professionally will also give you a boost of confidence as it puts you in a work frame of mind.

For men, this might mean a suit jacket and slacks with a shirt and tie, or a sweater and button down. For women, this might mean a blouse and smart trousers or a statement dress. You can also incorporate some modern style trends into your outfit.

Bring your CV with You

If you really want to impress, make sure you bring a few copies of your CV to interview. If you're facing a panel of
interviewers, you will look organised if you can supply them with their own copy. It is perfectly acceptable to have a copy of your CV in front of you for your reference as you discuss your skills, too.

Bear in mind that even if you’re using a more dynamic template, such as Canva or LinkedIn for your CV, most employers will still expect to see hard copies.

Watch Out for Questions You Shouldn't Be Asked

There are some questions you shouldn’t be asked in a job interview. In some cases asking these questions is ethically questionable, and in others it would actually be illegal. Most of the questions about the below topics are not allowed to be discussed:

  • Sexuality
  • Nationality
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Pregnancy Status or Intentions to Have Children
  • Marital Status
  • Age

Arrive On Time

Always be on time for an interview, even if that means being early - a late arrival can show a lack of organisation and poor punctuality. Avoid being late by following these rules:

  • Set an alarm far in advance; the earlier you get up, the more time you have to prepare
  • Organise your outfit the night before - don’t rush in the morning as you may either make a bad decision or create unnecessary stress.
  • Allow yourself extra travelling time to get to the interview: these extra few minutes beforehand will enable you to visit the toilets, go over your preparation again and calm your nerves.

Prepare your Answers in Advance

As well as going through your CV, skills and experience, you will be asked a series of questions. Some of these questions will test your ability to perform in the role, but your potential employer will also be interested to see how you cope with thinking on the spot and handle a stressful situation.

Practicing interview questions before the big day will help alleviate some stress and nerves. The more you prepare, the more comfortable and successful you will be.

Here are some questions frequently asked by hiring managers:

· Explain what you think you can bring to this role

· Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years’ time?

· What are your strengths?

· What are your weaknesses?

· Tell me about a time you successfully handled a stressful situation?

· What characteristics do you think are important in this job role?

Project Self-Confidence

Project self-confidence accurately in order to build rapport and make a personal connection with your interviewer.

  • Find the fine-line between arrogance and pride; ensure you show modesty.
  • Try to avoid cliché or predictable answers.
  • Carefully outline how your strengths will solve company problems by making sure they’re based around achieving the job's key requirements.
  • Try to avoid a heavy use of adjectives and stick to data and facts.
  • Give examples as evidence of your skills and experience.

Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

When in a job interview, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you need to do to give yourself the best chance of landing the job. Here are the 10 questions you should ask in a job interview:

  • What are the key priorities for the first few months?
  • How will I be assessed?
  • How will the role/department develop?
  • What’s the biggest challenge I can expect to face?
  • What’s the best part of working here?
  • Who are your main direct competitors?
  • What’s the company culture like?
  • What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?
  • What are the next steps of the interview process?

Keep Calm

Both before and during the job interview, try to relax, control your nerves and stay as calm as possible. A few examples of how to remain calm include:

  • Take deep breaths.
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer
  • Listen to the whole question being asked and do not interrupt.
  • Take your time in responding with your answer.
  • Try not to speak too fast – ensure they can understand you clearly.
  • Be yourself and smile.

Follow Up

After an interview, it is always respectful to follow-up with a thank you email reiterating your interest in the job position. In this email, you could also include any remaining details that you may have forgotten to mention during your interview.

VHR recommends that you send your thankyou note within 24 hours of your interview and if you met multiple people, ensure you send each person a note. Following up on an interview not only shows the interviewer that you are enthusiastic and keen, but also reflects your friendliness and proves you are team-spirited for a memorable positive impression. 

Looking for a new challenge? Have a look at all our technical and engineering jobs around the world.

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