An interview is a meeting or session between an employer or interviewer and a potential applicant or interviewee to discuss a potential hire.
Purpose of the interview
For the job seeker:
- To gain insights into the role
- To understand the unique benefits or offerings of the company
Types of interviews
- One-on-one: involves one interviewer and one interviewee.
- Panel: involves a group of interviewers and one candidate
- Group: involves a single or multiple interviewers and multiple candidates
- Practical/technical interviews: involves practical tests to determine technical skills.
- Assessment-based interviews: usually to determine if a candidate is a culture fit for the organisation.
Preparing for an interview
- Prepare your CV and Cover Letter.
- Conduct research on the role, industry trends, salary expectations, job description, and required skills and competencies.
- Research the organization.
- Reflect on your own skills and strengths.
- Familiarize yourself with the interview location.
- Pay attention to grooming and dress appropriately.
At the location
- Remember that the interview starts as you enter the premises.
- Be punctual and arrive on time.
- Be polite and courteous to everyone you encounter.
- Avoid eating or ask for permission to eat while waiting (if it is important that you eat)
- Refrain from using your phone and consider bringing a book instead.
- Sit in a proper manner.
- Offer a firm handshake.
- Maintain eye contact to demonstrate your attentiveness.
- Be honest and avoid lying.
- Speak audibly and clearly.
- Be concise and answer questions directly, seeking clarification when needed.
- Always ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate your interest in understanding the organization better.
- Smile and exude confidence.
- Practice effective communication skills.
- Provide thorough answers without rambling.
- Listen carefully to ensure you understand the questions.
- Avoid discussing salary unless the interviewer initiates the topic, as it may convey a sole focus on monetary aspects.
- Refrain from making negative comments about previous employers or colleagues.
- Avoid chewing gum or eating candy during the interview.
- Ensure your phone is on silent mode to avoid distractions.
After the interview
- Remember to express gratitude and say thank you.
- Maintain composure until you leave the premises, regardless of the perceived outcome of the interview.
In addition to these guidelines, job seekers can greatly benefit from soft skills training, which focuses on developing interpersonal skills, communication skills, and emotional intelligence. Improving interviewing skills and employability skills training can also enhance the chances of success in job interviews.