Interview Preparation
 
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  Research the Organisation
     
 

An interview at the best of times can make you nervous or a little uneasy, so the best way to prepare yourself is to go in confident in the knowledge that you have done all you can to put your 'best foot forward'. Become familiar with the company's history, their purpose and goals. A good source of information can be; websites, local libraries for newspaper articles, company brochure, or ask friends if they know anyone who works there. You can visit a store, distributor or end user to gain more information.

All organizations like recognition and you need to demonstrate your interest. The benefit will be you can uncover any potential strengths/weaknesses early and raise/discuss them at the interview. This adds a tremendous amount of creditability to you as a potential employee, it should also give you a good fix on the company and their competition. Make sure the potential employer is aware of all your hard work by taking the information in a folder to the interview.

     
   
  Presentation
     
 

Look professional - Understand the style of the company you are interviewing with. Visit their stores or where their products are sold, go online and look at their product ranges. With the main emphasis on the obvious - clean and ironed clothing, polished shoes and well groomed hair and makeup. this is not the time to try something radical. It has been said a million times but it is so true:

'You never get a second chance to make a first impression!'
     
     
  Timing
     
 

Allow yourself plenty of time to find the company and a car park if required. It is even helpful to take a drive past to familiarise yourself with the location prior to the interview. This helps combat nervousness and helps keep you calm and focused on the impending interview in a more relaxed manner. Arriving 5-8 minutes early at the reception for the interview is acceptable. If more than 10 minutes early, wait in the car or go window shopping. Any earlier could show lack of time management skills.

If you are running late, always call before your scheduled appointment and explain your situation, ask if you can reschedule or let the company know of your intended arrival time.

     
     
  The Interview
     
 

Open the meeting with a firm handshake, good eye contact and a confident approach. You may wish to take a small briefcase or portfolio and a pad and pen, so you can write down points that you would like to clarify or raise later in the interview. You are showing interest. As a professional interviewee you should go to the appointment with some prepared qualifying questions.

Suggested questions
Why has the position arisen?
What particular experience or qualities is the company looking for in a candidate?
How does the employer view the company's position in the market?
What is the business strategy?
How would they describe the company culture?

Ideally you need to mix speaking and listening fifty - fifty during the interview. Try to frame your answers with examples of experience and try not to speak for more than 2 minutes in response to each question. Listening is an active not passive interaction.

  • Concentrate on the speaker, following not only words but also body language which, through the use of eyes or gestures, often underlines meaning and gives life to the message.

  • Respond quickly to points made by the speaker, if only in the shape of a nod or a yes/no.

  • Comment on the points made by the speaker, without interrupting the flow, in order to test your understanding and demonstrate that the speaker and you are still on the same wavelength. These comments may summarise something the speaker has said, giving them the opportunity to reconsider or clarify the point made.

  • Make notes on key points - even if the notes are not referred to later they will help to concentrate the mind.

  • Sit up straight and lean forward to show interest, maintain eye contact through their oral responses with positive body language.

  • Be prepared to let the speaker go on with the minimum of interruption.

  • Enjoy and look on it as a learning experience.

    You need to stay focused on what you can do for the employer, rather than what the employer can do for you. You need to be seen as a resourceful person rather than someone looking for a job. Your goal is to get across how you can increase the companies effectiveness, service and bottom line. You need to be very clear of your strengths and how they will contribute to your success in the role.
     
     
  Clarify the Role
     
 

The interview process is a two-way street, the employer is trying hard to find out about you and you want to find out about the organisation and the role. You will hopefully have defined the type of position you are ideally looking for, the things you want out of a new position and the things you don't.

An accurate job description is always a good start, so you can see all the responsibilities involved and what is expected of you in the role. This will help you make a more informed decision if this is the role for you.

     
     
  The questions the employers want answered by you
     
 

Why are you here?
Why are you interested in working for this company and not one of the competitors?

What can you do for the company?
What are your skills and how much do you know about the sector, products and services?

What kind of person are you?
Do you have the right personality to get on with the people at the company and will you share the same values that are important to the company?

What makes you stand out from the other people being interviewed for this position?
Do you have more experience, better skills and qualifications? Have a better attitude, harder working, or have higher standards.

Can we afford you?
What will it take to get you on-board? Have you been matched correctly in terms of package? Is this going to be a step up/down or sideways for you? Are you going to be happy in the long term with this package?

These are the five questions most employers will want to know the answers to, even if they don't come out directly and ask them. Think about the job and what it entails - you can play out the interview questions in your head and how you are going to respond.

     

  Closing the Interview
     
 

There are some key elements to bear in mind when the interview is coming to a close.

  • What timescale is the company working to?

  • Find out the answers to any questions

  • Are there any reservation, concerning your experience?

  • Clearly state your interest in the role

  • Indicate why you think the role would be of interest and why you feel you are ideally suited.

    Most importantly: talk through what the particular client will expect from you during and at the end of the interview, in terms of the close, with your apparel hr limited consultant. We can help you with any issues whatsoever and will be happy to take the time to answer your questions and assist with your preparation.