In every interview the company will be trying to determine the answers to the following three questions.
The strategy of the interview is simple: To get the job offer!
You should not be interviewing to broaden your knowledge of available opportunities. You should have a genuine interest in this role. In a tight market such as IT, to leave the employer with the impression that you are just shopping around is a mistake – news travels quickly between companies and agencies.
Remember: Qualifications may get you the interview, but they will not get you the job offer.
Getting the job offer entails finding out what the open position requires and convincing the interviewer(s) that you are the best person for that job. The key word here is "convincing." To be really convincing, you must seize the initiative at some point during the interview and subtly make things proceed according to your own strategy.
The interviewer is obviously looking for a technically qualified person who can do the job. The employer looks for someone who can and wants to do what needs to be done.
Job offers are usually made because of something in addition to the candidate's qualifications. You get invited to the interview because of your resume, but you will only get the offer by selling yourself. The employer is looking for confident, positive statements and affirmative reactions to his or her questions. A negative approach will not get you a job offer.
Don’t be afraid to share your enthusiasm
If you like the employer's technology, the direction in which the company is headed, the people they have already hired, the location of the office, or any other item related to the position in question, don't be afraid to say so with enthusiasm. It is up to you to let the employer know you are interested.
Know something about the culture of the prospective employer. The traditional wisdom is to dress conservatively for interviews. Basic classic styles like black, gray and navy blue suits with minimal accessories are recommended. Don't worry that your hosts are more casually dressed. Unless you are told otherwise, you should always dress conservatively.
There is no standard pattern. Be aware that you will probably be interviewed by more than one person. The interview may even include meeting potential colleagues. Although there is no standard "structure," there are standard steps within any interview.
"Why don't you begin by telling me about yourself?"
This is the interviewer's way of starting the interviewing process. Answer with something like this: "I'd be pleased to tell you about myself. What is it exactly you would like to know?"
"What are your long-term goals?"
Some candidates blindly answer this question with power objectives like "I want to be a manager," "I want to make $250,000 a year," or even "I want to have your position." If asked that question, give the impression that you want to contribute to the company, as well as making clear your desire for growth within the organisation but only once a suitable time frame had past or the appropriate skills had been ascertained.
"Do you have any questions?"
The temptation is to ask "me" questions which would be a mistake. Ask questions that are company related such as the direction of the company. Ask the interviewer what he or she feels the future of the company might be, what is their technology direction – will they be introducing new platforms etc.
Asking relevant questions about the job and the organisation is another opportunity to demonstrate the preparation you have put into the interview. Emphasis should be placed on what is expected of you and not what you expect from the company.
Suggested questions include:
Be patient and understanding. Avoid discussion of personal problems. Stick to job-related topics. Do not waste time with excessive small talk.
Always go well beyond simple "yes" or "no" answers. Look for opportunities to compliment the interviewer and the company. There is no better way to express your sincere interest in the position and in the company.
Be aware that you may be asked questions that are beyond your technical depth. If/when the questions get to a point where you have no direct experience, you can answer with "Although I haven't (whatever), I have done (something similar or related) and I know I could do (whatever) if given the chance."
Interview with confidence. Do not back away from any item on your resume or make excuses for performance. Confidence, built on self-assurance, will assure interview success. Once again, remember you are there to get the job offer.
Call the Montare Account Manager who referred you to the position immediately after the interview. The Account Manager will want to discuss the interview with you and gain your thoughts and feedback.
If you are interested in progressing further, express these thoughts, along with your perceptions on how the interview went. Feel free to raise any concerns or ‘me’ questions here or any further questions you may have.
For further information or if you feel like you need to fine tune your interview skills feel free to either call us here at the office and we would be more than happy to provide one on one advice. Alternatively you can access specific websites like seek.com.au and careerone.com.au which also have additional tips and guidelines to further cement your potential job seeking abilities.
Lifehacker Australia also provides some relevant articles under the career section and IT Pro subheading.