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Interviewing Tips

Interviewing Tips

Interviewing – Guidelines and Tips

In every interview the company will be trying to determine the answers to the following three questions.

  • Is this person competent for the position?
  • Is this person like us? Will he or she fit in with our culture?
  • Will this person stay with us?

The strategy of the interview

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.

What employers look for?

Suitability

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.

Personal appearance

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.

Format of the job interview

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.

  • Make sure to get the name and title of each person you interview with from your Account Manager at Montare.
  • Try to avoid a lengthy discussion of past work experience.
  • Seize the initiative at some stage and ask the question: "What exactly will my job responsibilities include?"
  • When the interviewer responds with a description of your initial responsibilities as a new employee, your opportunity to convince the interviewer that you can do the job has arrived.

Typical questions

"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.

Questions to ask the potential employer

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:

  • What is the vision for the organisation and how will an individual in this role be expected to contribute to that goal?
  • What makes a successful person in this organisation?
  • Describe your management style or how you like to manage people.

Common mistakes

  • Do not lose sight of the main objective: ‘To Get the Job Offer!’.
  • Being too quiet. For one reason or another many people tend to understate their capabilities and don't express enthusiasm for the job. This can and will be misinterpreted for someone who will not communicate easily and display concerns, ideas etc. while in the role.
  • Asking "me" questions. Don't pursue too many questions about what the company can do for you during the interview. Emphasise instead your ability to contribute to the company. There is a time to ask "me" questions - but that time is after you receive the offer and with your Account Manager at Montare.

Additional tips

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.

Contact Montare Recruitment

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.