The interview process is the most important aspect in gaining a new position, but is often given little preparation.
Step #1: Pre – Interview Strategy
Find out as much as you can about the company and the position prior to the interview.
Be prepared to answer questions like:
- What do you know about our company?
- What can you offer our company?
- What are your career goals or expectations? (Where do you see yourself in five years?)
- List something that you have done in the workplace that shows initiative?
- What type of books do you read? What was the last one?
- What kind of job are you looking for?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What are you really good at?
- Has a previous employer praised you? Why?
- What would your peers / past employers say about you?
- You may also be asked questions about difficult situations, customer service, your work / study environment.
Step #2: Factors to Consider
During the interview, the “interviewer” will be seeking out your strong and weak points, evaluating your qualifications, skills and intellectual qualities. It is imperative that you highlight positive aspects and present yourself in the best possible way. It is important to:
- Know the interviewer’s full name, correct pronunciation and their title.
- Know as much about the company and position as possible before the interview so you can ask intelligent questions – try to think of at least 2 as you are viewing the website.
- Be professionally presented – Always wear business attire to the interview and pay particular attention to your grooming. Remember to clean your shoes.
- Never criticize past employers.
Step #3: The Interview
For many interviews in the Accommodation space candidates/couples are increasingly being interviewed “virtually” for convenience and efficiency of process. There are advantages and disadvantages for candidates when they are being assessed via this method and there are some important things to consider in order to have a successful outcome. Typically you will be interviewed as a couple for Management positions – and there are specific challenges with this to be aware of.
- The technology… you might be asked to join a Zoom meeting, a (Microsoft) Teams meeting, a Skype, a WebEx meeting or any number of others. If you are not familiar with the application… do a test run the day before with a friend, a family member or your Caretakers Australia Consultant. Try and replicate the time of day, and the environment of the interview. Make sure the device you are using is the correct distance from you ( if you are interviewing as a couple – both heads should be seen – not half of each) and both equally distanced from the device. The light should ideally be BEHIND the device… not behind your heads – and no background noise, music or distractions off camera.
- Try and answer questions in turn. There is no point one person doing all the talking and the other sitting and nodding.
- Dress for the interview – not for your current environment. If you need to dress other than professionally (for example if you are working on site) just let the interviewer know.
- If you are interviewing from your work – and there is a chance you might be disrupted to grab a phone or attend the front desk.. again – let the interviewer know in advance.
- If the internet speed is lagging or breaking down from either end and you have difficulty hearing the interviewer, don’t be afraid to suggest a reschedule – its better than trying to guess answers to questions you cant quite hear!
- At the end of the interview make sure you have COMPLETELY disconnected from the meeting… before making any comment to each other about the interview!
- Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early. Late arrival at an interview is never excusable and being too early displays poor time management.
- Greet the interviewer by name and shake hands firmly.
- Sit upright in your chair, look alert and interested – be a good listener as well as a good talker.
- Smile – be friendly, positive and enthusiastic. Remember, regardless of your suitability for the position, the employer will not hire you if they don’t like you.
- Always look a prospective employer in the eye (avoiding eye contact arouses suspicion).
- Never answer questions with a simple ”yes” or “no.” Elaborate wherever possible, but be careful not to over answer.
- Make sure you get your point across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner.
Step 4: Closing the Interview
If you get the impression that the interview is not going well, don’t let your discouragement show – sometimes an interviewer may discourage you to test your reaction.
If you feel that the interview has gone well and that they like you don’t be afraid to ask, “what is the next step”? At the very least indicate that you are very interested.
Always genuinely thank the interviewer for their time and consideration of you. It is most important that you walk away from the interview knowing that you have given it your best shot. You can do no more.