INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE

Interview technique is an area neglected by many job-seekers. If not neglected, they fail to spend sufficient time developing these important skills. In this careers video and article we will explore what interview technique is and how you can get the most from it.


Over the last 20 years I have used the same formula time and time again to pass interviews. Over the next few pages and chapters I will explain what this formula involves, and more importantly how you can use it to assist you during every interview that you attend. The formula itself is a simple one, and is broken down into three different sections:

- Interview technique
- Research
- Responding to the interview questions

INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE

During my pre-interview preparation, I will concentrate on developing my interview technique. This will involve concentrating on the following key areas:

- Creating a positive first impression
- Presentation
- Effective communication
- Body language and posture
- Final questions
- Creating a positive final impression

Let’s now break down each of these areas and look at them in detail.

Creating a positive first impression

An interview panel will naturally create a first impression of you. As soon as you walk into the interview room they will be forming an opinion. Therefore, it is important that you get off on the right foot. Whenever I walk into any interview room I will always follow this process:

1. Knock before I enter the room

2. Walk into the interview room standing tall and smiling

3. Stand by the interview chair and say “Hello, I’m Richard, pleased to meet you.”

4. Shake the hand of each interviewer firmly, whilst looking them in the eye

5. Sit down in the interview chair, only when invited to do so

6. Sit in the interview chair with an upright posture and with my hands resting palms facing downwards on the top of my knees, feet firmly on the floor

By following the above process I will be creating a positive first impression and demonstrating good qualities such as manners, self-discipline, politeness and motivation.

INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE BOOK:

 

Presentation

Presentation effectively means how I intend to dress for the interview, and also how I intend to come across. I want the interview panel to see me as a professional, motivated, conscientious and caring person who is taking the interview very seriously.

Some interviews, especially those in the public sector, do not require you to dress formally. For some bizarre reason, some senior managers believe that a person should not be assessed on how they present themselves at interview. Personally, I disagree with this approach. Whilst I agree there is no need to go out and buy an expensive suit or new pair of shoes, I do believe that a potential employee should make an effort in their appearance.

For the interview I will make sure that my suit is cleaned and pressed, my shoes are polished, and my personal hygiene is up to standard. This means simple things such as taking a shower, shaving, having a haircut and general grooming. I will always avoid brightly coloured clothes and generally go for a conservative approach such a dark blue, black or grey suit. If I do decide to wear any brighter, more vibrant colours, then this will be in form of a tie. I would strongly advise that you avoid brightly coloured socks or ties with cartoon characters on them!

A good applicant

A good applicant is someone who has taken the time to prepare. They have researched both the organisation they are applying to join and also the role that they are being interviewed for. They may not know every detail about the organisation and the role but it will be clear that they have made an effort to find out important facts and information.

They will be well presented at the interview and they will be confident, but not overconfident. As soon as they walk into the interview room they will be polite and courteous and they will sit down in the interview chair only when invited to do so. Throughout the interview they will sit upright in the chair and communicate in a positive manner. If they do not know the answer to a question they will say so and they won’t try to waffle. At the end of the interview they will ask positive questions about the job or the organisation before shaking hands and leaving.

A poor applicant

A poor applicant could be any combination of the following. They will be late for the interview or even forget to turn up at all. They will have made little effort to dress smartly and they will have carried out little or no preparation. When asked questions about the role they will have little or no knowledge.

Throughout the interview they will appear to be unenthusiastic about the whole process and will look as if they want the interview to be over as soon as possible. Whilst sat in the interview chair they will slouch and fidget. At the end of the interview they will try to ask clever questions that are intended to impress the panel.

Improving interview technique

How you present yourself during the interview is important. Whilst assessing candidates for interviews I will not only assess their responses to the interview questions but I will also pay attention to the way they present themselves. A candidate could give excellent responses to the interview questions but if they present themselves in a negative manner then this can lose them marks.

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