Firstly – when the phone does ring, make sure that you are prepared:
- Repeat the address, date and time in order to be absolutely sure that you have the correct information. Ask for the name of the person whom you will be meeting.
- Confirm for which position the interview is – especially if you have been actively job hunting and submitted to more than one position recently
- Ask about the format of the interview: Will it be a panel interview, is it with the HR department / the line manager / the CEO
- Will there be some form of practical test involved
- How much time is allocated for your interview?
- Do not ask about salary when you get that magical first call – it is not an appropriate time
- Make sure to thank the caller and state that you are looking forward to the interview.
Now – obviously your mind will start to race and you will want to tell everyone – don’t…. Just DON’T.
You do not need the pressure of everyone (including your mother-in-law) adding more emotion to how excited AND overwhelmed you feel this minute. You also definitely don’t need to post about your interview to social media OR to job seeker chat groups.
This is not the time to reply to well-wishers or “curious George’s”
This is a time for quiet focus and we all know that “where focus goes, energy flows”
This does NOT mean quickly google the company website – you have to do this in any case, to be able to have some background about the company but by asking you to do research, we are here rather referring to practicing for an interview.
The internet is filled with a wealth of knowledge to prepare yourself for standard interview type questions – take the time, make the effort to research these types of questions. Think about your possible answers, your word choice and what exactly you want your message to be.
Keep the set timeframe for the interview in mind while you prepare and keep your practice answers short.
In essence an interview is just a structured conversation – the company already showed interest in you by inviting you to an interview, now is the time to prove yourself. You’ve got this!
Double check your dates listed for each previous position, make sure you don’t get to an interview and accidently refer to five years’ experience in any aspect when it was actually only three years. Memorize your career.
As you go over this – think back to the best and worst parts of each previous position – this will naturally guide you to be able to answer possible interview questions about your strengths and weaknesses / how you function in a team / communication skills / past accomplishment etc.
All bets are in – we are putting our money on motivation number four
This is the ONLY question where you need to have a prepared answer for, the answer that has to be sitting ready in your pocket.
No matter which of the 4 motivations are really behind the question when it is asked, make sure to have your answer ready.
Not only in your pocket, but on your bathroom mirror, against the fridge door – your mantra for everyday while preparing for the interview!
An example of a solid answer:
“My 5 years as a sales representative in the paper industry, means that I have a good understanding of the challenges, seasonal trends and buying habits of the printing industry. The printing industry already forms the core of my client base. I applied for this position at ECO Paper because I can service the same client base with your range of sustainably sourced paper products. Your product range is also the perfect fit for my personal values of sustainability.”
……and there you sealed the deal!
Because no matter what the motivation for the question was, you now have their undivided attention.
Should the interviewer actually have intended to get an answer about your homelife and interests, they would have asked the question in a way to make it clear that they are interested in your pets / hobbies / interests / kids.
Be aware of the reaction and behaviour of the people who are interviewing you, not just their words – their body language should be a good indication of their perception of you.
Should three out of five look bored, shorten the answers you give to questions, maybe raise your voice slightly, add positive energy to the way you talk.
From here on you can expect it all to be smooth sailing.
You are prepared, experienced and confidant. Trust yourself.
And finally – when it is your turn to ask questions: