An interview is a discourse between you and your prospective employer to find whether or not you can manage the job. But, there are time-tested rules and conventions to comply with in interviews. I’m going to share with you a few of the principal do’s and don’ts.
What to do in your interview
- turn off your phone! Treat the interviewers with respect and give them your individual attention
- make about three or four points in each answer
- dress as well as you can afford, look sparkly and thoughtful, and verbalise clearly and confidently. do not forget that just 7% of the panel’s opinion of you is formed through what you articulate – the rest is evaluated by how you look, behave and sound
What not to do in a consultant interview
don’t be late!
- don’t swear or use slang words
- don’t slouch in your seat or do anything else that makes you look disinterested
- don’t smoke
- don’t be bigheaded and assume you’ve got the placement. Nothing turns off employers more than someone who is scornful and over-confident
- do not discuss contentious topics such as religion, party politics and gender relations
- don’t read from your notes or your Curriculum Vitae. Familiarise yourself with your own story to be able to talk about it unprompted
- don’t knock past employers or colleagues. Interviewers may mark you down as a mischief-maker and a gossip
- do not argue with the panel, no matter what. Always try to keep things positive!
These principles go for most occupations. However, employers in some industries can use more relaxed and friendly interviewing techniques. In some creative fields (design and media for example) it may be expected that you turn up for the interview in casual clothes, as that is the dress code in the office. If you’re in any doubt, do some research on typical interview technique in your line of work.
Above all, preparation is the key to performing well in interviews. Research the placement and organization, and prepare evidence and examples of your skills and competences.
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