Key No. 13

Recruitment - Preparation And Interview


Once your main objectives are progressive, genuine and sincere these will reflect in your interest and attitude towards the job you are seeking.


Correct Disposition

No amount of advice will eliminate the anxiety, fear, worry and despair associated with an interview. Volumes have been written on the subject and expert views abound on how to have a successful interview. Such information, however, will be to no avail if you do not prepare yourself properly for this encounter.


To prepare for an interview it is necessary to have the correct disposition. Your objective in seeking any job should be to contribute and develop that job so as to provide the customer with the best products or services possible and not limited and restricted ones, to expand the job rather than confine it and to make a contribution rather than a deduction from it for your own gain.


You may also have other complimentary objectives, e.g. to fulfil your ambition, to rear a family or to improve your standard of living.


Once your main objectives are progressive, genuine and sincere these will reflect in your interest and attitude towards the job you are seeking.

Determine What the Job is All About

Prior to an interview it is desirable to determine what the specific job is all about if possible. Carry out some research into the job and into the type of functions associated with it, e.g. the managing, marketing, designing, planning and servicing activities. This background information will be of immense value to you in answering questions and in formulating questions during the interview as well as indicating your interest in the job.

Attention to Detail

Next, you should be on time for the interview, well dressed but not over-dressed, courteous and apparently relaxed. Attention to these details will display your interest and attitude towards the interview. Throughout the interview, exhibit a warm, friendly and confident attitude. Nowadays every effort is made to make the interviewee feel at ease. Much of the formality associated with interviews has been eliminated and the conditions and surroundings have been made less frightening and stressful. Take a cup of tea or coffee if offered but avoid the biscuits, they are crumbly and a distraction.

Overcoming Anxiety, Inferiority and Shyness

Knowledge of the job and the interview process will minimise your anxiety.

An acceptance that others have skills and experience different from you will dispel your fears and the opinion you have of feeling inferior to them and thereby overcome your inferiority and shyness.

Acknowledging yourself as you are, accepting your own abilities, experience and achievements to-date and that you have potential to grow will eliminate your concern of being inadequate and useless.

Interview Process

Be aware of the process being followed throughout the interview. Typical phases and stages in most interviews are as follows:

1. C.V. Verification:

Read a copy of your C.V. before the interview to refresh your memory.

2. Evaluation Of Attributes, Dress And Mannerisms:

Attention to these matters before an interview will minimise your concern.

3. Communications Ability, Clarity Of Expression And Precision:

Listen attentively, clarify the questions if necessary, consider and then respond.

4. Ability To Cope With Difficult Questions:

The interviewer is likely to give you a range of specific questions appertaining to the job, e.g. describe how you would resolve a particular problem, explain a detail, define a specification or describe a process? Before answering such questions it is wise to clarify your understanding of the questions and to seek additional information if necessary.

5. Your Interest In Obtaining The Job:

The interviewer will be trying to determine if you have a real interest in the specific job or if you are just looking for a job or a change in job. Show your determination by displaying your knowledge of the job, your ability by your qualifications and training, and your potential by your "track record to-date".

6. Your Suitability:

During the interview, the interviewer will be trying to determine if you have the capability, capacity and confidence to undertake the work entailed in the job. While you might have the qualifications he will have to be satisfied that you could carry out the work required or be trained to do it confidently.

7. Work Experience To-Date:

From your work experience the interviewer will be verifying many of the above requirements and in particular your competency at getting a job well done.  Ensure your work experience compliments your career direction.

8. Your Portfolio Presentation:

Appropriate examples of your work should be selected for presentation. In some instances practical tests may be given under simulated working conditions prior to, or after the formal interview.

9. Questions Regarding The Jobs You Liked Best:

These will indicate to the interviewer your real intentions.

10. Your Objectives:

From your objectives the interviewer will be trying to determine your motives, if you have a career path in mind and if you are ambitious. Display these intentions.

11. Assessing Your Potential:

Questions on how to plan work for subordinates, monitor their performance, administer discipline and reward exceptional efforts are all made to evaluate various management, supervisory and social skills. Questions relating to other skills can also be created by the interviewer to suit the job requirements, e.g. leadership and compatibility.

Are you an independent, self sufficient and self starting person or are you a team person, capable of integrating, motivating and stimulating those around you?.

Are you confident that you can do the job? Give examples of work undertaken and accomplished.

12. Your Strong And Weak Points:

These should be consistent with the information you have provided during the course of the interview. Your strong points and your weak points should be related to the job. Your strong points may include research, planning, work progressing and implementation skills while you weaknesses may consist of a lack of detailed knowledge of some aspects of the company's operation and a need for greater familiarity with the other skills employed in the company. Explain that these can be overcome by experience and by your plans for further professional development.

13. Display Initiative Through Your Participation In The Interview:

During the interview it is important to obtain any additional information you require to complete your picture of the job. Verify your understanding of the job. Display initiative through your questions and contributions to the discussions. Carefully selected questions can display your interest and determination.

14. Terms And Conditions Information:

Discussions regarding these items are appropriate at the end of an interview e.g. start and finish times, overtime and travel requirements and pay.

15. Time Allocation:

Be conscious of the time constraints during an interview. Make the best use of each phase and do not enter into relating lengthy explanations or experiences. Your social and recreational activities should not be over emphasised.

16. End Of Interview:

Express your thanks for being given the interview. Ask when you can expect to obtain the results of it.

17. Complementary To The Interview:

In some instances practical tests are given within simulated work environments prior to, or after, the formal interview. Other tests, e.g. I.Q. tests, aptitude tests and group discussions as well as medical tests are also carried out as screening techniques. However in this day and age where more and more sophisticated techniques of assessment are being developed the final selection still relies on the personal interview.


Key Points
1. In Going For A Job Have The Correct Disposition
2. Prior To The Interview Determine What The Job Is All About
3. Pay Attention To Detail
4. Overcome Anxiety, Inferiority and Shyness
5. Be Aware Of The Interview Process diagram




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