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Home>>Mastering an interview



Good first impressions count for a lot, so planning your day in fine detail will help you relax and shows employers that you are organised and committed. Make sure you know how you should dress, plan how to get to your interview and book your travel tickets, charge your mobile phone and leave yourself time to read through your application again carefully. Print out a fresh copy of your CV or make a new copy of your application form to take with you.


Try to relax. It is natural to be nervous in an interview, but if you know that you are prone to particular fear-induced reactions that could jeopardise your chances, you need to think about these before the day and find a way to overcome them the best you can. When you are in the interview, remember that it is fine to pause before responding to questions to gather your thoughts, and if you are unsure about a question, it is fine to ask for clarification.


It is important before a job interview to think about all the reasons why you are attending it and what you have to offer the organisation. Be ready to discuss both short and long-term career goals in general terms.


Prepare to discuss the reasons you left your previous jobs. If it was for a better opportunity, explain how it was an opportunity. If you left involuntarily, present the reason in the most positive light you can. Make sure your responses are honest and be positive.


Do your homework about the employer – and the job. Before attending any job interview, it is a good idea to research the organisation and familiarise yourself with the following:


  • Size of organisation, number of employees.
  • History, how long have they been operating – do they have any affiliated organisations or are they part of a larger group?
  • General information about their services/products/aims etc.
  • Major competitors or other organisations operating in the same field.
  • Job description – understand the skills required for the position.
  • Have some well thought-out questions that would help further your understanding of the organisation


Before you go for the interview, ask yourself a few questions.

  • Are you a self-starter, able to work without constant supervision?
  • Can you be depended upon in critical situations and follow work through to completion?
  • Are you enthusiastic and easy to work with?
  • Can you work under pressure?
  • Recruiters need to know what drives you to want the job and why you want to work for the organisation in particular.
  • Do you manage your time effectively?
  • How do you structure your day’s work?
  • How do you plan your day and week?
  • How did you handle sudden unplanned work or crisis?
  • Can you handle constructive criticism in a productive manner?
  • Are you objective in evaluating yourself and others?


The importance of teamwork

Whichever sector of the industry you choose to work in, you will rarely be working alone.


So being able to work as part of a team is invaluable. Co-operation and ability to work well in a team environment are some the most valued skills in employees. So consider what your reaction would be to the following topics BEFORE you go into the interview:


  • Can you work well with a variety of people?
  • What would you do to help a team of people work together better?
  • Concentrate on the employer’s needs, not yours.
  • Emphasise how you can help the organisation achieve its goals.
  • Describe your past responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Explain why you approached projects in a certain ways.
  • Explain how the skills you bring will benefit the organisation.
  • Do not downplay your accomplishments or attribute them to luck.
  • Be specific in your answers. Avoid rambling or getting off on a tangent.
  • Ask for clarification if you are unsure of the question.


Try to think of some questions to ask at the interview. If you have researched the company well, you will be able to come up with questions concerning the organisation. You may also like to find out more about your responsibilities in the role, the organisation’s long and short-term aims, training opportunities, overall organisational


Eye-to-eye contact.

In the interview, make sure you connect with the interviewer or each person if it is a team. Be sure to have eye contact with the person asking the questions and to glance at the other team members while answering the question to be sure that you are connecting with each individual.


Make sure that the interviewer/s understands what you have to offer. The best approach is to be sensitive and adapt your approach to the group. Do not be overly aggressive and take over, yet do interact and show your enthusiasm.


Thank the interviewer or team.

Unless the interview went disastrously wrong for some reason, it is usually a good idea to write a letter to thank the interviewer for their time and to express your interest in the job again.


Keep us informed at Calco

Let your consultant know your feedback as soon as possible. It is important for us to know what you thought of the organisation, the role, the people who interviewed you and your impression of how you performed in the interview. Please also let us know if you are interested in taking the job if it were to be offered to you.


And finally – GOOD LUCK!!!