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Tips to Ace Interviews Part Two - During the Interview

The day has finally arrived.  You’re five minutes early, and look like you’ve walked off the set of ‘The Apprentice.’ You know your CV, the position description, and information about the company inside and out.  You’ve practised your behavioural/competency based questions and feel ready to take on the world!  Before embarking on what could be the most life-changing hour of your life, check out the tips below to ensure you ace the interview!

  • First impressions count!  It is claimed that people form their first impression of you in 7 seconds and those impressions can be permanent.  Projecting a confident and professional image is essential.  Remember to smile, build rapport quickly and have a firm handshake!  Be polite to everyone you meet at the company.  They all count.
  • Follow the interviewer’s direction on where to sit and follow their lead in the conversation.  Be very aware of not talking over, or interrupting the interviewer. If there are multiple people, be sure to direct your responses to all of the interviewers.
  • Listen carefully to what is being asked during the interview and answer with relevant information specific to the role from your past behaviour and experiences.  If you are unclear on anything, ask for clarification. If you are unable to answer the question with a previous work situation it’s okay to think outside the square – e.g. negotiations with team members during a University project, sports team etc.
  • I’m the perfect candidate for this role! Look for opportunities to sell yourself in the interview. Tell the company how good you are, but be careful - you want to come across as confident, definitely not smug or arrogant!

Factors that can have a negative impact:

  • Being late to your interview
  • Limp handshake
  • Sunglasses on your head
  • Chewing gum
  • Mobile phone not turned off (it needs to be off – not on silent/vibrate mode)
  • Lack of interest or enthusiasm
  • Saying negative things about past employers.  If you have had a negative experience with a previous employer / manager, speak with your Consultant who will guide you on how to discuss this in a professional manner.
  • Making excuses – take responsibility!
  • Lying – always be completely honest
  • Think carefully before accepting a drink – you might find yourself in a chair without arms and out of reach of a table!

Next week, part 3 will cover how to end the interview and what to expect after the interview. In the meantime, check out www.madisongroup.co.nz for more tips and resources.

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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After working at KFC for seven years, moving overseas to ‘drive what was effectively a taxi service’ and a stint as a primary school teacher, Kerrie joined Madison in 2006, achieving success recruiting in both the Call Centre and Business Support space. She is now the Business Manager at Madison’s Auckland branch, which she describes as ‘a hardworking, social and outgoing bunch of driven professionals’.
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