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Some General Job Interview Tips

  • Do not smoke, chew gum, or eat garlic beforehand.
  • Wear suitable interview clothes.
  • Take copies of your CV with you.
  • Arrive on time for your job interview.
  • Any applications handed before the interview begins, are to be filled in as accurately as possible, make sure they match the information in your Cv and Cover Letter.
  • Always greet the interviewer by his/her last name and try to pronounce it correctly.
  • Have a good firm handshake.
  • Look alert and interested. Scan the room once and then keep your eyes on the interviewer.
  • Wait until you are offered a chair before you sit down.
    Stress your achievements.
  • Always conduct yourself professionally and if something beyond your control occurs, show a sense of humor.
  • Be enthusiastic and show it in your replies and body language.
  • Answer the interview question by more than a simple yes or no but try not to go over the 60 second limit.
  • Avoid at all cost complaining about your current or former employer in your job interview.
  • Do not answer questions about politics or religion if the job is completely unrelated.
  • Do not raise salary discussions on your first interview - this is usually done on the second interview. Make sure you do your wage research before hand.
  • Your answer to the initial opening statements in the job interview are important, these are called "ice breakers".

Some times the interviewer will ask whether you had difficulty finding the company premises. Your answer should be brief and polite. The interviewer is merely being polite - if you had problems in finding the premises he/she doesn't need to know that.

Use replies such as

I'm fine thank you, and you?
I'm very well, thank you.
These replies express a careless attitude

So, so
Not so well

One to One Job Interview

The most common interview is the one to one. The interviewer with the interviewee. The One to One Job Interview is a test/conversation and both parties will end the conversation with an opinion. The interviewer: if the candidate is right for the job and the interviewee: if the organisation is right for him.

The interview starts when the interviewee meets the interviewer. We read a lot in body language signs & other non-verbal communication. The clothes you wear are also important.

The interviewer is going to conduct an 'investigation' in order to see if you are fit for the job vacancy and whether you are better at the job than the other candidates. The interviewer will ask questions of a technical nature and of a general nature.

General questions will analyze your problem solving abilities and your ability to socialize with the rest of the team. Always use previous achievements to back any facts you mention. Even if such achievements were at the school newspaper, employers under stand that school leavers have to start from some where.

Job interview preparation is very important. Make notes of your achievements and study the way you talk about them by practicing.

Apart from trying to see if you have the experience and qualifications for this job, interviewers also want to see how you fit in the work environment, the team and how you relate to your immediate supervisor. Therefore, if you have a one to one interview it is very likely that you will have several other one to one interviews. This is a disadvantage over a 'panel interview'. Each time the interviewer is satisfied you move a rung up in the corporate ladder until you're interviewed by the departmental manager (this depends on the kind of job you are being interviewed for).

Treat each one to one interview with great attention. Do not assume that the next interviewer knows what you told the first one. You will need to mention your preparation and qualities each time.

Panel Interview

This kind of interview is conducted by an interviewing panel that is made up of the supervisor and some members of the team. The interview panel can also consist of top level CEOs although this depends the kind of position you are applying for.

The panel interview is a way for the organisation to judge the communication level, interaction with a group and to assess the skill level of the candidate. You will be asked questions from all the panel members, sometimes the same question by different panel members. It is difficult to build the kind of connection with the interview panel as you can in a one on one interview.

You can buy time by asking questions. You should always remain calm and composed during a panel interview. Take a breath and even count to five (in your head), if you see the situation getting out of hand.

Group Interview

The group interview is more stressful than the panel interview. You will be "interviewed" in a group. All the candidates/job seekers will be in the same room during the interview.

The group interview will show

  • Leadership qualities
  • Stress
  • Communication with possible team mates
  • How the candidate will face the public and customers
  • What level of knowledge candidates have
  • How knowledge is used in a discussion
  • Show your opinion but let the other candidates speak. Ignore any candidates who are too aggressive or make any personal remarks. Try to avoid getting in one to one conversations. It is always a good idea to have the final statement in a group interview.

Generally this is not the final interview and short listed candidates will have a panel or one to one interview.