- Resume preparation
- Cover letters
- Interview preparation
- Professional grooming & presentation
- General advice regarding your next career move
- Be on time – You will not get a second chance to make a good first impression. If travelling by public transport, allow for buses, trains etc., to run late.
Presentation – First impressions last and there is often no second chance. Corporate attire and grooming is always recommended throughout the recruitment process. The way you present yourself, how you look, your character, the language you use and the way you talk will all be evaluated by your prospective employer.
Greeting – Do not forget a firm handshake when meeting the interviewer(s), and again at the conclusion of an interview. Don’t forget to smile!
Eye Contact – Maintain eye contact throughout the interview. This displays confidence and demonstrates your level of interest.
Body Language – Be aware of your posture. No slouching! Place your hands on your lap or on the table if you are known to fidget.
Practise – Write down and practise interview questions and be ready to support past career accomplishments with specific information targeted towards the organisation’s needs. Interviewers often seek examples of past behaviour, which assists in demonstrating your capabilities.
Documentation – Whilst the interviewer(s) will have a copy of your application and resume, always ensure you have a copy with you, just in case. Also take copies of relevant qualifications and Visa details (if applicable).
Listen – Ensure that you listen intently and take your time before answering questions. Verbalising your nervousness can also assist – “Sorry, I am a little nervous.”
Ask Questions – Don’t forget that you are also interviewing the interviewer(s). You need to ensure that this is the job and organisation for you. Have some questions in mind before you enter the interview.
Do I ask the salary question? For some people, this is the awkward part of the interview. Don’t initiate any discussion about salary at the first interview. Let the interviewer(s) ask the question. Often they will ask for your salary expectations. Be honest, and if you are interested in the position, let them know that you are happy to negotiate.
Where to from here? Always ask, “what is the next step after this interview” or “when will I expect to be notified of the outcome of my application?”
Do your Research – Could you answer the question “what do you know about our business”? Ensure you do your research. This is imperative.
Be prepared – Overall, preparation is the key to a successful interview.
- Behavioural questions are different from hypothetical questions, which focus on what you would do if a particular situation occurred. A question such as ‘What would you do if you had to give a presentation and left your notes at home?’ doesn’t ask you to provide a specific example of when that happened and what you actually did.
It is wise to remember that employers appreciate examples, as these can provide evidence that you meet the selection criteria for the job.
Some behavioural questions can sound a little negative, in that they can ask about possible failures or conflicts you’ve experienced. For instance, you could be asked for an example of when you failed to meet a deadline or had conflict with a team member. Don’t take the tone or content of these questions personally as they’re often asked to determine whether you can learn from unfortunate situations and improve your skills. Workplaces need people who are willing to learn from their mistakes, and as a result, improve their own and the organisation’s performance. Be prepared for this type of question and remember that in the workplace things don’t go well all the time and that nobody is perfect.
The key is to provide a credible example with a positive result in terms of what you’ve learned and/or improved.
The STAR formula is a useful method for answering behavioural interview questions, ‘STAR’ being an acronym for Situation, Task, Action and Result. This formula will also help you to address selection criteria in job applications, so it’s a useful formula to remember.
- Preparing for a behavioural interview
- Understand what the employer is seeking. What specific competencies and skills do you think the employer will want to see demonstrated? At the very least, you should have read and understood the Job Description if that has been made available prior to interviews. Do some research on the company and if at all possible, talk to someone who already works there.
- Write down a range of work experiences that you can talk about if questioned. Try and recall experiences that match closely with what you understand the employer is seeking. You should have a variety of experiences that highlight your key strengths, showcase some of your positive outcomes and key achievements and demonstrate how you have turned a potentially negative or challenging situation into a positive result. Your examples should be as recent as possible.
- Review your resume. Firstly this should trigger a number of potential situations and experiences that you can draw upon. Secondly, it ensures that your experiences are consistent with what you have written about yourself.
- Practise! Mental rehearsal is the best way to improve your interview performance. Choose a selection of behavioural interview questions and ask someone to role-play an interview with you.
- Refer a friend and if we place them in a permanent position you will receive a voucher from a major SA based retailer. (Conditions Apply).