How to beat the competition in a job interview:
You must persuade or convince the interviewer(s) that the enterprise will benefit from employing you. This may sound a ‘grand’ way of putting it, but it is accurate. You are going to be paid a salary or wage for the work you will perform (the services you will provide) and any employer will want to be sure that the enterprise gets ‘value for money’. No employer wants to take on a person who will not be worth the salary or wage paid. You must show – demonstrate – that you will be worth what you will be paid and that, therefore, the organisation will benefit from employing you (if only in a small way in a junior post).
You must be able to convince the interviewer(s) that you will be hard working, accurate and reliable member of staff, if employed. This is not always easy to do, and it is only by the manner in which you have handled an interview, and by the interest you have aroused may you be able to do so. Letters from previous employers, etc. may help but, as already explained, some prospective employers may be wary of accepting references or recommendations from others.
If you can show that you have held previous posts for some time – and have not ‘chopped and changed’ – it will be good point in your favour. Interviewers are usually looking for ‘steady’ employees, who will remain with the organisation for some time, and who will not simply move on after a short time; this is because it is usually costly, and time-consuming, to recruit and train new staff. (The foregoing will not, of course, apply to ‘temporary’ staff). If you are a candidate for internal promotion, you may be aided by reports and/or recommendations from your present supervisor and/or manager.
Another way of helping your cause is to make it clear that you will always be willing to learn to do more, that is, to eventually become more valuable to the organisation. Depending on the circumstances and the post, you can express interest in the prospects, if any, for promotion. But do not give the impression that you expect to te ‘the boss’ in no time at all.
If you are already in employment, do not forget the warning I gave you earlier and give the impression that you are an irresponsible or uncaring person by indicating willingness to ignore any notice which has to be given to your present employer. You are likely to be asked when you will be available or ‘free’ to take up the new post if it is offered to you, and at that time you can state the period of notice you have to give, if any, and, if necessary, any circumstances which may – if required – enable you to reduce the length of it.
Your display of a sense of responsibility and concern for your current employer may help to show the interviewer(s) that you will be the sort of employee being sought. If you are felt to be the right person for the job, and if you feel that the job is the one your want, then it is likely that some arrangement or compromise can be reached to solve the problem of the notice.
Finally, you must convince the interviewer(s) that you are the most suitable person to be offered the post, that is, that you will make a better member of staff than any other person so far interviewed and/or still to be interviewed. This is not really a separate ‘step’, as you will have aiming to do this throughout the whole interview.
However, when you have been asked by the interviewer(s) all the necessary questions, and have yourself asked any questions (including, if the information has not already been, given, when you might expect to learn the result of the interview), and received answers to them, it is time for you to take your leave. The interviewer(s) will probably indicate when this should be – and you must not try to linger or to prolong the interview.
Collect your documents, etc. (neatly – do not just thrust them into a pocket or bag, as to do so would not show a tidy mind or approach to work), stand up and, if such an action is called for, shake hands. Even if you feel – rightly or wrongly – that the interview has not gone too well for you, you must still remain polite, respectful and pleasant.
Final impressions are
just as important as first ones.
Make sure that you say, courteously, “Thank you for seeing me. I look forward to hearing from you”, or something similar. Also, say “goodbye” or “good afternoon”, as the case may be. Close the door behind you – quietly – as you leave the room. Always remember that there may still be others to be interviewed after you, and you want the good impression of you to remain with the interviewer(s).
Cases may arise where, during the course of an interview, you are told (or sense) that you are not, for one reason or another, going to be offered a particular job. This may be due to age, lack of experience, lack of a skill, or another reason. Naturally you will be disappointed, but you must still remain composed, polite and strive to give a good impression of yourself.
You may not have found suitable for the particular post being interviewed for, but it is quite possible that you could be noted as being suitable for another similar, more junior or more senior post which may become vacant in the future. Many employers like to keep on file details of ‘possible’ who may be able to fill vacancies quickly; if you have already been interviewed and notes retained about you, then much time could be saved by calling upon you. Of course, you might not still be free at that time, but if you are, both you and the employer may benefit.
continued in the following post…