Interview Tips-The CV Shop - Professional CV Writers

Interview Tips

images_(1)A few interview tips to get you started

 

 

Be Prepared :  
Research the company that you will be interviewing at and learn as much as possible.  Have a few questions ready at the end of the interview to ask about the company and the position you are applying for.

Bring extra copies of your CV and references.   Bring a paper and pen to take notes.

Be on Time:


Arrive approximately 15 minutes before your scheduled interview.   Do Not be late!

Dress for Success:  

Your appearance is extremely important. Whether or not you look professional or sloppy could play a huge role on if you get hired.

Practice makes perfect:

Many career experts recommend composing written responses to frequently asked job interview questions as a way to prepare for interviews. Composing responses in writing helps you solidify effective answers in your mind so you won't be caught off guard in the interview, making you sound exceptionally prepared. Practice writing your responses to these common interview questions. 


Body Language:  

While the content of your interview responses is important, poor body language is a distraction at best and possibly a reason not to hire you at worst.

Effective forms of body language: smiling, eye contact, solid posture, active listening, nodding.

Avoid Bad Habits:

Slouching, looking off in the distance, playing with pen, fidgeting in chair, brushing back hair, touching face, chewing gum, mumbling.  

Common Interview Questions
Practice makes perfect: Many career experts recommend composing written responses to frequently asked job interview questions as a way to prepare for interviews.   Composing responses in writing helps you solidify effective answers in your mind so you won't be caught off guard in the interview, making you sound exceptionally prepared.  Practice writing your responses to these common interview questions. 

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What is your greatest strength?

 

When you are asked about your greatest strengths, it is important to discuss your attributes that will be of benefit in the position your are interviewing for. Think about what sets you apart from the other candidates.  It is one of the most important questions you will have to answer during your interview.

 

Do not over exaggerate your strengths. You should feel comfortable discussing what makes you an ideal candidate for this position. 

Make a list of the qualifications and skills mentioned in the advertised position.  Then make a list of your skills and experience that match those. Make note of examples of how you have used those strengths in your previous jobs.  

Respond to this question by describing the skills and experience that you have, that match the job you are applying for. You should try list between 2-4 strengths.


Examples of Answers

 “I have strong  writing skills.  I have worked as a copy editor for 6 years and have a strong attention to detail.  I have also written for a variety of magazines, so I know how to change my writing style to suit the task and audience.  As a marketing assistant, I will be able to effectively write and edit press releases with accuracy and ease.”

“I am a skilled salesman with over 8 years of experience. I have exceeded my sales goals every month and I've earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.”




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What is your greatest weakness?

 

Be sure not to mention anything that you improved upon that is related to the job for which you are interviewing. You don't want your qualifications for the job to be in doubt.

Mention skills you have improved

 

Talk about non-essential skills. For example, if you are applying for a nursing job, you might share that you are not very good at group presentations. In this case it will be important to mention your strength in one–on–one   communication with patients, while providing an example of your difficulty with presentations to large groups.


Turn a Negative into a Positive


Another option is try to turn a negative into a positive. For example, a sense of urgency to get projects completed or wanting to triple-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a strength i.e. you are a candidate who will make sure that the project is done on time and your work will be close to perfect.
Note that the term "weakness" isn't used in the sample answers - you always want to focus on the positive when interviewing.

Examples of  Answers 

“Being organized wasn't my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really helped my organization skills.”

“I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week, but I realized that scheduling in advance makes more sense.”

“I had difficulty with Mathematics in High School, but I persevered with  assistance and extra effort and completed Matric with a 75% pass mark  in Maths.”

“I've learned to make my perfectionism work to my advantage. I have become proficient at meeting deadlines, and with my attention to detail, I know my work is accurate.”

 
 

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Non Verbal Messages

Your Posture
Stand and sit up straight.   A slouching posture looks tired and uncaring. 

Eye Contact
Look the interviewer in the eye. Make sure your eyes meet frequently. Avoid looking around the room constantly while you are talking because that can convey nervousness and a lack of confidence with what is being discussed. 

Smile
Don’t underestimate the value of a smile.   It expresses enthusiasm to the interviewer and makes you feel better about yourself.

Your Hands
Gesturing or talking with your hands is very natural, but keep it in moderation. Hand gestures can be distracting.  Also, avoid touching your mouth while talking.

The Handshake  
Your handshake should be firm -- not bone-crushing -- and your hand should be dry and warm. Try running cold water on your hands when you first arrive at the interview site. Run warm water if your hands tend to be cold. The insides of your wrists are especially sensitive to temperature control.

 

Practice
Preparing what you have to say is important, but practicing how you will say it is imperative. The nonverbal message can speak louder than the verbal message you're sending.


Smile

Don’t underestimate the value of a smile.   It expresses enthusiasm to the interviewer and makes you feel better about yourself.


Don't Fidget
There is nothing more irritating than people playing with their hair, clicking pen tops, tapping feet or unconsciously touching parts of your body 

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