Interview Tips and skills

Interview skills

Okay, you’ve made it this far and are about to be interviewed! 

We’ve put together some tips designed to assist you through this process.  Often candidates selected at this point will display a similar background, so it will come down to how you react and present yourself in this interview. 

Happy reading, good luck and all the best from the staff at Cruise Staff.  

Interview Tips

Do some background research. You should be reasonably well acquainted with the company and the type of work they do.

Confirm all-important details such as names, times and location from your consultant.

Dress appropriately- while it is true that the rules of dress in the workplace have changed in recent years, in most cases you will still be expected to wear a business suit to an interview (please refer to our Interview dress guide).

Be there on time. Give yourself plenty of time to make the journey, park the car and have a coffee. Even if you have to spend a few minutes waiting, it is better than being late. If you are late for any reason beyond your control, stay calm – explain, apologise and continue with the interview as planned.

Turn that mobile phone off! (If you have one). There is nothing worse than having a mobile ring during a flowing conversation. It will disrupt you and the interviewer.

Shake hands warmly with a firm grip. It is quite surprising how much importance employers place on this. Handshakes have a far deeper significance than most of us would credit.

Never smoke, not even if you are invited to.  Also, don’t smoke before the interview!

Know the names of the people you will be meeting. If there are pronunciation difficulties, clarify them before you arrive with the receptionist.

Be yourself, most people play this part well. Don't play roles - you are selling yourself, not something you cannot deliver.

Without being arrogant or presumptuous, you should work on the assumption that it is perfectly natural that you will be given the job. After all, you know that you can do it well and it is merely a matter of allowing the interviewer to see that too.

Relax, feel confident. Look alert. Smile. These all help things to move along well.

Look at people as you speak to them. If there is more than one interviewer on the panel, try to address each of them at some time during the interview.

Let the interview flow, don't try to manage it. Listen at least as much as you talk.

Avoid one-word answers. Introduce what you are about to say, then enlarge upon it if necessary. Frame answers highlighting experiences and achievements. If an answer is complex, take time to sum up. If something seems unclear to you, ask for clarification.

If there is an opportunity, ask questions about the role early on, then fit your responses to what you have learned.

Don't wander, stick to the matters raised by the interviewers.

There are no standard questions that MUST come into an interview, but some common ones will be used to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You will also be asked to give examples from your experiences. You might be asked why you want the job or what style of management you prefer - keep your answers simple and honest. 

You may be asked “if you have any questions”. You will have questions!
You might consider asking how this particular vacancy has arisen.
What would be a successful outcome for this project/position?
IT changes and develops rapidly, what opportunities for training and advancement are envisaged?
What development and growth plans does the company have?
What opportunities exist for achievers within the company? Examples?

It is acceptable to discuss remuneration once the client has suggested that you are likely to be successful. Otherwise you should avoid detailed discussions about money until the first offer is made

A few 'Don’ts'
(You will almost certainly be rejected if you fall into any of these traps.)

Don’t make negative or derogatory comments about your past employers.

Don’t gossip.

Don’t allow yourself to be led into matters of politics or economics even if you hold strong views on such matters - if the interviewer makes statements which you find unacceptable you might wish to consider a polite withdrawal from the interview.

Don’t lie - you may get the job.

Don’t say you have other options to consider without offering to respond within a reasonable time. 

Accepting the Job
Try to decide whether you want the job during the interview. If it is offered and you want it, accept there and then. If you need time to think about it, say so - but give a time within 24 hours by which you will respond.

Remember that if you accept a job, you have given your word - it is a verbal contract. If you change your mind and want to retract later, you will plunge everyone concerned into an awkward mess. You will also jeopardise your standing as an ethical professional. If you have any doubts, ask for time to think.

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