There are various techniques you can use when faced with a job interview. You’ll rarely be made aware of the exact format you're up against, but with a little preparation you can make the process much less painful.
Here are a few things you can do to perfect a technique that will hold solid for the majority of interview situations.
You'll need to demonstrate a full understanding of the company, its products and s competitors. Log on to the company's website and have a look for relevant press releases and industry news to help you with this.
Check out its client and affiliate lists. They will give you a thorough understanding of the business and should help ease any nerves once the interview begins. If you know the name of the interviewer, have a quick look for them on LinkedIn or Google.
There are many standard interview questions you can prepare for. Rehearse the answers to these and if possible get friends or family involved to conduct role play situations. Check out our guide to interview questions and get revising.
Calm your nerves by breathing steadily. You won't be penalised for taking a few moments to consider your answer to a question – in fact, demonstrating you're the sort of person who thinks before they open their mouth is a positive thing!
Remember to look into the eyes of your interlocutor, not around their eyes. Don't fidget! If you're faced with a panel of interviewers, make sure you address your answers to the panel and not just to one person. Practice these situations until you're comfortable.
Answering interview questions
The key with all of this is to remain calm. You’re not always expected to give an immediate response. You’re expected to think about your answers and give a valid response backed up by an example or a reason.
What seems like a long pause to you is probably only a couple of seconds; remember that some interview questions are specifically designed to throw you and therefore test your ability to think on your feet. Make sure that for every answer you rehearse, you have an example to support it with. We know you've probably heard it before, but there are no right or wrong answers.
Psychometric and intelligence tests
You may be asked to complete a psychometric and/or an intelligence test upon arriving at interview. Don't panic! In the case of psychometric tests, they’re designed to establish more about your personality and how you deal with certain situations, i.e. how well you’d fit into a company. Again, there are no right or wrong answers here. Try your hand at one of the many free online psychometric tests.
Intelligence tests are usually employed to ensure you meet the basic criteria to handle the type of work involved in a job. There is no point getting a job that requires advanced algebra on a daily basis if you can't do it.
Don't freak out if you can't complete the test in full. You're usually just required to answer as many questions as possible within an allotted time period.
The type of questions asked will usually pertain to the role you've applied for, therefore if you're suitable for the role and capable of meeting the criteria, there should be nothing to worry about. Again, you can practice intelligence tests online prior to your interview.
If you're not confident in yourself, you can't expect a prospective employer to be confident in your ability to do the job.
By practicing all of the above techniques, you should gain a measure of faith in your ability to handle anything they throw at you.
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