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Posted by chris on November 30, 2011

Interview Preparation

Preparing for an interview

Do your research on the company beforehand.  Study their website.  Find out more about their clients and their products or services.  See what further information Google and Wikipedia give you.  Prepare some questions about their business and your potential role. 

Make sure you understand the company culture beforehand and dress appropriately.  If  you are meeting with a prospective employer whose employees wears shorts and t-shorts to work, do not wear a suit and tie.  In the same breath, shorts, t-shirts, tracksuits bottoms, tracksuits tops, slip slops and miniskirts are not acceptable attire in an interview. 

Make sure you’ve had a really good night’s rest before your interview.  You should spent the evening before, researching your prospective new employer and preparing your answers for the most popular interview questions.   And laying out your wardrobe for the next day, making sure the alarm is set and if you have problems waking up, phoning your Mother or your Aunty or your Cousin to ask them to give you a wakeup call too.  

Before you interview, make sure you have the right address, know where to park, and add an extra 20 minutes to your travel time to avoid being late due.  Don't smoke before your interview and if you've been chewing gum, lose it before your interview too.

Don’t wear too much perfume or cologne.  If it’s expensive, you may wear a little. And I mean, a little (if you can smell it on yourself it’s too much).  If it’s cheap and nasty and cost under R300, just use soap and deodorant (don’t worry, once we’ve placed you you’ll afford something a little more expensive).

Be friendly to the switchboard operator.  Announce your arrival, the reason for your arrival, who you are seeing and what time you are due to see them.  You’d be surprised at how many interviewers ask the switchboard operator what they thought of your interpersonal skills.

If you are offered something to drink...  decline.  You will be doing too much talking to drink, and I’ll bet that you’re either going to spill it all down your top during the interview, not get a chance to take a sip, and not know what to do with a full, cold cup of coffee at the end of the interview. 

The first 30 seconds of meeting your prospective employer are usually the most important of the entire interview.  Be friendly, professional and smile.  Most importantly, maintain eye contact when you shake hands.  Handshakes should be firm but not too firm (and not like a fairy either).

Be prepared to talk about yourself.  If they ask you about your current role or previous experience, never tell them "that it's all in your CV".  They've probably read your CV but need to hear from your own lips and it's a great way to show off your magnificent communication skills.

Stay focussed, listen, ask questions.  If you don’t understand something, let them know.  

Do not ever slag off a previous employer.  If your previous employer put you through a terrible time, - then before the interview, you need to prepare how to describe your reasons for leaving without coming across as a management overhead.

Don’t lie.  Ever.  Not on your CV, not in your interview, not after.  The truth always comes out.

Don't initiate discussion about salary and perks in your first interview - the purpose of this interview is to establish a mutual fit, and the client is already aware of your salary expectations.  Leave salary negotiations up to your agent.

Relax! Remember you’re interviewing the client just as much as they are interviewing them.

Phone your agent immediately after the interview for feedback.  We don't like to speak to the client until we have spoken to you.  

Never make direct contact with the client, it annoys both the client and us.  Tremendously.

If you do proper research on the company, it’s products and services, and culture - we can guarantee that you will increase your chances of securing the role significantly. 

And remember that if Annie Mercer Placements has submitted your CV to a client it means we really believe in you and the value you have to add to their organisation.  You are fabulous – go get em Tiger.  


Posted by Earnhardt on
Great hammer of Thor, that is powerfully heflpul!
Posted by Tangie on
Free knowledge like this doesn't just help, it promote democcray. Thank you.
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