Posts Tagged ‘applicant’
How to get into an interview is the first hurdle. Getting through it successfully is the next one. Recruiting is about finding the right person for the job that has to be done. There are likely to be a number of people coming through the door who could do the job but which one is the best one? How does a manager tell who the best person is? There are a number of constraints and requirements imposed by law and others by company policy but most managers cover a number of points. Understanding why these questions occur in an interview will help an applicant answer fully and to the point. For example, the manager will be asking:
Does this person look as though they want the job? Someone who has taken no pride over their appearance is not trying to get work; they’re trying to make some other point which is more important to them than the job is.
Do they talk as though they know about what is in the cv? Is it convincing? Unfortunately some people claim experience and qualifications they don’t have. The astute manager will be testing for this.
Is a test question related to the role answered coherently and to the point? And is the answer correct?
Is this applicant genuinely interested in this particular job? Someone trying for just any job that’s going will respond less enthusiastically than someone who is keen on the job itself. One clue is whether they remember the details of the job advertisement.
Is this applicant reliable or will this person slack off at the first chance? If the cv shows many changes of occupation it may mean that this person is a slacker, can’t settle to anything or doesn’t get on with supervisors or colleagues. There may be genuine reasons for the changes. In any case the interviewer will be probing to uncover the causes.
Does the interviewee have hobbies? Do these suggest skills that might be useful for the job? For example, if a team player is needed, does the interviewee have any team hobbies (like ‘tennis’ or ‘bridge’) or are they listing solitary activities (eg ‘reader’)? If the job needs someone to be able to work on their own, do their hobbies tell you that the applicant is able to do this (eg ‘gardener’, ‘painter’)? The wise applicant will include both types of hobbies and be able to talk about them knowledgably.
Can they listen? People who don’t listen in an interview won’t listen in an everyday situation. If the role calls for a person who can follow complex instructions, the person who doesn’t listen is very unlikely to be the right one for the task.
Is there anything the applicant has done or knows that is especially relevant to the job? The smart interviewee will bring out anything he or she can do that makes them particularly right for the job. The smart interviewer will provide the opportunities for these characteristics to be brought to the table.
An interviewee’s preparation for an interview should consider all these points thoroughly and prepare answers for each. For example
An obvious question arising from the discussion above is “Why do you want this job?” and an applicant must have a convincing answer. Preparation should include finding out about the company and what it does and making sure of the details of the advertisement and the job description, if supplied. This will not only convince an interviewer of enthusiasm for the job but will also demonstrate ability to research.
Be able to support claims about hobbies that are on the cv. Questions about this will demonstrate the depth of the applicant’s interest in the hobby in question or alternatively reveal a hastily-added item that isn’t true. If ‘reading’ is listed, the interviewee needs to be able to talk about a recently-read title. A ‘keen gardener’ needs to be able to describe favourite plants and say why they are favourite. If ‘football’ is the choice, then the applicant should be able to at least comment on recent games and who has just moved up or down the table.
What qualities and experience can the applicant bring out that will be relevant for the job and how are they relevant? It is quite possible that there is something in a person’s background experience that the interviewer hasn’t immediately seen as relevant but, when pointed out, seals the likelihood of getting the job.
If necessary, make some notes. Include a couple of questions either to clarify the role or to understand more about the company. It will look better if the notes or questions are in a small notebook that will fit in a pocket or purse. A piece of paper will inevitably look scrappy and a large pad will look clumsy and ‘over the top’.
Above all, be honest. Any untruth will not only lower any chances of getting the job, it could affect chances at any other job as it is the key thing for any employer. A reputation for dishonesty or unreliability is the first turn-off for any manager. If there is something where “I don’t know” is the true answer, then don’t be afraid to say so.
Job interviews can be nerve-wracking and frustrating. It will always help to put oneself in the interviewer’s position and try to understand what he or she needs for a successful conclusion. The whole situation will be less tense and much more successful with a bit of preparation.