1. Background
  2. After you pass the required criteria on paper, the interview is usually the last stage of the application process. This would be the time for the recruiters to evaluate you in person and is the deciding factor whether you are suitable for the position or not. It is therefore imperative that you come to the meeting prepared and well-informed.

    Interviews are meant to assess your experience, motivation, expertise, judgment, behavior, weaknesses and intentions to determine if you offer the best combination to meet an organisation’s needs and fit in with their culture.

    Job interviewing may never seem to get any easier, even when you have gone on more interviews than you can count. You are always meeting new people, selling yourself and your skills, and often getting the third degree about what you know or don't know.

    That said, there are ways to make a job interview much less stressful. Invest a little time prior to the interview and it will be much easier to handle.

  1. Start preparing early
  2. Have your clothes, resume, list of referees and directions to the interview site ready ahead of time, to avoid any extra stress. According to Amy Glass, a trainer and coach at Brody Communication Ltd, in an interview situation you're marketing yourself as a product and so you want to have the best image possible.

    You want to make sure you wear clothes that suit the post offered. In many traditional industries, like finance or accounting, business professional dress will be appropriate such as conservative suit, shirt and tie if you're a man, or a conservative suit if you're a woman, with perhaps a little personality shown through your shirt or jewellery. In other industries such as advertising, public relations, graphic design and information technology, what to wear might be less clear. If that's the case, ask about the company's general dress policies when you're first contacted about an interview.

    Stay away from wearing overly casual clothes. Anything distracting like make up, jewellery and accessories should be toned down.

    1.2 Do your research

    To prepare for an interview find out as much as you can beforehand. Call the person who scheduled your interview and ask some information about who you will meet and directions to the office. Visit the location of the office in advance if possible. Plan to arrive at the designated office at least 30 minutes in advance to allow for traffic and other uncertainties so that you can relax before the interview.

    For some employers, they start evaluating you the moment you step into the company therefore, remember to be courteous and well-mannered to everyone you meet there. Keep in mind that they might be your future colleagues and you are laying the foundation for a good working relationship.

    Make sure that you do a more thorough research on the company, the position, the interviewers, what sort of questions might be asked and questions you can ask the interviewers. Learn, understand and practice the information you have managed to gather. The more prepared you are, the more confident you would be in answering them. Also, plan on creating a good first impression externally as well such as wearing the appropriate attire and choosing a colour that would project a positive energy towards the interviewers.

    Carry out research which will give you something to talk about in addition to the job description. Get the information from employer’s website, or google information such as company background. Try to specifically relate your experience to the duties the job opportunity entails. Read up about the person interviewing you so you get to know a bit more about the type of person they are.

  3. Day of the interview
  4. 2.1. Interviewing Skills

    To land the job, you'll have to appear professional, confident, and capable. You will be judged not only on your ability to do the job itself but also on how well you will get along with the people with whom you will be working. The hiring manager watches your soft skills to predict whether you'll work well with others. Miriam Salpeter in U.S News says soft skills relate to a person's ability to interact effectively with co-workers and customers and are broadly applicable both in and outside the workplace. Soft skills include attitude, communication skills, time management, critical thinking and a slew of other categories that do not relate to intelligence.

    Demonstrating your soft skills throughout the interview process is as equally important as your technical abilities. During the interview, be conscious of your body language for as long as you are in the room and avoid giving short replies. Answer the questions as best as you can and keep the conversation flowing. If you find that a question is tough to answer, ask them to give you more time to think and get back on it before the interview is over. There are several strategies you can use to help demonstrate your soft skills during the interview phase.

    i. Assess your Skills

    In preparation for your interview, think about your personal strengths and how you can demonstrate these

    ii. Be prepared to answer open-ended question

    Open-ended questions directly test some soft skills like adaptability and the ability to communicate effectively but more importantly they give you the opportunity to reveal the skills you have or would use in particular circumstances. There are several kinds of questions that employers will ask in order to draw out soft skills.

    iii. Show your soft skills

    You are probably used to the gut feelings you get about how the interview is going. Communication and rapport are very important qualifiers in finding someone who will be a good fit for a team, and as such, how you conduct yourself in the interview is very important.

    2.2. Stay Calm During A Job Interview

    We all know that job interviews are stressful. Hiring managers and recruiters can understand a little bit anxiety and some stress but being too stressful can prevent showing your true nature and professionalism. As a result, you may end up not getting the offer. Also, some hiring managers and recruiters think that if you are too nervous in a job interview, then you cannot handle the pressure when you are doing your job. Therefore, you need to learn to control yourself during an interview. In other countries, initiating a handshake at the start of the interview is common practice but is not always the case for the Muslims in Brunei. In the case that the interviewer initiated it and is a member of the opposite sex, what you can do is to politely decline and inform them it is on the basis of your faith.

    Below you can find tips for staying calm during a job interview

    i. Go prepared

    Do a mock interview with a friend or with yourself in a mirror and cover the possible interview topics.

    ii. Listen

    Be an active listener and answer what is being asked of you. Don’t answer the question just to answer it or talk about something totally different from what is being asked. Don’t cut the interviewer off while she/he is talking. Remember that an interview is a two-way conversation

    iii. Think positively

    Think positively and don’t try to second-guess what the interviewer is thinking about you. Thinking positively will help you relax. As a result, you can focus on your skills and accomplishments easier.

    2.3 Do’s & don’t

    There’s a lot of advice out there for job seekers, and if you’re in the position of interviewing for a job, it could be helpful to have all of it in one place, neatly categorized into do’s and dont’s of interviewing.

    Do’s Dont’t
    Do be confident, but not cocky Don’t get personal
    Do be mindful of your nonverbal signals Don’t fidget
    Do take your time when answering Don’t badmounth a former employer
    Do highlight your successes Don’t make up phony weaknesses
    Do speak with enthusiasm Don’t add filler phrases
  5. After the interview
  6. 3.1 Ending the interview

    At the close of interview, you’ll want to make certain that you will be remembered. State your interest in the position and if you would like work for them, summarize how you would be a right person to the position and get the interviewer’s business card for you send a thank you letter. Before leaving the room, be courteous and thank them for their time and for the knowledge and experience you have gained from them to make sure that you leave them with a good impression.

    3.2 Thank you letter

    Send a thank-you note. Restate your interest in the job, summarize key points of the interview, and add further information to help your case. This simple courtesy can make the difference between selection and rejection. Sending a thank-you note, even one as short as three sentences can complement the work you have already put in. When employers receive thank-you notes, they immediately remember you. Sending a note makes you stand out positively because so few people send them.

    3.3 Evaluation

    Right after an interview is the best time to do a self-evaluation. Your can review the entire process and determine your plan for following up and your plan for making any adjustments for corrections to your preparation and practice steps.

    Here is a useful link to a UK career site Prospects which gives a list of typical interview questions as well as tips and tricks to help you succeed. Click Here