These are by far the most popular style of interview. You meet one-on-one with a representative of the company, more often than not, the manager you will be reporting to, or, in some cases, a representative from the HR department. If you reach this stage of being offered an interview you more than likely have the right qualifications and skills for the job. So now is the time to determine if you are a good ‘fit’ for the organisation.
These interviews are usually structured. The interviewer may have a list of questions that he/she will ask all candidates in order to compare apples with apples. Bear in mind though, that some interviews are unstructured. In other words, an interviewer may ask questions prompted from your responses, so come armed with examples.
Interview questions will be of a technical and general nature. The interviewer will be looking for specific examples of how you have, and will, handle certain situations in the workplace. To that end you may be asked questions like – “What would you do if faced with….. ?” or “How would you handle a situation where …..?”. Other questions may include “Tell me about yourself”, “Why would you be a good fit for the role?” etc.
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The interviewer will be working from your resume and will undoubtedly ask questions about its content, so be ready to answer more in depth questions about your background, skills and experience.
There will be other candidates who are being interviewed so your aim in this interview is to show them that you are the person they need. Talking about your achievements and unique selling points is the most effective way of differentiating yourself from other candidates.
- Be prepared! Review the job advertisement/description and make notes of areas where you have a lot to offer.
- Review your resume and highlight points that you want to elaborate upon.
- Look at the achievements in your resume and come up with different examples to demonstrate the breadth and depth of your experience.
- Think about the STAR method when answering questions. What was the ssituation, your task, the approach taken and the result. See Understanding STAR for more information.
- Try to establish rapport. Be professional, friendly and engaged. Watch your body language. Listen attentively and maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
- Research the company. Use the Internet, industry associations, your network, publications etc to understand the company and their products/services. Be ready to ask questions about the company. This shows the interviewer that you’ve taken the time to research them and demonstrates interest.
- Always thank the interviewer for their time and remember to follow up with a thank you letter.
This article is contributed by Michelle Lopez of One2One Resumes.
© Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant