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Interview Tips

For interview confidence know the interview questions and prepare your answers in advance. Use your online Career Tools to practice or rehearse with a friend.

Interview Tips: Can you do the job that you are being interviewed for?

The most critical stage in any career change or job search process is the recruitment interview. Every recruiting manager has an ideal person profile in mind when they conduct their interviews.

In a previous update we highlighted that the most important things to do in any job interview are to answer these three key questions:

  1. Can you do what you have said you have done in your CV?
  2. Can you do the job that you are being interviewed for?
  3. Will you fit in well with the team and the company?

In this update we will expand on the second question - Can you do the job that you are being interviewed for? For many managers, past experience is still regarded as the best indicator of future performance, which is why behavioural or structured interview questions are helpful to determine if the candidate has the required skills.

There are a number of considerations to keep in mind:

(a)   If the role is a newly created role, a recruiting manager may often not have a clear picture of the skills and competencies that are required. The recruiter would emphasise these skills in the job advertisement, as well as in the interview.

(b)   If the previous incumbent was not performing well in the role, the recruiting manager may be very focused on certain specific and critical competencies, which was most likely missing or below average in the previous incumbent’s profile. Recruiters may provide helpful clues as it is in their best interest that you perform well in the interview.

(c)   If a good performer has vacated the position due to a promotion, or a career move to another company, the company should have a good handle on the role and skills requirements.

 Here are three simple steps to clearly demonstrate that you can do and perform well in the role that you are being interviewed for:

  1. Practice specific achievements for each of your last three roles. The Career GPS includes a comprehensive section on interview questions providing you with an Q&A rehearsal script to handle your interview with confidence.
  2. If you have some achievements that are great examples, but not specifically relevant to the role that you are being interviewed for, it is not a good idea to use those as it may create doubt in the interviewer’s mind about your suitability. If you are really stuck, try not to be too specific about the company or country, as the story should be about how you handled the situation rather than industry or other factors.
  3. Sometimes questions may be very generic, which often results in examples that are not appropriate or not specific enough to give you the opportunity to be seen as the standout candidate for the role. Your objective is not only to answer the questions, but to create and reinforce the impression in the mind of the interviewer that you will perform competently and confidently in the role.

In our next update we will cover some more valuable information to assist you in getting an offer of employment and how to close the interview off in a strong and conclusive way.

Travel safely!

Charles van Heerden

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Charles is an HR careers expert with a strong focus on talent management. He has been an HR Director in three countries, a senior line manager and a consultant. Charles holds a degree in Psychology and has completed advanced studies in HR and change management.

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