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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.

The three most important things to do in any job interview

The most critical stage in any career change or job search process is the recruitment interview. The recruiting manager needs to decide if the applicant is the right person to employ, and the applicant needs to decide if the company is the right place to work for.

Too many hiring managers still don’t fully understand that there is a war for talent and that talented applicants will only work for those companies that are able to sell the role and the company, rather than conducting an interview that feels more like an interrogation.

The job interview is the stage, where after many hours of preparing and learning the script, the applicant must perform on the stage and tell his or her career story. The audience may only be the hiring manager, or could be a panel of interviewers.

Most interviews are only about an hour in duration. In that golden hour, it is important to try and structure the interview in blocks of 15 minutes – a little like a stage show consisting of four acts. Each act is equally important. Applicants are able to control the flow and direction of the interview through their answers.

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?

Too often a candidate will use far too much of the interview time discussing what they have done, resulting in overselling and too long and windy answers on past achievements. Though past experience is still the best indicator of future performance, it is only part of the interview.

2. Can you do the job that you are being interviewed for?

The better you understand the challenges and specific role requirements, the more likely you will be able to demonstrate how you will perform in the new role.  Structured interview questions provide great clues of key competencies that are required

3. Will you fit in well with the team and the company?

Having the right experience and skills are important, but hiring managers are also looking for individuals that will fit into the culture of the company. Some companies are looking for team players working in a collaborative environment; others are looking for self-starters able to handle a more competitive work environment.

The Career GPS includes a comprehensive section on interview questions providing you with an Q&A rehearsal script to handle your interview with confidence.

In the next three updates we will cover each of these three questions in much more detail, to assist you in getting an offer of employment. Finally, we will cover the last quarter, which is where you ask questions and close the interview off in a strong and conclusive way.

Travel safely!

Charles van Heerden

Expert
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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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