So you have been called to an in-person interview. This is probably thanks to your preparation. Preparation is essential when you are looking for work or going to an interview.
You need to be very proactive when you are looking for a new, better position. Being proactive means having a well-prepared resume, an engaging cover letter, recommendation letter and documents to support your qualifications and experience (degree certificates, experience letters, and so on).
If you have been getting calls to go to interviews after you have applied then clearly your resume and other written materials are working for you. Following the call, you will usually be asked to come to an in-person interview. This is an extremely important opportunity for you to prove yourself as the best candidate for that particular vacancy.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for the in-person interview:
Positive body language
Hiring managers always look for people with positive body language. So, you need to remember that you are being closely observed from the moment you step into the hiring manager’s office. Keep your shoulders and back straight. This posture indicates that you are not nervous; it subconsciously sends a signal to other people that you are confident. Maintain a steady speaking voice; it should not be too loud or too weak.
Make eye contact
During the interview, it is a good idea to make frequent good eye contact with the hiring manager. This means looking into the person’s eyes, with a pleasant smile. When the interviewer asks you questions, he or she is checking your knowledge as much as trying to tell whether your are honest or not. If you are shy, or don’t make eye contact, they may think you are hiding something.
Be enthusiastic and motivated
During the job interview, you must try and stay positive. Nobody is expecting you to have superpowers, but they will expect you to be enthusiastic and motivated. Make sure you come across as engaged and positive all through the in-person interview. This will also have a positive effect on the person interviewing you as he or she will feel more comfortable talking to you.
Key points to remember during the in-person interview
1. Arrive on time – ten to fifteen minutes early is preferable.
2. If you are asked to fill out any forms, do it neatly, answer all the questions and provide as much information as you can.
3. Greet the interviewer formally and smile. Shake the interviewer’s hand and remember to thank them after the interview.
4. Be enthusiastic, full of energy, and let your true personality shine.
5. Do not sit down until you are asked. Try and sit up straight for the whole interview.
6. Stay alert and show your interest at all times.
7.Make constant eye contact with the interviewer.
8. Listen carefully and respond only to questions. Definitely don’t interrupt.
9. Speak clearly and concisely so every word you say is understood.
10. At the beginning of the interview, try to get a good description of the job as well as the duties involved. This will help you formulate your responses in relation to your background so they match the job requirements to your experience, skills, and milestones.
11. Be honest. And make sure you let them know about all your professional achievements that relate to the position.
Two sticky questions asked at the in-person interview
Some people get really stuck about how to reply to these two questions. It is a good idea to think about your answers well in advance so you are prepared.
1. Can you please describe yourself?
This question is asking you about your personal as well as your professional values. Make sure that you give true, accurate and honest answers. In this way, the person interviewing you will be able to tell how genuine you are. Stay focused on your traits and your talents. You have the opportunity to present all your talents here, so take the opportunity! You can impress the interviewer with your answer to this question and create a lasting impression in their mind. Do not however make unnecessary or irrelevant points as this can have a negative impact. This question, and your response, also provides you with the opportunity to see whether you are a good fit for the position.
2. What do you think are some of your best achievements at work?
You can select one, or several achievements for this question. Make sure you mention a least one milestone that connects with the job you are applying for. Your response should grab the attention of your interviewer and position you as the top candidate. They will probably be interviewing a number of people, one after the other, so you need to stand out. Don’t just stop at the achievement though, mention the results and what you – and other people – got out of them.
For the interviewer, your achievements may add to their bottom line as well as making the organization more efficient. This is what they like to hear! In other words: will you be an asset for them?
It is often appropriate to mention your weaknesses. You can mention your flaws or mistakes, but finish off by explaining how you overcame them or how you have turned them into positives.
Above all, be well prepared
To prepare for any interview, make a list of questions the recruiter may ask. Going to an in-person interview without preparing is definitely not a good idea. Not being able to answer any question is embarrassing, because if you don’t prepare then how do they know you will be prepared for any challenges if you work for them? It’s very important to avoid an awkward situation like this.