How to ace your interview: One-on-one

So you’ve decided to explore the job market for opportunities that would broaden your career and challenge you a bit more. Now you are receiving interview requests and you are not really sure what type of questions you will be asked.

This week, we will be going over a series of guidelines to help you ace your interviews; from one-on-one interviews to panel interviews and how to best answer them, to tackling how to dress for your interviews.

Taken from blog[dot]smartbear[dot]com

The one-on-one job interview

This is the most common interview where only the interviewer (Company Representative/ Line Manager) and the interviewee (You) is present. The format of the interview is conversational with the interviewer driving the agenda in the beginning and the interviewee asking questions towards the end. Both individuals will be are “self-selling” mode:

  1. The interviewer attempts to establish if the candidate is a fit for the position while at the same time selling the company.
  2. The candidate attempts to sell himself whilst at the same time,  determining if the company is a good company to work for.

First impressions, body language, dress-code and other non-verbal signs are very important!

Keep in mind that the interviewer has (or plans to) interview more than one person and you will be compared to those candidates. All applicants will create context for the interviewer  and will be compared against each other as well as compared against what kind of profile they think would best suit a particular role. Depending on the type of interview, the questions would be a combination of general, technical, skill and behavioural questions.

General questions focus on your behavioural characteristics, problem solving abilities, how they deal with authority and your ability to work in a team as well as independently.

Behavioural questions is where the interviewer would like the interviewee to use real life situations and experiences in answering the question. The interviewee should illustrate their knowledge through the experiences they describe. The interviewer would also like to know what the candidate has achieved in previous employment.

Preparation for any interview is very important and before the interview you should do the following:

  1. Go through the job requirements in detail
  2. Anticipate questions based on the job requirements
  3. Formulate potential answers to those questions
  4. Go through the company website and know what their main business
  5. Google your interviewer or look at their profile on LinkedIn (They’re looking at your profile, so look at theirs. This is not stalking – it’s research :))

Employers often prefer multiple rounds of one to one interviews to get a better feeling for a candidate and to make sure they are making a good employment decision. Each interview needs to be approached with preparation – try and find out who is doing the next interview and what their title is as this will guide you in your preparation.

Important thing to note about ANY interview:

Many people believe that an interview is only about the Company discussing your skills and whether you are suitable to them however, it goes both ways. Always come prepared with one or two questions as this is an important part of the process whereby you have the opportunity to suss out whether this is the opportunity for you (questions about the potential job, the company or even the staff).

The importance of an interview is contained in the level of overall “engagement”. Do not rely solely on your recruiter to tell you about the company culture or management style of the company, etc. You are the one who would be working with at the organisation and if you are being interviewed at the offices, then take time to look around, engage with your interviewer and ask those questions that make you uncertain about the job.

A greater understanding of the role empowers you to make a more informed decision, making the entire process smoother, not only for you but also your Agent.

Who knows, maybe this will create better job satisfaction?

This week I will be publishing a series dedicated to different kinds of interviews; what to say in an interview, how to dress in an interview

…. everything you need to arm you with the tools to get that dream job that we know you deserve!!

If you have any requests around interviews or questions you would like answered, then now is the time to ask.

Please leave your question in the comments section below.


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Fowzia Gamiet

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