How To Pass A Job Interview

How To Pass A Job Interview

Dear job-seeker,

Richard McMunn

My name is Richard McMunn and in this article I am going to explain how to pass a job interview. More and more people are approaching me these days and they are complaining that they never find success after attending a job interview.

In addition to this, they find it very frustrating that, when they seek feedback from the employer they never receive a response. I fully sympathise with these people and in this article I will try to address some of this obstacles that many job-seekers come up against when applying for jobs.

Now, the first important tip is to make sure that before you go to the interview that you get a copy of the person’s specifications and the job description for the role that you are applying for, because the interviewer will ask you interview questions based around these documents. So, that’s the person specification and the job description that you need to get a copy of before you go to the interview. You should be able to find these either on the website of the organisation advertising the job vacancy or by contacting the employer direct. I recommend that, once you have these documents to hand, you learn them; not necessarily off by heart, but you should certainly learn the key important areas because they will ask interview questions based around these two important documents.

Now, before you go to the interview make sure that you research the organisation. Research it in-depth. Think about the kind of services that the organisation offers, where they operate from or to and also their unique selling point. So, what is the unique selling point? What do they focus on? Is it customer service, or the type of product that they are offering? Also, think about the key people in the organisation. Where do they operate from? Who are the management team within the organisation?

First impressions at a job interview are crucial to your success

You should also take the time to learn a little bit about their history, so when the interviewer asks you the question – “Tell us a little bit about our organisation?”, you will be able to respond to that effectively. Make sure you do lots of research about the organisation as this is very important. And also learn about the role that you are applying for; you do that by reading the job description.

Now, you don’t need me to tell you that when you go along to an interview you need to dress smart and formally, unless specifically stated not to. I have interviewed people before for jobs and they’ve turned up in jeans and trainers. Now it doesn’t automatically say to me that they’re not going to be good in that role, but it doesn’t create a good impression. Generally, you have about seven or eight seconds to create a first positive impression when you walk into that interview room. Now you don’t need to go out and buy an expensive suit, but I recommend that you dress smart. And if you do wear a suit, make sure it is pressed and clean, and also make sure that your shoes are clean.  generally advise people just to dress conservatively for the interview. You should avoid wearing ties or socks which have cartoon characters on them! This does not create a good impression at all. Dress formally and make sure you look smart, because you want to create the impression that you are enthusiastic and motivated about the role.

When responding to the interview questions, make sure you’re motivated and enthusiastic, because if you sit in the interview chair and you’re looking down at the floor and you’re not generally interested, it doesn’t matter what you say to the interview panel, you won’t get the job. I want someone who comes to me when they are being interviewed to be enthusiastic and motivated about the role, because that’s contagious. 

When you walk into the interview room, don’t sit down in the interview chair until invited to do so. It’s just basic good manners. So, I would walk into the room and I would say “Hello, my name is Richard, and I’m here for the interview.” I will then stand by the chair and wait to be seated. When I do finally sit down in the interview chair, I’ll put the palms of my hands on top of my knees. I won’t fidget, but I do use my hands to express myself, which is generally good practice, but don’t fidget.

You should also make a conscious effort to look at the interviewer(s) in the eye when talking to them or listening to them speak. Don’t stare them out aggressively or confrontationally, but do make eye contact. So, let’s assume that one person asks you an interview question; you should respond to that person, but also the others who sat on the panel, so you are involving everybody else on the interview panel.

Now finally, before you go to the interview, look at the person specification, but look for the different key qualities and the attributes that are required to carry out the role. For example, if it says on the document that the person we require in this role has effective team-working skills, you need to make sure before you go to the interview that you have evidence that you have already met that key quality or attribute. And you need to respond to the interview question, because you will get asked, “Give us an example of where you’re worked effectively as a team member.” You need to give evidence of where you’ve already done that before. Because I could stand there or sit there in the interview and say, “Yes, I’m a good team player”, but backing it up with evidence is a different matter altogether.

Preparing for a job interview

So, when responding to those kind of interview questions, that I generally call situational interview questions, use the star technique, which is S, explain the situation; T, explain the task that had to be done; A, explain what action you took and what action other people took, and finally, R, make sure you tell them what the result was following your actions.

This is a really good way to answer what I call situational interview questions.

If it says in the job description that you need to be good at customer service and also a flexible person, then you need to come up with evidence of where you’ve already done those in previous roles.

When you leave the interview, I always think it’s good to come up with a positive statement at the end. Try saying something like this at the end of the interview:

“I just want to say thank you very much for interviewing me today, and I believe I would be a valuable asset to your team, and thank you very much.”


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