Interview Tips 2018

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Published Date:15-07-2017
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WAYS TO MASTER THE ART OF THE INTERVIEW HOW TO sell your story 5 THINGS you should never do THE SECRETS to answering behavioural questions THE JEDI MIND TRICK of mirroring CLOSING THE DEAL and final wordsChaPter i Pre Paring for success “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Seneca, Philosopher Begin Your journe Y “It goes without saying that to be successful, you have to be prepared. That means: do your research. Research as much as you can about the organisation: its history, corporate culture, competitors, profitability, future plans. Also see if you can find any information about your interviewer — and make sure you know their full name (and how to pronounce it) as well as title.” 1 dean davidson, executive general manager, hudson recruitment australia ConSider a Sking for a mid-morning, PreP are to anS wer mid-week interview time the Big Ideally, you want to be interacting with your interviewer at a time when they’re not t hree preparing for the week ahead, finishing 2 up before the weekend, or thinking about questions getting lunch or going home. According to Tulika Tripathi, Managing Director, 3 Hudson Asia, there are three main questions every interviewer is seeking the answer to: 1) Have you got the necess ary skills to do the job? 2) Have you got the necess ary mindset and motivation to do the job well? 3) Will you fit in? If you’ve made it to the interview stage, you almost 4 certainly possess the right skill set to do the job. Your opportunity to stand out from the (similarly g et in the zone qualified) pack will be by demonstrating your will We all have our different ways of preparing to succeed and showing that you will be a good for an important event. Whatever yours is – cultural fit with the company. meditating, breathing exercises, exercising, listening to upbeat music, talking to a supportive friend – schedule time to do it before your interview so you’re in a positive frame of mind. 5 a word from our ex Pert interviewS “The best way to avoid performing poorly at an interview is to be well prepared. Find out as much Still matter as you can about the company and the role, think about the story you’re going to tell about why you’re – a lot the best person for the job and prepare for possible interview questions.” Close to 100 per cent of hiring managers across APAC say that 6 kate herbert, hudson Career management interviews are still important. 1ChaPter ii Ma King Your en Trance “Your first impression of a thing sets up your subsequent beliefs.” daniel kahneman, Psychologist You’ve got one-tenth of a Se Cond to imP reSS Experiments conducted at Princeton University suggest interviewers size up candidates in the blink of an eye, forming an impression in one tenth of a second – and not significantly altering that impression even when they’ve had more time to look them 7 up and down. it’S not what Y ou Colour SaY But how Code 9You Sa Y it Your Sel f Albert Mehrabian’s definitive study on verbal 8 and non-verbal communication found that: According to US colour psychology specialists, something in reassuring blue 7% of communication is what you s ay: actual is the safest bet when it comes to a job words interview outfit. White or grey respectively 38% is how you say it: things like your suggest you’re the organised or logical tone of voice, rate of speech and volume type, red conveys you feel powerful and black can either come across as glamorous 55% is non-verbal: all the other non-verbal or severe. Avoid green, yellow or purple cues and signals you give without saying unless you want to project a creative, fun- anything such as general appearance, facial loving image. expression, body language and gestures “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” Peter drucker, management Consultant & author h ave Y our S hake and S mile down P at What your father told you is true – a firm handshake creates an immediate positive impression. You should also start smiling as soon as you enter the room. University studies have confirmed what we all intuitively sense – smiles are usually reciprocated and create positive feelings in the two parties beaming at each other. Keep your body language open and receptive by maintaining eye contact, sitting up straight 10 and leaning in towards the interviewer to signal your interest and enthusiasm. Under no circumstances cross your arms, tap your foot or fidget with things like a pen or phone. Speak expressively and confidently and avoid verbal tics such as adding “you know” to sentences. 2“The first thing an interviewer will notice is how much effort you’ve put into being well presented. Always err on the side of formality – even if you’re going for a job at a funky IT company the interviewer will be impressed if you’ve dressed up in a suit. The second thing the interviewer will notice is your demeanour, so make sure you respond to them in a friendly manner and smile frequently.” kate herbert, hudson Career management 11 13 12 work – emPlo Y the Jedi and read – mind trick of mirroring the room When two people become comfortable with each other they If more than one person is interviewing you, will start ‘mirroring’, that is, mimicking the way the other person make sure you don’t only focus on the person has their legs, arms and even facial expression. You can asking most of the questions. It may well be kickstart the process of building rapport with your interviewer the interviewer who says nothing who makes by consciously copying their body language. the final hiring decision, so maintain regular eye contact with everyone in the room. o vercome 14 15 unC on SCiouS BiaS While both interviewers and interviewees would like to believe that job interviews are a fair and objective process, there is no a word from shortage of research to show that some candidates have an unfair advantage from the start. our exPert This is known as ‘unconscious bias’, which is the tendency to “Interviewers, like everyone else, favour those who look and act as we do, and those who we form an impression of someone in judge to be physically attractive or charming. The good news a matter of seconds and are then for those of us without the looks and charisma of a George inclined to interpret everything Clooney or Angelina Jolie is that with the right preparation and that subsequently occurs through attitude you can make yourself seem more attractive. the lens of that first impression. Candidates therefore need to project According to Simon Moylan, Executive General Manager, confidence and friendliness from the Hudson Talent Management, Asia Pacific, “while job moment they walk in the door.” interviewers have the same unconscious biases as everyone else – it’s human nature, after all – if you prepare thoroughly, Christina d’arcy, hudson Career provide intelligent answers, speak confidently and put in some t ransition and executive Coach effort to build rapport, unconscious bias can be overcome.” 3ChaPter iii BuiLD ing anD es Ta BLis Hing “So many people out there have no idea what they want to do for a living but they think that by going on job interviews they’ll magically figure it out. If you’re not sure, that message comes out loud and clear in the interview.” t odd Bermont, Business l eader & author r ememBer, it’ S h ywo ou Be rae , not what Y ou know 17authentiC “By the time you make it to the interview stage 16 they assume you have the skills necessary to do Unless you’re a very skilled actor, it’s unlikely the advertised job, or can be easily trained to you’ll be able to believably maintain a false acquire them. What interviewers are focused on persona for the duration of a job interview. Nor is whether you will be a good ‘cultural fit’, where is it advisable to try – few things will destroy your values, behaviour and ethics align with that your chances of getting that dream role faster of the organisation.” than your questioners concluding you’re being dishonest. If you really want a job you’re well roman rogers, executive general manager, suited to, it’s best just to be yourself and be hudson new zealand judged on that basis. Clarif Y Your Per Sonal B ran19 d 18 Brands are usually about one or two characteristics. With Volvo, Sell Y our Stor Y you think safety. With Apple you think innovation and design. With Rather than making all sorts of grand but Louis Vuitton, you think luxury. unsupported claims about yourself, it’s better to demonstrate the value you can Ask yourself what’s the one strong impression you’d like to leave deliver by citing concrete achievements, your interviewer with and keep that front of mind while answering facts and stats. So if at your last job you their questions. If, as in the previous example, you want to be cut absenteeism by eight per cent or thought of as the person who turns around poorly performing raised the daily output of your department departments, you will respond differently to questions than if you by 15 per cent, your interviewer will want to be thought of as the person who cuts costs. probably want to know about it. However, the interview is not just about citing data. If you really want to sell yourself you need to sell your story and 20 Be a specialist craft your career arc. So mould your Rather than portray yourself as a general all-rounder, it can be more quantifiable achievements into a coherent effective to just highlight your exceptional abilities in one or two areas. narrative such as: Analysis conducted by Stanford Business School about the employment “I was hired to turn around a department prospects of its MBA graduates found that those exhibiting “spikiness”, that was suffering from high turnover, low that is, specialisation and high competence in a few skills, did better morale and below average productivity. than those who had an average level of competence over a wider range As I have in a number of previous roles, I of skills. was able to boost both productivity and “I had a job interview at an insurance company once and the employee engagement by X amount over lady said, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ and I said, the course of six months by introducing “Celebrating the fifth year anniversary of you asking me this initiatives A, B and C.” question.” Mitch Hedberg, Comedian 421 22 Be guided By Cra Msterina g Interviewers are likely to be impressed if you consistently use the behavioural CAR (Context, Action, Result) method to answer their questions. questions What this means is you: Interviewers often ask ‘behavioural questions’ 1) Describe the relevant Context or situation to see how you’ve handled certain situations in the past, based on the premise that the best 2) List the actions you took to complete that task or resolve the situation predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. 3) Finish with a description of the (impressive) r esults of your actions. Here are a couple of oft-asked behavioural questions and some tips about how to answer them successfully. Question: Tell me how you handled conflict with a co-worker in the past? Answer: The interviewer is trying to establish three things with this question: 23 1) Y ou’re self-aware enough to realise when Makes ist a workplace conflict exists and should be addressed. aid when answering 2) Y ou’re able to devise a strategy to deal with b ehavioural questions the conflict. Describing team actions – the interviewer wants to know what 3) Y ou’re able to implement that strategy actions you took so talk about ‘I’ instead of ‘we’ successfully. If you claim you’ve never had a conflict with Theoretical statements – don’t describe what you ‘would’ do; anyone in a workplace you might be perceived instead, describe what you did do in an actual situation as either having no self-awareness or lying. A General st atements – be as specific as possible and avoid good strategy might be to discuss a significant generalisations but not too serious issue you were having with a colleague and explain how you maturely and Opinions – the interviewer is interested in facts and situations, rationally worked out a way to resolve it. not your personal beliefs or judgments (unless the question Question: Tell me about a project you worked pertains to these). on that failed. Answer: The interviewer is trying to ascertain if you can (a) Learn from your mistakes and (b) Rectify them. So you might have an answer along the lines of: “My department had a goal of lifting sales by 15 per cent one quarter but only managed a wor D from to increase them by five per cent. I realised our expert I had to make some hard decisions about 24 moving on some poor performers and, once I did that, sales increased by 25 per cent the following quarter.” “Of the hundreds of people I’ve interviewed, the exceptional There are lots of other behavioural questions ones were all confident, alert but relaxed, and concise rather than you may be asked, such as how you handled cagey when answering questions. They were also positive and a stressful situation, took initiative or motivated other-directed, meaning they were focused on their team members your team. Whatever the question, aim to and colleagues flourishing rather than just obsessed with advancing demonstrate your ability to identify a challenge, their own careers.” issue or opportunity, and to devise and implement a plan to deal with it. Christina D’arcy, h udson Career t ransition and executive Coach 5 vo toChaPter iv Trou BLesHoo Ting “All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.” max mckeown, Behavioural Strategist an Swering other 26rtic yk u q e Stion S What salary would you be expecting? Research what the industry standard is so you know your 25 market worth and can ask for a fair and appropriate, but realistic, rate. Why do you want to move on from your current role? m oeka r Many people move on from a job due to a poor relationship with their manager, but even if that’s the case, it’s never good form to badmouth your previous Brkae or current boss. The best way to answer this question is to actually find something – anything – positive to say about your employment situation but explain you u q e Stion S need to move on to broaden your skill set and progress It’s possible to recover from answering many your career. questions poorly but there are a few that What are your weaknesses? will derail your candidature if not handled appropriately. Here’s how you can deal with Honesty is still the best policy so identify a weakness, some of the more difficult questions. but preferably not one that’s going to impact greatly on your ability to get the job done. For example, not being Why were you let go from your last job? a people person is going to be less of a problem if you’re If you were made redundant due to reasons applying for a position as scientific researcher than it is unrelated to poor performance – for example, if you’re applying for a job in sales. a company restructure – be sure to articulate that. Otherwise, try to reassure the interviewer that the issue that resulted in your previous “My alarm bells employment being terminated won’t recur. Isn’t someone with your background start ringing if overqualified for this role? a candidate If you’re making a sideways move it’s advisable to explain that you’re not doing it out of a lack turns up late, of other options but rather because you’re keen to move into another industry or develop a underdressed or new skill set. You’ll also need to highlight your transferable skills. underprepared, Can you explain this gap on your CV? or if they denigrate Explain, rather than try to hide, any gaps in your a previous employer employment – you took some time off to spend with your family, further your studies or travel. or manager.” Be sure to mention if you engaged in activities such as volunteering for a charity or doing dean davidson, executive general some consulting work. manager, hudson recruitment australia 628 f ive thing S that 27 You S hould re Covering never do from a miSSteP in an interview: If you realise you’ve fumbled an answer, first off, don’t panic – it happens to the best of candidates. Swear Secondly, frankly acknowledge Four-letter words might be much more that you probably didn’t provide common and socially acceptable these days the information the interviewer was but they remain jarringly inappropriate in the seeking and ask if you can answer S% context of a job interview. the question again. If you’ve drawn a complete mental blank it might be best to just allow the interview to move on and, if it’s feasible, Overshare email the interviewer later with the Ideally, avoid bringing up your personal life at response you would have liked to all. If it can’t be avoided, don’t go any further have given. than referring to ‘a personal issue’ – a job interview is never the place or time to discuss the impact a relationship breakdown had on your career path. Veer into over-familiarity Establishing a warm rapport is good; overstepping professional boundaries is not. 29 Leave your phone on (or, even worse, look at it) Either make sure you’re free of any potential digital distractions before entering an interview a word from or double-check they are switched off. our exPert “I start to worry when a candidate volunteers that they have trouble managing their emotions. I’ve had Ask about the perks candidates say they have anger Once a job offer has been made you can management issues and frequently ask about extras like leave entitlements, end up in screaming matches with company cars and subsidised gym co-workers, and needless to say it memberships. But at the interview, ask hasn’t furthered their cause.” not what the company can do for you but rather what you can do for the company. Christina d’arcy, hudson Career t ransition and executive Coach 7ChaPter v cL osing “For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.” ig z ziglar, Salesman & motivational Speaker Clo Se on a positive ne 31 30 The end of an interview is your last chance to sell yourself. While remaining three que Stion S mindful of the interviewer’s time it is expected and appropriate that you aim to You muSt aS k leave a positive impression by: Towards the end of an interview, you will be Briefly mentioning any of your relevant asked if you want to pose any questions to your achievements or skills that haven’t interviewer. The answer to that query should come up always be “yes” and these are three questions Thanking the interviewer for their time you should ask. Emphasising your interest in the job What are the top three challenges for a person (you’re much more likely to miss out on in this role? it for appearing too diffident than you If you’re lucky enough to be offered the role you are for seeming too eager) want to know what you’re getting yourself into. This question will give you some idea of the issues you will have to confront if you get the job and what kind of resources will or won’t be made available to you to deal with them. What does success look like six months into this job? As well as reassuring the interviewers you’re the motivated, goal-orientated type, this question will clarify what the KPIs are that you might be judged on and what you’ll need to PSYChometriC prioritise if you are offered and accept the job. te Sting 32 What happens now? Some organisations require job candidates to undertake psychometric testing, based on the principle that particular You want to avoid either inappropriately roles are best filled by an individual with a particular pestering the recruiter or missing out on a behavioural style and set of cognitive abilities. valuable opportunity because you failed to follow up. Ask the interviewer how long you If sitting tests makes you anxious, you may wish to do some should wait before following up if you don’t free psychometric tests online beforehand to familiarise hear back and whether they would prefer to yourself with what’s involved. Be aware there are no ‘right’ be phoned or emailed. answers for personality assessments and that it’s inadvisable to try to manipulate your answers by responding in a way you believe your potential employer will find most appealing. 8 otit’S all B a o ut y ou 34 “Candidates need to own their job search – it’s not up to an 33 employer or recruiter to find you a position. It’s about you, the candidate, taking the initiative and following up about a job you’ve interviewed for and, if you don’t get it, asking for d on’t f all feedback and learning from the experience.” at the kate herbert, hudson Career management st la hurdle The people who conduct interviews, be they the organisation’s managers or professional recruiters, frequently have a lot of competing responsibilities and may not end up getting back to you by the nominated date. Other things being equal, you’re more likely to end up the successful candidate if you send a courteous email or make a polite phone call, reiterating your interest in the role and asking how things are coming along than if you don’t bother. f inal wordS 35 “If you’ve ever asked yourself, ‘How did that person get that job or promotion when they obviously shouldn’t have?’ the answer is almost always, ‘Because they interview really well’. The good news is that interviewing well is a learnable skill and one that’s valuable in progressing your career in a range of situations that extend well beyond the formal job interview.” mark Steyn, Chief executive officer, hudson asia Pacific good luck 9about hudson Hudson is a global recruitment and talent management company that helps to transform workplaces and unleash the full potential of both individuals and organisations. Our expert recruiters specialise in matching talent with opportunities where they will be able to thrive and which fit their career goals. We have developed a number of proprietary tools to help candidates in their job search and we have access to positions across a wide range of industries and professions. To see what roles may be of interest to you, search our latest jobs now at To ensure you are the first to know about our latest job opportunities, sign up for our job alerts at and receive notifications about new roles straight into your inbox. As an experienced leader in our field, we understand the expectations of organisations and are able to provide unique insights and advice to help maximise the success of our candidates. For more useful tips to help you in your job search, visit our Job Seeker section ( Follow Us For full references, see

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