Preparing for a Job Interview
|A traditional job interview typically involves a question and answer session with a prospective employer – although there may be more than one representative of that employer present – on the employer’s premises.|
Questions naturally focus on technical qualifications, experience and the ability of a candidate to perform the role in question, but discussions may also include the motivation, or enthusiasm, of a candidate and his, or her, suitability for the existing organisational structure within a company, etc..
|Furthermore, the way a candidate is dressed, the way that they shake hands, their overall body language and the tone and pitch of their voice are all scrutinised.|
This means that a job interview, for some, is a daunting experience, but it is worth remembering that, ultimately, an employer does want to fill the position so that work can continue, but must be satisfied that a prospective employee is competent, honest and enthusiastic.
Preparation is – or, at least, should be – a byword for success in job interviews, so before your interview date, research everything you can about your prospective employer. This may include details of company history, products, services, etc. – generally available from the company website – and/or the annual report, which can be obtained by telephoning the company.
|Once you have researched this information, you can make selective and relevant use of it, in answering interview questions. Referring – accurately, of course – to sources of information such as a website, or annual report, will demonstrate your knowledge and enthusiasm for the position.|
Obviously not all job interviews follow exactly the same pattern, but there are a number of typical, general questions that you should try to anticipate, along with more specific questions based on your own career history.
- “Why do you want this job?” is a fair question and, hopefully, one that you have thought about carefully, before the interview, itself. You should use this opportunity to highlight the positive aspects of the position for which you are applying – opportunities for career development, etc. – rather than the negative aspects of your current, or previous, position.
- “What skills, or qualities, are required for this job?” is another fairly typical question and one used by interviewers to assess your understanding of the industry and this specific job, rather than just any job. The original job advertisement may provide some information, as may the company website, but also look to the future, where management or supervisory skills, for example, may be advantageous.
Dress & Body Language
|Dressing smartly – neatly pressed trousers, shirt and tie, for men; formal skirt, or trousers and a smart top, for women – creates an instant good impression and, remember, you only have 60 seconds or so, to form that vital first impression.|
With this in mind, when greeting your interviewer, or interviewers, shake hands firmly – but not too firmly – look them in the eye and speak with a firm, confident voice. The same is true when it comes to answering questions; maintain eye contact and do not rush, or mumble, as many people do when nervous.
Engineering Jobs & Careers
The engineering sector offers excellent opportunities for career development, or progression, for the right candidate. Engineer jobs – graduate structural or civil engineer, for example, allow candidates exposure to the latest industry methods, often on high-profile, multi-million pound projects, while working towards chartered engineer status.
How to keep up to date with the job market.
Preparing for a job interview.