During the interview

It would be wrong to say that all interviews are the same, but they do tend to follow a general pattern. And it is certainly safe to say that it is a stressful and nervous situation for the person being interviewed, no matter how often they may have been in the interview process!

Being aware of what happens and being prepared helps you be less nervous.

In general an interview will begin with small talk and general chit chat – you may get offered a coffee – do accept even if you don’t drink it. Then the interviewer will start by perhaps telling you a bit about the job and the company and then ask you some general information about yourself. From there on the questions get specific.

They interviewer will often ask you if you have any questions – you should have – and then will come to a conclusion. Depending on the country, an interview can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Before you even say hello
The minute you are presented you are being evaluated. Your appearance, your voice, how you shake hands, eye contact  – the overall first impression is keenly scrutinized.

How good are you at small talk?
Aside from your job skills and experience, an interviewer wants to know how good you are at informal communication – so you need to be able to do more than smile and nod, you need to chat and contribute.

The recruiter has the floor
They start the conversation and interview rolling often by talking about the organization. Ask questions – make sure you understand the company and the position.

Now do you have any questions?
This question may come after the presentation or at the end of the interview. Make sure that you have a few intelligent questions ready to ask – based on the careful research that you did on the company beforehand.

On your way out the door
It isn’t over until it’s over. Remain enthusiastic and polite. Shake the recruiter’s hand and thank them for considering you for the position.

Expect the unexpected
You may get some odd questions – try not to be too surprised. You can’t prepare for this so take your time and think a little then give a natural response.

Published: Fri 11 Feb 2011. Modified: Wed 25 Jan 2012