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By Emsie Martin

You have been invited to a job interview. The company has read your CV and decided your qualifications and experience suit their requirements, but the job interview will be the decisive factor. There are other applicants as well and the job interview can make the difference as to whether or not you are appointed.

Dr. ST Potgieter is a psychologist in Belville with wide experience. According to him, it is important to know how to handle a job interview. Remember, first impressions are important and quite often permanent. Take care to make a powerful and positive impression during the first few seconds. How do you do this?

Here are some tips:

  • There is an expression: A picture paints a thousand words. Your appearance is therefore important.
  • Dress neatly and appropriately for the interview.
  • Try to establish what your interviewer will be wearing. The attire for the post of an accountant will probably be quite different from that for the post of an artist or a farm manager.
  • Your body language is important.
  • Smile when you enter the room. It immediately makes a positive impression.
  • Walk in briskly, stand up straight with you shoulders pulled slightly back, greet with a firm handshake and look the person in the eye. Don’t expect to make a good impression when you enter the room with a nonchalant and sloppy posture.
  • Even if your nerves are in tethers, take a deep breath and radiate self-confidence.
  • Radiate positive energy when entering the room, be focused and display good manners. Wait until you are offered a seat – don’t just plonk yourself down in the first chair.
  • The first question will probably be something like: Why did you apply for this job? / Why do you think you are suited to this post? Prepare yourself thoroughly for this question so that you immediately make a good impression. It will give you self-confidence for the rest of the interview.
  • Appear alert, interested and enthusiastic.
  • Keep you eyes on the interviewer.
  • When there is more than one interviewer, move your gaze from one to the other.
  • Don’t let your emotions overwhelm you when you disagree with something.
  • Don’t get embroiled in a debate.
  • Display humour without trying to be funny.
  • Emphasise your achievements and experience.
  • Talk with your body language, for example with your hands, so that you come across as enthusiastic.
  • Listen attentively to what is being asked, otherwise you might lose the gist of the question and answer inappropriately.
  • Don’t just reply with “yes” or “no”, but expand on your answer, but don’t talk too much.
  • Reply in a clear tone of voice, with self-confidence. Don’t mumble and speak inaudibly.
  • Don’t share negative things about your previous employer. Don’t complain about things in your life.
  • Don’t get involved in political or religious points of view.
  • If you really don’t know the answer, say so rather than spewing nonsense.
  • When you can talk extensively about a specific question, mention the most important core aspects and end by saying, “I would like to expand on this subject, if you would like me to do so.”
  • Don’t be dishonest during the interview.
  • Don’t appear desperate by, for example, saying, “Please, won’t you appoint me.” It weakens your presentation and compromises your self-confidence.
  • Try to elucidate questions with practical examples/success you have achieved.
  • A question that often arises is, “Tell us more about your strong points and weak points”. Prepare yourself thoroughly for this question. Your strong points must coincide with your reason for applying for the job. Don’t admit your weak points, but phrase them is such a way that they actually come across as positive, for example, “My one weak point is my perfectionism. I like to complete something correctly and on time. I ascribe my perfectionism to my belief that only my best is good enough for my company and clients.”
  • A last question to you could be something like, “Is there something else you would like to say in conclusion?” or “Would you like to know something more about our company?” Prepare yourself well for this, so that you can end with a powerful answer. To the latter question you could for example ask, “What key aspects will be important to the company in the next few years?”

With the necessary preparation, correct focus and the right knowledge about how to approach the interview and the way in which you reply to questions, you improve your chances of being appointed for the job you applied for.

SOURCE;

Dr. ST Potgieter. Pitkos. Tel: 021 949 5007; Cell phone: 083 227 3683;  Email: st@pitkos.co.za

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