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You are going to read an article in which four managers were asked to give job interview advice. For questions 43 – 52, choose the correct section. The sections may be chosen more than once.
Get That Job!
We asked four managers for their top tips on how to shine in an interview.
The main thing is to do your research in advance. You’d be surprised how many people show up for an interview knowing almost nothing about the company. If you can demonstrate an interest in working for my organisation specifically, I’m going to like you from the start! Preparation in general is key. Think about the kind of questions you’ll probably be asked, and consider your answers. Try to imagine what the interviewers’ reservations will be about you as a candidate. Don’t have much experience? Make sure you’ve got evidence from other areas of your life that you have the essential skills. Don’t have the right qualifications yet? Show me that you’re serious about taking them. Maybe you’ve done free online courses in the field – tell me what you enjoyed about those. But actually my main piece of advice is to be yourself. If you’re fake, we’ll see it right away.
As the interview comes to a close, I always ask the candidate if they have any questions. Their answer matters a lot. Most people say no, or ask a boring question because they think they ought to. But I once interviewed a woman who asked me three amazing questions. First, she said, ‘What are your reservations about hiring me?’ She made us tell her directly so she could address our concerns. I thought that was a clever move. Second, she asked me why the company was so great and why I stayed there myself. The interviewee suddenly became the interviewer! And third, she said, ‘Why should I accept this post rather than the others?’ What a question. It showed how much she valued herself, and let us know that other companies were interested in her, too. Needless to say, I offered her the job.
For me it’s all about first impressions. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that, but it’s true. If a candidate doesn’t wow me in the first few minutes, I switch off. It’s hard not to when you’re interviewing five or ten people. Even if you’re anxious, smile! Shake my hand, look me in the eye and say something positive. Thank me for my time. Anything! Just get my attention. That’s not to say that the rest of the interview won’t matter. If you don’t have the right skills and experience I’m not going to hire you, even if you made me laugh as soon as you walked in the door. Prepare for every interview thoroughly and do specific research about the company. Employers love that. When I have an interview myself, I often roleplay it the night before with my husband or a friend. It’s very helpful.
A classic interview question is, ‘Tell me about yourself.’ A lot of candidates waste that question, instead of seeing it for the golden opportunity it is. Managers don’t want to know that you go swimming four times a week – unless you’ve applied for a job as a swimming instructor or a lifeguard. We’re basically asking you to tell us your unique selling points. A good way to answer the question is something like, ‘Well, of course there’s a lot I could say, but I think the most important things for you to know are X, Y and Z.’ Obviously X, Y and Z are your biggest skills and achievements, or the things that are most relevant to the position you’ve applied for. And then after you’ve talked about X, Y and Z, ask the interviewer, ‘Is there anything more you’d like to know?’ Candidates who get this question right always make the deepest impression on me.
43. advises doing a fake interview before the real one?
44. thinks the start of the interview is the most important part?
45. admired a candidate who took control of an interview?
46. says a lot of candidates fail to research the company?
47. tells candidates not to talk about their hobbies in an interview?
48. knows when candidates pretend to be something they’re not?
49. provides a structure for answering a typical interview question?
50. advises candidates to be friendly even though they are nervous?
51. says the end of the interview is the time to impress them?
52. understands that skills are not only learned through work?