At the job interview

Key points, hints and tips for having a successful job interview.

Job Application Process Includes:
Job Application Process     CV preparation     Job application letter     Online job application     Job interview     Interview etiquette    

Apart from preparing a CV one of the other major hurdles in seeking a new job is attending an interview. Whether it is for an electronics engineering job - electronics design, test engineering, or whether it is in software, or whether the job is in any other field, then attending an interview is certain to happen.

While a job interview may be looked upon as a nerve-racking experience, it should not be so. Whatever the job, electronics, software, or any other discipline, the interview is an opportunity for the employer to look at the interviewee and the interviewee to look at the employer.

While job interviews are not always the best way to assessing jobs and job applicants, they are nevertheless one of the best ways there are. With this in mind, it helps if anyone wanting to apply for a job knows what to do in an interview, and how to give themselves the best chance of succeeding.

It's all in the preparation

As with may things in life, good preparation beforehand pays dividends later. The same is true for job interviews, whether for electronics engineering jobs, software jobs, or for any other type of job.

There are a number of points to check and find out before going along for the interview. Most of them are quite obvious, but it worth making a checklist before the interview arrives to ensure that everything will go well:

  • Check out the organisation - look at their website, look at their products and look at other literature that is available including the annual report. If possible, even speak to someone who has worked there. By doing all of these things it will build up a picture of the company and it will be possible to talk sensibly about the company in the interview and not make any major errors. Interviewers will expect any interviewees to know about them. If an applicant obviously knows little or nothing about the company they are applying to it shows a lack of interest and this will count against them.
  • Read through the CV that was sent in. This may not seem to be necessary, but it helps stop making any embarrassing contradictions.
  • Check the format of the interview so that it is possible to go prepared.
  • Check the way there, either by road or by public transport so that it is possible to get there on time.
  • Have answers ready for all the standard questions (why do you want to work there; why are you leaving your existing company, etc.).
  • Have some questions ready to ask when the opportunity is given. It shows interest and initiative.

At the job interview

Two of the major points at any interview are to get there on time and to dress for the occasion. If anyone is late for an interview, whatever the reason it will inconvenience the interviewers and be marked against them. With this in mind leave plenty of time to get there, and also know exactly where to go. It does not help to rush into an interview anxious because you are late! However it also does not help to get there too early and worry. It can sometimes help to get very close, check where everything is and then go an have a coffee, or something else to spend a few minutes waiting.

Dress code is also important. It is often best to err on the side of being cautious and conservative. However if in doubt check with the employment agency if one is used.

When in the interview remember to be attentive, polite, and courteous. Never interrupt, even if they do. Be positive and enthusiastic. It also helps to sit up straight in the chair. Not only does it look much better to the interviewers, but it also helps to put the interviewee in a much more positive frame of mind.

Job interview Do's and Don'ts

Do: Don't:
  • Arrive on time
  • Be polite to everyone including the receptionist
  • Bring in some points about the company that have been learned about the company - it shows initiative and interest in the company
  • Talk to everyone on the interview panel, making eye contact with them. This will help win over as many people as possible.
  • Remember to ask some questions - it shows interest and a positive enquiring attitude.
  • Don't arrive late.
  • Don't be impolite - even to the receptionist as this information may be passed on.
  • Don't criticise previous of existing employers - this gives a very negative impression and will not help
  • Don't interrupt interviewers.
  • Don't leave without finding out when they will provide the outcome of the interview.

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