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Prepare to Make a Positive Impression

17-May-12

The National interviewing Mark Timms - The National

Few people enjoy job interviews. But proper preparation can help to make the experience easier and ultimately more successful. Mark Timms, a director at The Gulf Recruitment Group, shares some tips on how it should be done.

What kind of research should you do before an interview?
Always ensure that you know … the interviewer's name and title, and some solid information about the company. You are also expected to stay up to date with information concerning your current employer … turnover, profit, share dividend, etc. Also, prepare for some common questions that you may be asked during the interview. The most common ones would [include] what do you want to achieve in life; what does teamwork mean to you; what makes you better than average; and tell me about yourself.

What tips can you give people who are nervous in interviews?
Remind yourself that you've been selected for the interview because you have what the employer [is seeking]. No one will do better at this interview than you, since you're the expert on yourself.

Is there something you should never do during an interview?
Ensure that you don't present yourself poorly or act in an overbearing or conceited manner. Certain [behaviours] that can put off the hiring manager or the interviewer could be: late for the interview; not showing enthusiasm; sounding nervous and not looking the interviewer in the eye; answering phone calls during the interview or checking text messages; mumbling and dabbling with answers and not being specific; or condemning your current or previous employer.

How should you answer the famous "what is your weakness?" question?
Avoid giving clichéd answers, where one's positive is a disguised weakness. Interviewers have caught on to that ploy and expect nothing less than a well-thought-out, original answer. A strong answer is the one which presents the weakness but describes how the candidate is seeking to overcome it. For example, I am still developing my leadership capability and I'm often requesting feedback from my team and own manager to strengthen this area.

What questions should you ask your interviewer?
You should neither ask very few questions - this shows you are disinterested, or too many questions - it shows you are very aggressive. A solid three to four questions should do the trick. Some of the strong questions to ask are: what qualities are you looking for in the ideal candidate? This speaks volumes about you as a person and can help you understand what really fits the job role. Why is the position currently available? This shows you are interested to know whether the person got promoted to another role or the existing employee resigned. What induction and training programmes are available? This shows you are here not only to earn but also learn and add value to the organisation.

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