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Career Center » Interview Techniques

INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES

We have prepared some hints and tips to help you get that perfect overseas contract. These are recommendations only and will obviously depend on your exact situation.

»  Preparation
»  Goals of the Interview
»  The Interview
»  Pitfalls
»  Telephone Interviews
»  Videoconference Interviews
»  Face-to-Face Interviews
»  Psychometric Testing
»
  Closing the Interview
»  Verbal Skills
»  Follow-Up
»  Specific Tips
 


Preparation

Planning and preparation are critical for any successful interview. Take advantage of resources that provide information about the place where employment is sought. Find out about the company by:

The above will show the interviewer that you have a genuine interest in the opening and in their company. Ensure you know the name and position of the person who will be interviewing you. Try to fully comprehend the job description so that you have a sound understanding of what the employer is looking for.

Relax. Professional, proper and positive attitude needs to have been conveyed throughout the interview. Speak clearly, concisely and in a relatively slow manner.

Some examples of questions you could prepare include:

 
Goals of the Interview
You have two principal goals throughout your interview:

The Interview
If you are presented with a questionnaire / form, fill it out neatly and completely even if it asks for the same information on your resume / CV. Do not indicate "See resume / CV."

Most interviews start with the interviewer explaining about the company and the position. They may start to ask relevant questions, such as:

Emphasize your strong points and experience. Stay calm and positive when challenged.

Respond to each question thoughtfully, truthfully, concisely, and completely. Get the interviewer to do most of the talking. Typically you should not go into any more detail than is necessary.

Be aware of your posture and body language - they communicate attitude and impressions, even when being interviewed over the telephone or by video conference.

When explaining your strengths and weaknesses, try and give examples of where your strengths lie. You may wish to acknowledge any weaknesses but ensure you explain how you could overcome these, ie: training, experience etc.

 
Pitfalls
Some common pitfalls to be aware of include:

 
Telephone Interviews
Telephone interviews are typically the preferred method of screening suitable candidates before inviting them in for a face-to-face or video conference interview. Recruiters also use telephone interviews to initially screen candidates prior to presenting the chosen candidates to perspective employers. Telephone interviews are a commonly employed method of interviewing for overseas contracts and are very important in the recruitment process. The key points to consider include:

 
As telephone interviews are such a common method of interviewing for expat assignments we have compiled some detailed notes for telephone interview techniques. Simply click here to read them.

 
Video Conference Interviews
Video interviews are becoming more conventional in the workplace, especially for overseas positions. For the job seeker video conferencing can be quite intimidating. It is hard enough to interview face-to-face, let alone in front of a camera, some points to consider when faced with this challenge:

If there is more than one person interviewing you ensure you direct your answers and keep eye contact with all of the people on the screen as much as possible.
 
During the Video Interview


Face-to-face Interviews
This is the most common form of interview but most people also find it the most daunting particularly if you are in a foreign country! Ensure that you:


Pschometric Testing and Assessment Centers
Companies, in particular large multinational companies often use assessment centers and / or psychometric testing to assist them with finding a suitable candidate. Typically, these forms of assessment are performed following the initial telephone interview. For further information on psychometric testing and assessment centers simply click here.


Closing the Interview
The cardinal rule is: Respectfully thank the interviewer for his/her time; let him/her know that you enjoyed learning more about the company and position; and finally, that you will look forward to hearing from the interviewer.


Verbal Skills
It is important to be clear and concise and have a positive tone when being interviewed over the telephone as candidates are evaluated solely on what they say and how they say it.

 
Follow Up
After a telephone interview, send a thank-you that recaps your best selling points and add anything that you deem relevant that you may have forgotten to bring up in the interview.

 
Specific tips for Overseas Employment