BY OPPONG FELIX BOAKYE
Interview is a procedure of selection of a proper candidate for the available work. It is a structured, formal meeting between interviewer and interviewee for an objective. The person who conducts an interview is called as an interviewer and the person who is interviewed is called as interviewee. In this procedure the employer gets an opportunity to collect information about the candidate. There are some needs and expectations of an employer for which they look for a suitable candidate. An employer wants to know if the applicant has the skills, knowledge, selfconfidence and motivation essential for the job. In an interview the candidate also gets some information about the company or institution. In this way, it is a two-way exchange of information. Both the parties market themselves. The applicant has to market himself/herself skillfully and the employer wants to hire a proper candidate. There are different methods of interview: Telephone, Human Resources, On-Site, In-depth, Group, all sorts of tests are used for the selection procedure. Telephone Interview is also known as a screening interview. This is to narrow down the applicant pool so as to only invite the top candidates on site for an on-site interview. Human Resources Interview is another kind of pre-screening type of interview that can be held at the company or conducted on the phone. An HR representative will make sure you have the appropriate experience, educational background and skills for the position. Also, for On-Site Interview, the focus is on initial impressions and reactions of the applicant. You may or may not meet with a department head or supervisor. If favorable, an invitation will follow for an in-depth interview at the company.
In-depth Interview is done by the hiring authority such as department head, manager, or supervisor. It can last from 30 minutes to a full day including lunch and dinner. You may meet with a variety of people and may have a group interview.
Group Interview is usually used to measure reaction to a variety of individuals and situations or to have a certain group of involved representatives from the employer make a collective decision. In education, this would be a search committee or board of education. This is usually
part of the in-depth interview, especially if you have a day of interviewing and are meeting with a variety of people from the organization.
Preparation is inevitable step of an interview. One can take a mock Interview to access himself before the D day. Exercise and practice will give more perfection. Instead of going for the interview without any trial, it better you go for a mock interview. An interview requires careful thought and planning before you take it. Mock interview will help you a lot. In it you will come to know your mistakes and drawbacks of presentation and you can correct and improve yourself for the real interview.
The following qualities are observed and expected by the interviewer in a candidate: Knowledge, Communication skills, Etiquettes, Presentation skills, Body language, Confidence, Clarity of thinking, Common sense, Presence of mind, Initiative, Experience, General ability, Interpersonal skills, Stability. Candidates should therefore take note of them and prepare accordingly.
Several writers have come up with various ways one should prepare before attending an interview. Prominent among them include getting a good night’s sleep before your interview is important. This will make the interviewee more active and fresh. And the interviewee will be pleasantly supported by good level of energy at the time of interview. It is also advised that the person attending the interview eats something before he/ she go for the interview so that s/ he can concentrate.
Also, it is necessary to take note of importance appearance. The interviewee should make sure that s/ he is clean, neat and well-groomed. S/ he should also remember that the first impression is very important in an interview. The interviewee should therefore dress appropriately for the position that he/ she is applying for.
In addition, the interviewee should keep the file of certificate, testimonials and a copy of resume ready. He/ she should review his/ her resume and be sure that he can explain everything in it. It is also advised that the person attending the interview should reach the place of interview ten to fifteen minutes early. Also, the interviewee should be comfortable and confident. He should have trust in himself. He or she should be positive and should try to manage stress in order not to get nervous.
After preparation and practice the time comes of an interview when you have to put the best of you.
Entrance: As your appearance creates first impression in the same way your entry in the interview room tells much about your personality. First five minutes of an interview are crucial. The interviewers observe your entry, posture, voice too. The way you ask for the entry, the way you enter, the way you greet and the way you sit are all very important. One should therefore pay attention to these things. The voice pitch also reveals the level of confidence. The best way to enter an interview cabin is to knock, ask for permission to enter and then wait for a while before you actually sit down.
1. Greet the interviewers.
2. Take a seat with permission.
3. Have a smile on face.
Introduction: Usually the interview panel starts the interview with – “Tell something about you” or “Give your introduction”. It is a way to reduce the stress of the candidate. It is expected that the candidate should introduce himself/herself properly and in short time. The interviewee should not give all the details about himself / herself. Instead he should just focus the important things in him which are useful for or related to the work. He is expected to introduce himself in a short time and in a smart way. Tell your name, family background, your strengths, achievements, special skills, experience, project, weakness, etc.
Body Language: As you communicate with words, your body movements also communicate. Body language tells more than words. The candidate should be careful of the different areas of body language to impress and express more. The major areas of body language are Eye contact, Gestures and Posture
While sitting in front of a panel of interviewers the candidate should sit in a proper posture. Don’t cross the feet or fold the arms. Don’t lean backward in the chair. Keep proper distance in feet. Don’t tap or shake the feet. Sit confidently. Have eye contact with the interviewers. It shows the level of confidence and sincerity of the candidate. Shifty, downward or upward eyes show lack of confidence, lack of knowledge, insincerity. The interviewee should have a proper
gestures and facial expressions at the time of speaking. With proper gestures one can express oneself completely. It is also proper not to keep pen or handkerchief or any other thing in your hand. Avoid bad gestures; they distract the audience as well as the speaker. In summary the following are the general dos and don’ts of an interview. The dos of an interview include;
Give the answers properly and precisely.
Be with yourself.
Be a good listener. Don’t ask to repeat the question.
Think for a while before you give answer. Don’t make haste. Stick to the point.
Have clarity in speaking as well as in thinking.
Honesty is a good policy. Be honest to avoid critical situation. Say “sorry” if you don’t know the answer. But avoid repeating it. Shake hand firmly.
Remember to thank the interviewers before you leave.
The don’ts of an interview may also be listed as follows;
Don’t have a negative attitude.
Do away with Lack of honesty.
Don’t Blame other.
Don’t discuss pay/ salary too early.
Don’t try to impress by giving wrong/false information. OPPONG FELIX BOAKYE
(BSc. ACTUARIAL SCIECE)