Interview – The Informed Conversation


It is your big day : meeting the potential employer for an interview.  Your CV has worked.  After screening applications and going through CV’s,  the employer chose your CV and wants to interview you. If you treat the interview as an informed conversation, rather than a dreadful interrogation, you will be well on your way to a successful outcome.

Pre-Interview CV check

Before you prepare to ace the interview, check how the employer accessed your CV – did you e-mail it directly, did a friend forward your CV or did the employer download your Linkedin profile or CV from a job portal?  You don’t want to arrive at the interview and discover that the employer has an outdated version of your CV.

Interview Investigator

Never go an interview, without researching the employer or recruitment agency.  As an “interview investigator”, you can find a lot of information online and offline. Online sources include the employer websites, microsites, press releases, financial statements, professional bodies and social media. Offline sources include meeting former or current employees, recruitment agents, interacting with the employer (e.g at a retail store) and published work.

Interview in progress

When you go for an interview, it is best to always arrive 15 minutes ahead of time. As an Indian, I’m wary of keeping to my cultural practice of arriving late, on “Indian” time.  You must always be early, it is a great boost when the employer arrives late and has to apologise.

Notwithstanding that we live in the digital age, take a printed copy of your CV and relevant documentation with you to the interview. Depending on your field of work, for example, architects and photographers,  you could also carry a portfolio of the works done. The printed copy can be more impressive than the online version.

As stated earlier, treat the interview,  as an informed conversation, rather than a dreadful interrogation. Listen well, making notes, where necessary.  A candidate does not appear to be sharp, when they ask the interviewer to repeat a basic question.  Your success in the interview depends on how well you can position your brand, market your value and sell it to the potential employer.  This should be backed up by the appropriate mix of personality, qualifications, experience and skill.

At the end of the interview,  don’t forget to thank the employer for the opportunity to be considered for the position.

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