At the Interview

  • Do not worry about being nervous, it is a good sign, as it keeps you alert and feeling sharp.
  • First impressions really do count. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time to gather yourself. Wear your sharpest suit, make sure your tie is straight, your shirt well ironed. When you enter the room, a firm hand shake is paramount whilst looking them in the eye with a smile. Maintain eye contact throughout. If a drink is offered, you should accept, it is a good ice-breaker and an opportunity to show off your good manners, “that would be great, thank you”. Do not swear or use slang throughout the meeting.
  • Always listen to the person interviewing you emphatically. Misinterpretation can be costly, and do not be afraid to ask them to repeat questions.
  • The person interviewing you will be very proud of their company and their achievements, so research what these might be and usethem examples of why you would like to work for the company. Avoid making empty statements e.g. “I really like your company and would like to work for you”. Your interviewer will probably think you say that to every company. A much better statement has exampled content e.g. “I am particularly interested in an opportunity with your company as I have read great feedback in the construction press pertaining to (a particular project or treatment of employers e.g. “Times 100 best employers” etc).
  • "I hear a lot from my candidates when I try to prep them for interviews. I will be myself, if they like me great, if not they can lump it”. This is the wrong attitude. Ultimately you are trying to get on with someone on their level, but someone, you have only known 2 seconds. Without lapsing into complete informality or being blunt back, assess the type of person they are and adapt your manner to “click” with the interviewer I.E. “MIRROR AND MATCH!” Ultimately, this is a skill you will need when speaking to a range of clients and personalities once you are in the job.
  • Make sure you understand the question that is being asked of you! When you interviewer poses you a question take a brief second to take in what has been asked of you and throughout your answer refer back to the question. At the end of your reply ask “does that answer your question?” We get a lot of negative feedback from clients saying that the interviewee waffled too much or did not answer the questions directly.
  • Often companies may tell you the worst in an effort to test your commitment. They may even try to talk you out of the role, do not fall into the trap. In this circumstance, stay positive about your suitability for the job; even if you have to POLITELY disagree with their point.
  • Do not get defensive! It is a sure sign of weakness, persons confident in there own ability have no need to shout people down, argue, force the direction of questions or be sarcastic. Be positive.
  • Ask the question, “What type of person will be good at this role, both technically and personality-wise?” and then try to relate each point they make to you and your background.
  • Don’t be negative, always put a positive spin on things e.g. Give positive reasons for leaving your previous jobs rather than criticising your previous boss and the company. No interviewer will hire a bitter person who sits in front of them moaning about the world.
  • If they ask you a question about your previous experience which you know you are weak on or haven’t done,do not blag your way through an answer nor do you just say “no, I haven’t done that”. Turn it into a positive “admittedly, I haven’t covered those aspects of surveying yet, however, I had the similar challenge in my last job with (new task), and I was able to learn quickly on the job by (example of how you picked up the new skill to the satisfaction of your employer)…” This then gives the interviewer encouragement that you are not afraid of things unknown to you and are eager to learn and face your shortcomings head-on.
  • At the end of the interview always close the deal “from what you have seen today, what reservations you have about me doing this job”? This is the most important question to ask. It gives you the chance then and there to combat these reservations. It may be that they think you are lacking in a certain department that you are actually particularly strong at, but through misunderstanding by either party you did not get it across properly during the meeting. It is easier if you can combat reservations at this time, rather than me trying to iron these things out over the phone some time down the line, when your application may already be “dead in the water”.
  • Another good thing to say is, “just so you know, I have been taking my job seeking very seriously this is one of only very few that I have agreed to attend based on my research into your business; everything I have heard has previous and during this meeting suits me very well and I am very keen.”
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