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Job Interview Tips

great tips for an important job interview.

Be punctual

Aim to enter the office and reception area approximately 10-15 minutes before the scheduled interview time. Plan your route to interview using a route planner. Don’t presume you know the way to the interview and always allow extra time for traffic conditions. You could even do a practice run to the location to ensure that you know where it is. Turning up late will not only make you look extremely bad in the eyes of the employer, but it will make you stressed out and detract your focus from the job in hand. So leave extra early so that you have a couple of minutes to compose yourself in the car and go into the interview calm and composed.

Build rapport and smile

That first initial contact during the interview is crucial. Although few words may be exchanged, a rapport develops - You want that rapport to be as positive as possible. Don’t forget to smile a lot, people want happy, enthusiastic and positive people working for them.

Dress appropriately

It sounds obvious but many candidates let themselves down with their appearance. It is very important that your appearance is appropriate for the job role, as first impressions do last. It is better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. The moment you walk into the room, your interviewer is going to start making judgments about you, and the best way to impress them is to pay attention to your appearance. This means dressing appropriately, being well-groomed and making sure that you look the part. If you don’t make an effort at interview, they will have no confidence you will do so with clients or customers.

A strong handshake

Have a firm and dry handshake. Many people’s impression of others is grounded on that first initial handshake. A limp loose or sweaty handshake is not good. Nor is trying to break their hand with brute force, but a good solid handshake says a lot about a person. Wet sweaty palms are very off putting, so if this affects you have some tissue hidden in your pocket to dry your hand for the start and end of the interview when handshaking will take place. Remember to smile too!

Remember manners

As you are invited into the interviewer’s office - wait until he or she asks you to have a seat before making yourself comfortable. This is just the more polite thing to do.

Eye contact is key

Eye contact during the interview is fundamental. People with shifty eyes who look everywhere but at the person that they are talking to, can make interviewers feel uncomfortable and distrusting. The right amount of eye contact is just a sign of respect that you are paying attention to them and you are interested in the conversation or topic at hand. If your interview is with more than one person, make sure that you address all of them with your eyes. Even if only one individual is doing the asking, they are all there to evaluate you and will be watching you closely. You want to make sure that you make them all feel as if they are a part of the interview process.

Be positive

Do not talk about your current or old employees in a negative light. Even if you are working for the world’s worst employer or you are completely desperate to leave, ensure that your reasons for leaving are spoke about in a positive light. For example. “I have had a great 3 years with my company, I have been extremely successful and have learnt so much in the role and without a shadow of doubt my skills have been finely tuned, however I now feel that in order for me to continue to grow and continue to learn – it is time for me to move on and seek a new challenge.” Many a job offer has been lost through being negative about current or ex-employees – it is one of the biggest turn offs for a future company and yet “Why are you looking to leave?” always comes up in interview.

Main reasons people do not get a job offer after an interview

  • Just turning up, with no preparation, research or understanding of the company and job on offer.

  • Overbearing – over aggressive – conceited “superiority complex”

  • Inability to express thoughts clearly

  • Lack of planning for a career – no purpose or goals.

  • Lack of interest and enthusiasm – passive and indifferent

  • Lack of confidence – nervousness

  • Lack of tact – maturity – courtesy

  • Failure to ask intelligent questions about the job

  • Persistence attitude of “What can you do for me?”

Make sure you think about your key strengths, particularly in relation to the job you are going for, together with your weaknesses. Make sure with weaknesses: that they are not too negative and that you can turn these weaknesses can also be seen as positive in some scenarios.

 If it is a field sales position - offer to do a presentation on yourself, your products or their company. At the very least have one prepared. This should include why you are right for the job and what you can bring to them. You can leave this in the form of a handout – this will keep you in their mind long after the interview.

At the end of the interview, make sure that you ask them about any reservations that they have about you and your suitability for the job role and ensure that you overcome them. this way, you will leave no doubt in their minds that you can do the job.

Always close at the end of the interview. Get some commitment from them, ‘’When is the second interview?’’ or even better ‘’When can I start?’’

So many people do not get the 2nd interview / job as they don’t close, the successful candidate will always be the one who closed and asked for the job.

Likely interview questions

It is vital that you prepare for anything which you may be asked. In order to be considered for any position, you must come across as though you could answer any question, which an interviewer could throw at you.

  • What do you know about our company? (Show your research)

  • Why do you want to join our company?

  • Why would joining our company be a good move for you?

  • Talk to me about your successes?

  • What can you bring to our company?

  • Why do you want to leave your present company? (Stay positive)

  • Why would your current company let you go?

  • Why should I employ you?

  • Why should we offer you the job and not the other candidate?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • Describe yourself to me.

  • Your background is not ideal, is it?

  • What is your career plan?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • Describe a regular day to me.

  • Are you willing to relocate?

  • How do you work under pressure?

  • What salary are you looking for?

  • What motivates you?

Go equipped

Take a notebook and some pens to the interview. If you are to take notes you do not want to have to ask for paper and a pen.

Carry your CV/resume with you

Carry around spare copies of your CV/resume to the interview in case you are asked to refer to dates/roles etc.

Perhaps prepare a mini presentation on the company, the role and why you are suitable? What value can you add to the company? – The client will of course want to know why they should offer you the opportunity over anyone else? Doing a presentation that hasn’t been asked of you also shows you have done your research, that you really want the job and it also shows you are willing to go that extra mile. (Which every employer wants from employees). What have you got to lose? Leave them a copy of the presentation at the end of the interview so they will remember you.

Please don’t go unprepared to an interview based on the fact that you know you have a great personality and are a great employee. Even if you are the best person for the role, someone who is less successful or less experienced will get the position if they have are better prepared and really go that extra mile.Have you ever heard the saying “Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail”?

Competition at job interviews is often fierce, so even though you may have an interview lined up, don’t waste the interviewers time or your time by not preparing thoroughly enough.

No matter what the level of the job position is, recruitment not only takes time, but it also costs companies money, so that is why companies don’t just give jobs away! The company will always hire the person who is the right match for the job and impresses them the most in the interview. Your job interview really is your chance to shine.

If a candidate is extremely impressive at an initial interview, it is likely to reduce the amount of further interviews needed and hence people that really put in the extra effort may just need one interview and then get offered a job! Also the more outstanding that you are, the better salary that you are likely to be offered!

Here at Agricultural Recruitment Specialists, we have put together some of our top tips when preparing for that all important interview.

  • Research, Research, Research. Interviewers want to know that you really want the job and have gone the extra mile in order to get it. Thoroughly take time to really understand the job specification, research the company, order company brochures, research its competitors, the market that they are in, go on LinkedIn, check out your interviewer s  background, find some similarities so that you can discuss them in the interview to develop rapport with the interviewer. After all, people buy people and people that they like!

  • Prove it! Interviewers always like to see proven successes and achievements in past roles. Are there any awards that you can take with you? Written recommendations/ commendations? A brag file? Proof of hitting/exceeding targets? Remember, you have to sell yourself!

  • Presentation at the Ready! Prepare a presentation on why you are right for the role and why the role is right for you in your career plans. By having this prepared it is something that you can leave with them when you have left the interview that will make you stand out and they will be less likely to forget you when they may have interviewed numerous people for  the role.

  • It’s Question Time! Interviewers will want to see that you have really thought seriously about the job and so will have some intelligent questions about the position and company ready to ask them. Have your questions written down, so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting them.

  • References. Great references always help at the interview stages. If you are successful, they will need them anyway, so beat them to it and once again justify what a great candidate that you are. It also may reduce the number of further interviews that you may need.

  • Strengths & Weaknesses. A question often asked, but rarely answered effectively is “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Really prepare for this question and remember some weaknesses can also be seen as strengths!

  • Dress appropriately. Not all roles will require a shirt and tie, but dress as appropriately as you can. Always make the extra effort where you can and be well groomed!

These are just a few of the tips that we can offer just at the first interview stage. That is why Agricultural Recruitment Specialists really do attract the best quality candidates in the agricultural market, as the candidates that have done their research into potential recruiters to represent them and give them good advice, will know that there really is no other agency to assist them quite as well as we do!

We look forward to securing you your perfect new job.

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