Knowing the structure/format of the interview can help you to feel less anxious and to organize your thoughts. The interview may vary from 20-60 minutes and typically involves approximately three stages.
Stage 1 - The Greeting and Introduction - Establishing Rapport
This is a very important stage of the interview where first impressions are created. Some interviewers may spend a few minutes trying to make you comfortable - "breaking the ice". Others may get down to business right away.
Stage 2 - Exchanging Information
This stage focuses on you. The interviewer will question you about your qualifications, experience, skills and knowledge of the job and company, in order to determine whether you are the right person for the job. This is also the chance for you to ask some questions about the job, in order to determine whether this is the job for you. Important tips to remember are as follow:
- Listen carefully to each question.
- Think before you answer.
- Ask for clarification if you are unsure what the interviewer means.
- Respond to questions specifically and concisely.
- Avoid ‘yes' or ‘no' or one word answers.
- Answer truthfully.
- Do not inquire about salary, bonuses or benefits until there is some indication for you to do so, or until you are given the opportunity to ask questions.
- When invited, ask pertinent questions to show your knowledge and enthusiasm.
Stage 3 - Closing the Interview
This is the final stage of the interview. The Interviewer "wraps up" the interview at this point and may thank you for your time. You may be informed of when you will hear from the employer. If this is not done, you may express your desire to hear from the interviewer or employer soon and indicate your intention to call back or return. Thank the interviewer(s) for the opportunity and consideration, and if a hand is offered, shake hands firmly. Then, leave promptly.