Tips on what to do and not do in the consultant interview

February 26th, 2009

An interview is a discourse between you and your prospective employer to find whether or not you can manage the job. But, there are time-tested rules and conventions to comply with in interviews. I’m going to share with you a few of the principal do’s and don’ts.

What to do in your interview

  • prepare some questions to put back to the panel at the closing – use it as an opportunity to find out more about the role and the unit. But don’t ask about renumeration or perks just yet!
  • when discussing salary, know your market price and start by quoting a little higher than this
  • keep your replies focused on what you can offer for the employer, not what they can do for you

What not to do in a consultant interviews
don’t be late!

- don’t swear or use slang words
- don’t slouch in your seat or do anything else that makes you look disinterested
- don’t smoke
- don’t be bigheaded and assume you’ve got the placement. Nothing turns off employers more than someone who is scornful and over-confident
- do not discuss contentious topics such as religion, party politics and gender relations
- don’t read from your notes or your Curriculum Vitae. Familiarise yourself with your own story to be able to talk about it unprompted
- don’t knock past employers or colleagues. Interviewers may mark you down as a mischief-maker and a gossip
- do not argue with the panel, no matter what. Always try to keep things positive!

These principles go for most occupations. However, employers in some industries can use more relaxed and friendly interviewing techniques. In some creative fields (design and media for example) it may be expected that you turn up for the interview in casual clothes, as that is the dress code in the office. If you’re in any doubt, do some research on typical interview technique in your line of work.

Above all, preparation is the key to performing well in interviews. Research the placement and organization, and prepare evidence and examples of your skills and competences.

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