Get the interview process right – Part 3

Source: Grapegrower & Winemaker, November 2014, Stephanie Timotheou

How can a candidate ‘nail’ their interview?

Christian Campanella, Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ global HR Director:  Interviews can be nerve-racking but it’s really important you use this as an opportunity to give your interviewer an insight into your personality. This will help your interviewer get an understanding of your character, drive, motivations and passion which are all incredibly important in the recruitment process. It’s also important to show an interest in the business or industry you’re looking to move into. This won’t be written in the job specification but interviewers are looking for  you to go above and beyond what you have been provided with to showcase your ability and desire to fulfil the role and stand out from the crowd. You only have one opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression on your interviewer so make sure you put your best foot forward. If you don’t, someone else will.

Lisa Morris, Hays recruitment’s senior regional director for SA: Be prepared. Preparation is critical to job interview success, so it pays to do your homework. You should research the organisation concerned by visiting their website and consulting social media. This helps you gain a better understanding of their business and how your experience and skills match. It’s also important to look professional, act professionally and dress professionally for your job interview. As a rule, you should expect the environment to be conservative and corporate,  to dress conservatively rather than casually or radically.

What mistakes should candidates try to avoid making during an interview?

Christian Campanella, Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ global HR Director: The ultimate no-no, in my opinion, is being unprepared. Not only do you come across like you have a lack of understanding about the company, but it also shows a real lack of motivation and passion for the role. Another thing to keep in mind is your appearance, always make sure you are appropriately dressed and don’t look unprofessional or unsuitable for the role. Finally, and this one might seem like a no brainer, but simple etiquette should also be considered. For example, make sure you are not late, don’t use unsuitable language and don’t insult colleagues, ex-employees or people in the industry.

Lisa Morris, Hays recruitment’s senior regional director for SA: We asked employers for their opinion on what deters them from a candidate in a job interview and the top 10 they came up with were: Poor verbal communication skills; not answering the  question asked; not researching the company or role before the interview; leaving a mobile phone  on; inability to provide solid examples of previous experience; exaggerating experience or skills; focusing on the negative rather than the positive in situations or experiences; inability to answer technical questions; arriving late; and not displaying an interest in the role.