Internal interview can be a pain but it can also be your chance to get all the inside information on your new job.
Your goal in the internal interview with the recruiter is to get an interview with your future employer. At this point in time you are normally competing with less than 10 other candidates. The recruiter likes your CV and he wants to see if he can “sell” you. At this point he is checking what your chances to get the job are and most importantly, how much will he get paid for you, if any.
What do you need to do?
- Prepare for it – have all of your ticks crossed
- Stay cool during it – just a walk in the park
- Close the deal and get out
Preparing for the phone interview.
Lots of stuff to prepare for your first interview so will start from the beginning.
Research, Research, Research!
Here are some of the things you want to know before going to the interview
- What is the position offered and how do you match the requirements for the role.
- What company is offering the position, in many cases this will not be revealed until you will be find suitable for the position.
- Company information – impress them with knowledge about their company number of employees, value of the stock, company history, company market.
- Answers to questions you just know they are going to ask you
- Questions you want to ask them
- Your salary expectation – do your research
You can request that the names and titles of the people who will be attending the phone interview will be provided prior to the interview. It will give you time to find out who they are on the company website or on Linkedin. It will also make it easier for you to remember their name if you prepared for it.
Plan your trip
I usually take a drive to the interview area a day before at the same time the interview is scheduled to calculate the route, traffic and when do I need to get out the next day so I won’t be late on the interview day.
What to wear?
Dress for the part you are about to take.
Funny as it sounds but overdressed or underdressed might kill your chances in the interview. Interview at the recruiter which is normally in an office is simple suit and clean look.
If you are not sure what to dress, ask!
Ask your friends, your colleagues or even the internet. In any case make sure you are clean shave, professional look, well dressed, clean clothes and not too colorful as you are not going to a party.
Even go to the mall in the mid-week when the saleswomen are not too busy and tell them you have an interview for a certain position and as for their recommendation. Aussies are nice people and they will give you great idea.
On the day of the interview
Make sure you have the following:
- Paper to write on
- Your preparation notes
- Clothes to suit the interview
- Clear instruction of how to get there and who to contact
- Your mobile
- Identification card (your driver license or a passport)
- A copy of your visa to work in Australia
On the company premises
Introduce yourself to the admin worker and provide her with the interviewer details, normally you will be asked to wait until your interviewer comes to pick you. Don’t play around or look foolish, just wait patiently. At some point your interviewer will introduce himself, shake his hand and say “John Smith, nice to meet you”. At this point you will be showed to the interview room. Sit down where you are asked or choose a sit in the middle of the table where you can have eye contact with the recruiter.
The interview starts
There would be one or two people in the interview room. The recruiter and his boss or his colleague. You will be introduced to them. Shake their hand and be polite. Once the courtesy ended sit down and LISTEN!
Don’t try to control the interview or ask questions as the interview is pre-planned and you will be simply asked questions. Firstly, the interviewer shall confirm in brief the details on your CV which he has interest in. Pay attention to them as the remaining of the CV has no interest to them or they missed crucial information from your CV. In either case, it will give you a feedback on how your CV is read and understood. This part normally takes 5-10 minutes.
Tell us about you…
Sometimes you will be asked to tell about yourself and what are you seeking. Make sure you aim the answer to the job description. In this part you are also being reviewed about your English, the way you handle yourself and in general how you come about to the people on the other side of the table. This part normally takes 1-2 minutes
The technical part
At this point the conversation will usually become technical for about 15-30 minutes. Assuming you are applying for something you know, this is the easy part. Be positive and honest. If asked something you don’t know, try to stir the conversation to what you do know. The recruiter usually comes from a similar background like yours but he is not technically savvy. Try to avoid getting to technical and keep it simple. Only if asked, get into the details of your work.
So what do you do after hours?
It can’t be all about work. Australians love their hobbies and leisure time and they want to make sure you have more than just work in your life. It is important to mention friends, hobbies, music, culture, sports you practice. I once spent 30 minutes talking about motorcycles in an interview. We hardly spoke about my work but the boss thought it would be fun to have more motor enthusiast people in the office.
As much as you love your leisure time, if someone starts telling a story about his hobbies, let it be. It means you are doing well and becoming like a colleague, normally integration in their conversation.
Has it been 5-15 minutes? Time to slow down and let the interview move forward.
Have you got any questions to ask us?
Sure you do! You prepared them in advance plus all those questions you wanted to ask before but didn’t want to interrupt the interview so far.
Ask and then listen patiently.
At this point the interview will end. Sometimes the recruiter has made a decision to move forward and he will start detailing the position offered and the company. Listen and write down as much details as possible as it will be needed in the first interview with your future employer. The recruiter might even go further giving you feedback on your interview performance, your dress and how to prepare for the next interview. If you are here, it is time to start asking real questions as from now on, the recruiter is on your side and he will do everything possible including asking you to update your CV to make sure you will get the job. Listen to him, be flexible and move forward, you are doing great!
Closure – end of the interview
At some point the interviewer will say something like “Thanks John, I guess we have all we need. It was great talking to you; we will make our decision and get back to you”. That is the sign to say “Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from your again”. Usually they will respond with one last “thank you and goodbye”. You will be left in the room with the interviewer who will show you to the exit. Make sure you shake his hand and greet him goodbye and walk off without looking backwards.
DONE – if it feels good, it was good. Go have some fun and relax for a while, now we wait….