Thanks to everyone who loved our ‘A – Z of Public Speaking’; and yes we can do something similar for ‘Interview Skills’ – in fact we start today.

Interviews are a fact of life, and with the downturn in the economy they are probably more important now than ever before. How do you manage to stand out, so that you become the one remembered after the interview is over? Read on … over the next few weeks we will show you.

How many of you have been to an interview for selection for the police, fire or defence forces; only to be told that you may need some coaching in the techniques of interviews? You too will find some things of interest here as well.

So let’s start at the very beginning – with the letter A.

Advertisement – To find out about a job you need to check the advertisements. And you can find job advertisements in a number of places:

  • Newspapers – often have special days where they feature a large range of job advertisements. Some will have them listed in job types and don’t forget to check out the classifieds. There are also specialist newspapers or journals which will list the job vacancies allied with their speciality.
  • Specialist employment agencies – registration will be required but they do handle a lot of problems for you.
  • Vacancies for the public sector are usually listed in the Government Gazette, and while these are usually for those already working in the public service there is now a trend to make these more generally available.
  • Personal recommendation. – often friends who are working in the industry are the first to know of arising vacancies.

Once you have located a promising vacancy you will need to send an Application letter.

Application –. There are some very important pointers to writing a good Application Letter – before you send off yours see how it measure up against this check list:

Check List for Application Letters

  • I have got the name of the employer right and spelled correctly … you would be surprised how many don’t check this
  • I have stated quite clearly what it is I am applying for
  • I have included some information which shows that I have done some research on this company.
  • I have clearly listed my qualifications and aptitudes for the position I am applying for.
  • I have not indicated my preferred salary range
  • I have not wandered off the topic and included information not relevant to this job, this position or this company.
  • I have said when I am available for an interview and how I can be contacted.
  • I have asked for some action from them
  • My letter is not handwritten but printed or typed.
  • I have signed it – yes! you would be surprised ….
  • I have notated that my CV is attached
  • I have copied and filed my letter
  • I have recorded date and time the letter was sent.

And for the final A word, let’s have a look at your :

Attitude – While it may not be appropriate to be aggressive, the interviewer will respond more favourably to someone who exudes a sense of confidence in themselves and in their ability to do the job.

Your attitude will come out in everything that you do and say; in the way in which you approach the interview and the way in which you conduct yourself. If you believe that others will be more qualified or more experienced, you could provide your qualifications hesitantly; or discuss your experience apologetically. These are reactions to the inward belief that you are not as good as others may be.

Such an attitude will not impress your interviewers – they are looking for the best person to fill the vacancies and they will expect you to have confidence in your strengths and abilities. You do not know the others applying for the position, and they may be just as apprehensive of your qualifications – so maintain a positive attitude; and while you may not actually say that the company will be lucky to have you – let them think it anyway.

So there are some things to start you on your way towards your next job or career change. Advertisements lead to Applications and both depend on your Attitude towards your own ability.

We’re off to a good start … so let’s see what the Letter B can bring us next time.

Michele @ Trischel

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