Being invited to an interview is great. But chances to drop a brick are ahead: clothing, manner, and preparation have to be perfect or you won’t get the job and earn the salary you deserve.
To help you succeed, LIFT spoke with Mrs. Suy Sokha, recruitment manager at HRInc, Cambodia and Mr. Chan Rotha, a Chief of Agency Sales for Manulife Cambodia. Follow these 10 practical tips and raise your chances to get your dream job immensely.
1. Be sure of your interest in the job and practice interview answers
Rotha: “First, you need to really like what you are going to do. Then, you need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge required for you to do that job well. You need to believe that you can do it well. You should practice answering all the anticipated questions until your answers become natural and sincere.”
2. Speak properly when the company phones you for the interview
Sokha: “When you pick up a call from the company, do not just say ‘hello’. Clarify with the caller about who you will meet, when to meet and where to meet for the interview. Sometimes, they don’t tell you clearly; they only tell the location and time to meet, so you have to ask for clarification.
3. Make sure to know the location of the interview beforehand
Sokha: “If the interview is tomorrow, you should go to find the location of the company today in order to be sure about the location. You cannot be late for the interview!”
4. Wear an ironed outfit and discreet makeup
Sokha: “Make sure you look professional from head to toe. Comb your hair and iron the outfit you will wear to the interview. It’s not important if your clothes are new or old. Just make sure you do the ironing which can show the interviewers that you are professional.” Apply a professional day makeup and no party makeup. Don’t be sexy. Be restrained.
5. Observe the company’s working environment
Sokha: “You should arrive at company for the interview at least 15 to 30 minutes early. Whilst waiting for the interview, you should observe the working behavior of the staff. Check the walls for company slogans or ethical messages so you can use what you have seen to talk about in interview as your first impression.”
6. Knock on the door before entering the interview room
Sokha: “Before you enter the room, make sure you double knock the door, but do not knock so many times or knock very loudly. Do not open the door without knocking. If nobody greets you after entering the room you can greet first. Use Khmer style to greet Khmer and foreign style for foreigners. Remember not to offer your hand before the interviewer does it.”
7. Sit down properly
Sokha: “Sometimes, the interviewers do not invite you to sit down because they wait to see what you are going to do without their reaction, or because they are very busy. In order to avoid awkward moments, you can ask them whether you may take a seat. Don’t lean against the back of your chair or use the armrest. Instead sit straight and rest your hands on your thighs or on the table if this is more comfortable for you.”
8. Behavior during the interview
Sokha: “Don’t show the interviewers you are tired or bored. Eye contact and smiling are a must because they show the interviewers that you are well prepared and you are the person they need. Don’t be too nervous or too confident. If you are too nervous, you cannot say what you plan to say. If you are too confident, you tend not to be well prepared.”
9. Observe facial expression of the interviewers
Sokha: “While answering every question the interviewee should look at interviewers’ faces. If you see they are bored, you must conclude or stop your answer in seconds. If you see they are interested in what you are saying, elaborate it.”
10. Your last questions for interviewers
Sokha: “Interviewers will allow you to ask them back after you have answered all the questions. You can ask how big the group you are going to work with is for example. After hearing their answers, you may guess if you are qualified and got the job.”
Sokha says: “You have to think clearly about your first salary. I don’t recommend youths to see only money when they start working. They should value experience over money.” Also, she recommends people to ask the interviewer about job duties, working policies, holiday and chances that help them to develop further.
Rotha adds: “Be honest! You should know how much salary is enough and then leave the door open for further negotiations later. Be a good negotiator with a fair understanding of who you are.”