A job interview is obviously something that must occur when seeking a job as a security guard, and many people get very stressed out over a job interview. This job guide will help you relax and be prepared for the interview.
Major Considerations During a Job Interview
Make a Connection with the Interviewer
Depending on how popular or sought after the job you are interviewing for is you will have a lot of competition for a few positions. A stellar interview is crucial to make you stand out from the rest of the crowd. To give yourself an added edge and cement yourself in your interviewer’s mind, try to make a personal connection with them at some point in the interview.
A personal connection can take numerous forms. If you are in the interviewer’s office and they have a picture of a sailboat on their wall (and you happen to love sailing), make an appropriate comment that identifies you as a sailor too. This may not put you above others more qualified than you but it will help you to stand out amongst those you are in direct competition with.
Take your cues from the interviewer, if they seem uncomfortable with relaying any personal information or are not comfortable veering off topic then follow their lead. If a personal conversation does develop, let the interviewer guide it. When they bring it to a close and either get back to the questions or say good bye, leave it at that.
At the end of the day, interviewers want to hire people that are qualified and who will fit in with the rest of the team at the company. If you can make a connection and have the right skill sets you will be giving yourself a better chance than someone else. You will also help the interviewer recall who you are and stick out in their mind as that candidate who knew a lot about sailing.
If you are not comfortable with discussing personal topics during an interview, don’t feel that you must go out of your way to do so. At the end of the day, your qualifications are what you should be highlighting.
Pauses and Silences are Okay
There are going to be a lot of periods during an interview when there are going to be pauses in conversation or flat out silence. This can be initiated by you or the interviewer and in most cases either is not an indicator that something isn’t going good.
You can ask for a moment to think of an answer and during this time there is most likely going to be complete silence. This is fine and perfectly normal, don’t get distracted because no one is talking, use the time you have asked for wisely and think of the best answer or example you can give.
If the interviewer is taking notes (and most likely they are), be comfortable with the fact that there is going to be pauses in between questions and they try and write everything down. This is actually a good thing because it means they have liked what you have to say and want to remember it when they are later making a decision on who to hire. Don’t feel the need to fill this space, let them continue writing and wait for the next question.
If you have answered a question and it is met by silence and the interviewer is not writing anything down, you may be at a loss as to what you should do. It could signal that the interviewer is expecting more information or they are not satisfied with the answer. You won’t know unless you ask, “Do you want me to elaborate on that?” If the answer is no, just patiently wait for the next question to be asked.
Don’t worry that the interviewer is not praising you on your answer to each question and continue onto the next one. They do not want to give you an indication of how you are doing during the interview and are trained to be neutral when responding to answers, if the respond at all.
Procedures are a part of life, especially in the working world. Each company has their own set of policies and rules that they expect their employees to follow. An interviewer is going to ask questions to determine if you would do things they way they want (for instance making a sale or handling a customer complaint). Without training, you will not know with any degree of certainty how the company would want you to handle different situations but there are ways to answer that can increase your chances of getting the job.
What an interviewer is looking for in an answer is your philosophy towards circumstances that occur in the company. Your natural instincts and personality is going to come through at some point no matter what you have been trained to do. Questions like, “How would you satisfy a customer if they wanted to return something after the return policy has expired?” can be tricky to answer. The best way to answer them is to begin with saying, “Of course, if hired I would abide by the company’s guidelines – but in this circumstance I would…”
By starting your answer with this phrase you are showing that you recognize a company is going to have its own policies and ways of doing things and that you are flexible enough to modify your way of doing things to align with those processes. Even role playing scenarios for are a test to see if your way of thinking is in line with the
company’s. This genre of question can backfire on you though if your answer is completely opposite what the company is looking for. If you have done your research on the company prior to the interview you should have a good idea of how they handle customers and sales in general.
Answers Should be Thorough but to the Point
If you love to talk and when you are nervous can go on and on, or if you are the opposite and clam up when you are in a stressful situation – you need to be conscious of this and not do either in an interview. When asked a question, an interview wants enough information that will help them understand what you are talking about, but not extraneous irrelevant information.
If you are answering a question using an example from your previous or current job and there is a lot of jargon or acronyms – try to use more a common place term that people are familiar with or explain what you mean in the beginning. If you are asked to describe a time when you lead a project – explain what the project was about, how many people you managed and any key points that demonstrate what a great job you did. What you don’t want to do is get side-tracked and give details that aren’t relevant to the question. The interviewer is not going to be interested in a play by play of the entire project – they want to know your role in it.
Keep on topic; take a moment before answering a question to organize the details in your mind. You don’t want to start answering, get sidetracked and forget the point you were trying to make. If you stay on topic and know what you are going to say, you are going to be able to keep the interviewer’s attention.
If you are a person of few words, practice with a friend or family member before your interview. Learn how to expand your answers so you give thorough information without living the interviewer wanting more. But if you are in doubt, less is better – an interviewer will ask follow-up questions if necessary.
Ask the Interviewer Questions
Okay, you have made it to the end of your interview and the interviewer says it is now your turn. They want to know if you have any questions for them. And most likely you do: “How did I do” and “Are you going to hire me” – unfortunately you can’t ask either one. But there are questions that you can ask to glean some information on how you performed and to determine if the company is a right fit for you.
Although it is not acceptable to ask how you did in an interview, it is okay and encouraged to ask what the next steps are and the timeline for them. Depending on how this is answered, you may be able to figure out their reaction to you. But this is not full-proof and is not a guarantee. If they take the time to explain all the checks they need to go through, how many people they have left to interview and so on, they are probably interested and want you to understand that there is still steps left in the process. If they only tell you that you will hear from them within a certain period of time via letter, well it isn’t as promising.
Look at the opportunity to ask your own questions as your chance to interview the company. Of course you have done your research prior to attending and have made up a list that you wrote down before attending. Show your preparedness and pull out the list to ask your questions. Things like company direction and expansion show an interest in the business. Feel free to take notes; it can earn you brownie points. Ask questions that are important to you as well, if vacation time and benefits are a deal breaker for you, find out now what the company has to offer.