Interview tips that will land you the job
There’s certain scenarios in life that you wouldn’t enter without pre-planning and preparation. An interview is no different. Feelings of apprehension, nerves, even dread, aren’t uncommon. Especially when the job in question could be the perfect next step to further your career or improve your lifestyle. So, preparing for an interview properly will calm and empower you to fulfill your potential.
Before The Interview
Research the company
Arguably the most important interview preparation technique is research. A thorough understanding of the organisation you want to work for allows you to tailor your answers to the interviewer’s questions.
Go above and beyond looking at their company website. Look at their recent awards and company news, understand their tone of voice and audience through their social media, and look at their Glassdoor profile for insight into their organisation.
Know your CV
Be confident with every point on your CV - your work history, experience, achievements, training etc - you don’t know which part may have piqued your interviewer’s interest.
Understand how the job description is similar to your current role so you can discuss its relevance - this is likely to be a focus of the interview questions.
Prepare interview answers
There are always common interview questions that are likely to crop up like, “What are your weaknesses?” or, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Prepare your answers based on your relevant skills and experience so you’re not stumbling over your sentences. However, some questions are designed to see how you cope under pressure or think on your feet so you can’t prepare for everything. Be calm and respond with something sensible. Remember, it’s not an interrogation and you won’t be punished for pausing to think.
Prepare interview questions
Asking your own interview questions at the end of the interview shows you’re engaged and enthusiastic about the organisation. Nothing to say and you risk looking disinterested.
Prepare a couple of questions that will spark conversation like, “What do you love about working for the company?” or, “What are the company’s future plans?”
Cover the logistics
Ensure you’ve got the address written down and know how to get there. Simple it may be but sometimes it’s easily forgotten to find out where you need to go.
If you’re able, do a trial run to check the journey time. Being late for an interview is a big no-no.
Dress for the job
Cut out interview morning panic and plan your outfit the night before. Wear something smart that suits the industry you’re working in and the job you’re going for.
Remember that first impressions, particularly in interviews, make a big difference. And they can take just seconds to create.
During The Interview
First impressions count
You don’t want to be on the back foot starting the interview having made a
bad first impression. Ensure you smile to come across friendly and relaxed.
Give your interviewer a confident handshake and use the walk to the interview room as an opportunity to get across your personality. If you’re in a group interview, arrive early to make an impact and stand out from the other candidates.
Remember to breathe
With adrenaline pumping and nerves overtaking, an interview can feel overwhelming. To overcome this, a simple interview technique is to just take a second, breathe deeply and relax. Pausing and thinking about your answers is better than garbled nonsense.
Remember, you’ve been invited to the interview for a reason - they liked what they initially saw. Slow your speech down so you’re clear, and if you get put off by a difficult question, stay focused and try to regain your composure.
Be aware of posture
No matter what your answers, your body language communicates as much as your words do. Slumping in your chair can seem disinterested whilst lounging back with your foot resting on your leg can seem arrogant.
Be confident and relaxed by sitting up straight and lean slightly forward in an
open and comfortable position. Keeping eye contact with the interviewer is also important to show you’re engaged.
Always be positive and confident in your interview answers. For example, if you’re asked about your experience, explain what experience you do have, rather than using negative words like, ‘don’t.’ End the interview on a positive tone. Saying something simple like, “I look forward to hearing from you,” ensures the interviewer leaves with a positive feeling about you.
After the interview
Enquire about the decision
There’s nothing worse than sitting on tenterhooks waiting for the phone to ring. At the end of the interview, ask when you’re likely to hear back from them.
If they’ve got a week’s worth of interviews to get through, you’ll know where you stand with a decision.
Confirm your interest
An interview is a two-way conversation. You’re there to find out if the role is right for you as much as you’re there for the interviewer to get to know you.
If you still feel enthusiastic about the job at the end of the interview, make that
apparent. Show them you’re keen to work for them and remember to thank them for seeing you.
Show your enthusiasm
Following-up after an interview shows how enthusiastic and interested you are. Be proactive and send an email or pick up the phone to take control.
Be wary not to pester them, however, as this can appear desperate.
Ask for feedback
If you weren’t successful, don’t feel disheartened and think it was a pointless exercise. Ask the interviewer for feedback and learn how you can improve your interview skills for next time.
Land the job...
When preparing for an interview, remember that interviewers don’t want to catch you out. They are real people too and want you to succeed. At the end of the day, if you show you’re the right candidate for the role, you’ve made their job easier.
Get your interview preparation right, arrive on time, be confident and positive, and you’ll be well on the way to that job offer.