Got an interview coming up? Want to stand out from the crowd? Then read on to discover some great tips for success.
Do your research
Before the interview, do research on the company and about the specific role. Go through the job description and specification; and think of examples of how your skills and experiences match their needs. This preparation will help you to demonstrate how you could make a valued contribution to the organisation.
Also, research the company itself, and ideally one of two of their competitors too, so, you have a feel for the company’s strengths and weaknesses; and their standing in their sector. Do prepare some questions about the role and the organisation (not about benefits, that sounds presumptuous), so you can lead the conversation at times.
Also, ensure you have the names of those interviewing you; and do a little research on them too, using online tools such as LinkedIn to familiarise yourself with their role and career, making it easier to strike up a conversation with them.
Get the basics right
Get the basics right to get off on the right footing at your interview. Have an early night, so you are alert and at your best in the morning. It’s essential to be punctual, so allow yourself additional journey time, so you can take delays or disruption in your stride and still arrive on time. Research the company culture, so you can strike the right note dress-wise as what’s right for a firm of city lawyers wouldn’t be for a creative agency for example.
First impressions count
There are tips repeatedly given when it comes to making a good first impression at interview, including a firm handshake, a smile, eye contact and clear speech. All of which will help ensure the impression you make is positive.
Handling interview questions
When you’re nervous, it’s easy to speed up your speech and gabble, so try to take a measured approach and answer clearly. Don’t waffle, make a point, back it up, then move on. Giving a specific example for each point you make will prevent your answers sounding too generic. Despite thorough preparation, it’s impossible to be ready for every eventuality, so if you’re faced with the unexpected, remain calm and in control, answering the question as best you can, rather than avoiding it.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself and show a little personality at the interview. Probably everyone else at the interview will have prepared too, read much the same information online as you and be dressed in their best. Showing your human side and a little personality too will help you to stand out from the other candidates and build up a rapport with your interviewer – making you memorable. Do throw in an interesting detail about yourself. Have the gumption to be yourself, rather than being an interview automation; and you’ll come across as genuine, engaging and likeable. Someone your interviewer feels comfortable being around, someone they’ll want on their team.
Keep on the bright side
Being positive is infectious and engaging. Don’t be negative about your current employers, keep it positive, if you need to explain why you’re leaving your current role, make it about you, wanting to take on more responsibility, develop your career, etc.
If possible, reiterate why you’d be good at the job, ask what the next steps in the recruitment process are and when you should expect to hear back. At the very least be polite and thank the interviewer for their time.
For more interview advice and to find out about numerous career opportunities, log on to CV-Library. Then go to your next job interview, prepared and confident (without forgetting to be yourself); and we hope you’ll soon be starting your dream job.