Top tips for your next job interview
Congratulations! You’ve spruced up your CV, submitted your job application and landed yourself an interview.
Even if you’ve been to more job interviews than you can count, the harsh truth is that they never seem to get any easier.
That said, there are ways to make interviews feel less intimidating. Below, we present some effective tips that can help you prepare for an interview, impress your prospective employer and hopefully secure your dream job.
Make a good first impression
Your interviewer will make a judgement in the first few minutes of meeting you, so it’s crucial that you make a lasting first impression, and a good one at that.
Firstly, you want to dress for success, so be sure to prepare your most professional looking outfit from the day before and make sure you’re well-groomed for the occasion.
When you initially meet with the interviewer, flash your most confident smile and shake their hand. Also, this goes without saying, but avoid being late as this not only makes a bad impression, but you also run the risk of turning up looking flustered.
Research the employee in advance
Doing some pre-interview research can make a world of difference on the big day. Start by Googling the employer, checking out its website and any social media profiles to get a solid picture of the company.
This will show the employer that you are well-versed in what they do and are serious about joining the company. Demonstrating such knowledge during the interview is sure to impress your prospective employer.
Additionally, this can help you to devise any questions that you might want to ask your interviewer, showing further interest in their company.
‘Sell’ your skills and abilities
It can be quite daunting when asked to talk about yourself, but this is also the perfect opportunity to demonstrate why you’re the ideal candidate for the job.
Using your CV and the job description to guide you through the interview, pick examples of your experience or education to showcase why you’d be successful in the role.
Be sure to pick the best examples that fit not only the role but also the company and its values.
Prepare for common questions
In an interview, there are typically a set of common questions that you are likely to be asked. Saying you’re ‘a good leader’ or a ‘team player’ is all well and good, but you will need to go beyond that to really impress your interviewer.
Each time you reference one of your skills, try to support it with an example to prove that your skills are genuine – the STAR method is a good way to illustrate this.
Situation: Give some context to the story
Task: Describe what you had to do and if you faced any challenges while doing it
Action: Explain the actions you took to complete the task and how you tackled any challenges
Results: Reveal the outcome, this should demonstrate your skills, as well as what you achieved and anything you learned from the situation.
Think about body language
Your body language says a lot about you, so you want to be aware of how you’re preparing yourself.
For example, using your hands when talking can emphasise your points and make your stories more animated, but you don’t want to go overboard with your gestures.
You want to avoid fidgeting and fiddling with things; not only is this a tell-tale sign of how nervous you are, your interviewer may find it distracting.
Lastly, you want to look professional and confident, so try to avoid slouching in your chair, and try to smile and maintain eye contact at all times.
If you’ve done all of the correct interview preparation and you’re feeling clued-up, then hopefully you shouldn’t feel too nervous and are ready to tackle the world. Good luck!