Getting to the interview stage is hard enough so you need to make sure that when you get there you leave a positive impression with your potential employers
Follow our handy tips to shine at your next interview:
Pre Interview Preparation
Practice answering the most common interview questions and introduce your strengths in your answers.
Every answer should have something positive and aligned with the job requirements you are applying for.
Here are some examples of interview questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your greatest strength/weakness?
- How do you handle failure/success
- How do you handle stress and pressure?
- How would you describe yourself?
- How do you motivate your team?
- Why are you different from the competition?
- How does this job fit in with your career plan?
- How would you adjust to working for a new company?
- How would your co-workers describe you
List out the main requirements from the position and match your skills to each item on the list.
Remember to listen: This is extremely important at all stages of the interview and worth practising beforehand.
Yes, you need to highlight your suitability for the role but you also need to answer each question clearly and concisely.
Research the Company
You are always going to be asked questions about the company you are applying to so make sure you do your research.
Download company brochures, follow their social media accounts and read their latest news or blogs on their website.
Read up on the industry the company is in and some of their competitors.
Sharing insight on this can give you the boost you need to stand out from the crowd.
If the company has recently launched a new product or service talk about this and how you could add value with your experience and industry knowledge.
If the company publishes a roadmap for future services then study this and talk about some of the projects where you could really help drive them forward.
The interviewer will often ask what you know about the company. They are testing to see if you are really interested in the company and that particular role.
By providing well research answers here shows you are passionate about the company and that specific job you are applying for.
Connect with the Interviewer
Find out your interviewers name ahead of the meeting and use their name during the interview. You need to know about the company and the role in detail but by connecting with your interviewer you can really stand out.
Smile and make eye contact and answer all questions truthfully. If you don’t know an answer to a question be honest and say so. This is far better than getting stuck down a rabbit hole with no way out.
Make sure you look the part. While appearances should not matter but they do and decisions can be made on a candidate before you even get the opportunity to speak.
Wear suitable clothing for the role and dress for your potential manager’s job – this shows ambition and helps you feel better in the interview.
Relax and Stay Calm
You have spent a fair bit of time researching and preparing for the interview but your planning does not stop there.
Make sure you know how long it takes you to get to the interview location, the route you are going to take, plus a second option just in case or unexpected delays.
Plan everything out the night before and have everything ready to go including options for bad weather.
Have a few copies of your CV ready in a neat folder along with a pen and notepad for taking notes.
When you get to the interview greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake. This is a great way to break the ice straight away.
You may be nervous but the person you are meeting may also be nervous. A hello followed by their name is a great start to any interview.
Listen to each question carefully and in full – do not interrupt the interviewer mid-question – ever.
There is no problem taking a few seconds to think of a great answer instead of just bursting out what you think they want to hear.
Compile a list of questions to ask the interviewer as well.
You will always be asked if you have any questions so have a couple of options available that highlight your knowledge of the company and give you the opportunity to showcase some more of your skills.
You want to ask questions that avoid just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. This is your opportunity to find out more about the role and the company
Here are some examples of questions to ask at an interview:
- Would you like a list of references?
- Have you any reservations about my qualifications?
- What are the biggest challenges of this job?
- If offered the job, how soon would you like me to start?
Have about 5 questions ready to go. Split these between the actual role you are applying for and to get more information about the company itself including goals and future plans they may have.
This is usually the last opportunity you have to sell yourself and by asking the right question you are giving yourself the option to discuss your key strengths and suitability for the role in more detail.