Are you a recruiter?
For some people, there is nothing more daunting than the prospect of a job interview. It can fill you with dread and cause countless sleepless nights. But, did you know that it is possible to seize control of the interview situation? If you prepare carefully by following our top interview tips, you will have a much better chance of success.
Make sure you have researched the position and the company, so you are prepared for any questions your potential employer might ask. This will also help you to decide on what you are going to say, so you can practise your answers, emphasising the skills that make you suitable for the role. It is also a good idea to compile a list of your own questions, ready to ask your interviewer when the opportunity presents itself. Have a go at talking to yourself in front of the mirror. It might sound silly, but it could help you feel more relaxed.
If you think about the common questions you are likely to be asked, you can prepare your responses ahead of the interview. In recalling talking points, you will be able to answer questions more confidently and ensure you mention topics that are relevant to the role. That said, be sure to listen carefully to your interviewer in order to provide appropriate answers to their questions, rather than a memorised spiel, which will affect the flow of the interview conversation.
Plan what you are wearing and make sure you are ready ahead of schedule. You don’t want to find you are missing a button on your shirt just as you are about to leave the house! It’s always best to dress smartly – a shirt and tie for the guys and a skirt or trouser suit for the ladies. You are aiming for a professional look that will make any potential employer want to hire you.
There is no excuse for being late to an interview. Poor time-keeping is the bane of many employers’ lives, and if you cannot even manage to show up on time for the interview, this will reflect very poorly on you. Try to arrive with around 15 minutes to spare, so you can sit back and relax while you wait. There is nothing more you can do at this stage, other than try to stay calm. Oh, and don’t forget to switch off your mobile phone before entering the interview room!
No pressure, but your interviewer will form an opinion in the first few seconds of meeting you. You can make a positive impression by greeting them appropriately, smiling, making good eye contact and offering a firm handshake. You could also learn your interviewer’s name, so you can speak to them directly and thank them at the end of the interview.
Once the interview starts, the key to success is the quality and delivery of your responses. Your goal is to be upbeat, focused, confident and concise in providing answers that showcase your skills. Let the conversation take its course and don’t give monosyllabic answers. The aim is for your interviewer to get to know you, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.
This is your unspoken conversation. Without even realising it, you could be giving a potential employer a reason not to hire you. Good posture, active listening and nodding will show you are engaged in the interview and eager to secure the job. In contrast, slouching, fidgeting and staring into space will present the picture of someone who is disinterested and lacks focus.
As the interview comes to a close, you will be given the chance to ask your questions. At this point, you can also find out about the next stage in the application process, as well as the interviewer’s timeframe for making a decision and how you can expect to hear any news. This shows that you are enthusiastic about the prospect of being offered the job.
Having thanked your interviewer in person, once home, it is a good idea to follow up with an email that will give you an edge over other candidates. Perhaps reaffirm your gratitude and request any feedback that they could offer you at this stage.
Job interviews take research, practice and persistence. The more effort you put into your interview preparation, the more likely you will be to obtain a job offer. And if you happen to be unlucky, just put it down to experience. You will be in a much better position for the next interview you do.