21 Aug How To Succeed At Interviews
Interviews, for many, can be rather daunting. If you’ve managed to secure yourself an interview for a role, it’s always best to prepare to the best of your ability, taking the time to revise and rehearse, treating the process much like an exam.
With that said, here are my top tips for succeeding at interviews;
• Read the job description & person specification This will detail the key criteria for the role and what the Company is looking for in terms of personal attributes and skills. Please ensure you compare the job description and key criteria to your CV, cross-reference the areas you have experience and back this up with examples.
• Research the Company Find out the key facts about the Company such as when they started, how many staff they have, locations, current news. They will be impressed if you come along with this information as it shows you have taken the time to find out about them.
• Plan your ‘end of interview’ questions Interviewers always like the candidate to ask questions at the end. Here are a few examples…
How big is the team? What will my main responsibilities be? Who will I report to? Who will report to me? What will you expect from me in the first 6 months? Where is this Company going? Will there be any travelling involved? What career progression opportunities are there in the business? When can I expect to hear back? What makes ** a great company to work for?
• Dress to impress! It sounds crazy but having your outfit ready for the next morning is one less thing to worry about on the day. Make sure you wear something smart and you look your best. It is always best to go smarter than necessary. First impressions really do count!
• Check out the location Believe it or not, so many candidates will turn up late to their interview because they haven’t looked up the location and end up getting lost. Ensure you look up their address and maybe even pop by to see where the main reception is. This can save a whole lot of embarrassment.
• Avoid smoking Even though having a cheeky cigarette may calm your nerves, it doesn’t create a great first impression if you arrive smelling of smoke.
• Who are you meeting with? Ensure you make a note of who you are meeting with and ask for them on arrival to the office. A firm handshake, a nice smile and good manners are essential to make the best first impression. You want to turn up to your interview around 10 minutes before the arranged time. This shows punctuality without being too early. It is also a good idea to save a contact number to call if you get delayed.
During your interview
• Manners & etiquette; relax, be positive and be polite. Always shake the interviewer’s hand and try to use their name(s) if you can. Tell them you are pleased to meet them.
• Try not to look at your CV, looking at your CV during an interview can make you look nervous and unsure about what to say. It is always a good idea to have your CV to hand but maybe do not put it in front of you as this will only tempt you to glance.
• Honesty is the best policy, do not lie to anyone in the interview. Just be honest about what you have achieved and what skills you have. Trying to impress by lying will only end in embarrassment.
• Do not slouch, body language is important to put across the right first impression. Look attentive and sit up straight. A little tip is to sit on your hands if you find yourself fidgeting in your seat or playing with a pen.
• Smile! Interviewers will like to see you feeling positive and it’s amazing how a smile can diffuse a tense situation and put everyone at ease.
After your interview
• Feedback is the most important, no matter the outcome. If you are unsuccessful in the interview process, do your very best to find out where you could have improved, even if they say it is down to experience or being trumped by another candidate, stress the importance of how constructive criticism can help steer your career.
Now you know how to master your interview – relax, be positive and good luck