I recently read an article on how to ace your next interview and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the content.
Having been in the recruitment game for almost six years, I still find the interview stage the most interesting part of the recruitment process. The opportunity to meet people from all walks of life is fascinating, but I’m continually surprised at people’s ability or lack of ability to successfully present themselves in an interview.
To put it simply, interviews aren’t easy. You’re expected to present the best version of yourself to people you’ve never met before, who are critiquing your every answer, the validity of your CV and how you’ll fit into their organisation.
So how do you prepare yourself for so many unknowns?
- You research;
- You call on your friend Google and you find reliable sources;
- You practice and you take on the interview with confidence
If you don’t sell yourself in an interview, there’s no one else in the room that will.
Turn up with your game face on
Coming face-to-face with your potential new boss is a daunting prospect, but just remember, you’ve made it this far so they already see potential in you.
Turn up ready to impress. It might sound cliché but first impressions do last and bad impressions last even longer. Give a firm handshake and ensure you make eye contact with all the interviewers. Look attentive, listen to the interviewer and have confidence in your ability.
Turn up early. If you turn up late, don’t bother turning up at all. Allow yourself enough time to get to the interview and have a few minutes down time to calm your nerves before stepping into the interview room.
Do your homework
If you want to make a lasting impression and stand out from the crowd, do your homework and research the company.
Go into the interview knowing more than the interviewer expects you to know. Review the position description and for each responsibility listed, note a time when you’ve demonstrated that skill in the past. Check out the company website, find out what they do and what there visions are for the future. Take it one step further and find out who will be interviewing you. Use LinkedIn and search for their profiles to help you eliminate the surprise of who will be sitting across the table from you.
Filter what you say
Make the most of the time you have to impress the interviewer by filtering what you say. There’s nothing worse than having someone waffle on endlessly about completely irrelevant things. Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and consider what you would want to hear. Be positive, be genuine and never ever speak negatively about a previous employer.
A good interviewer will be looking for specific examples that demonstrate your proven ability in a number of different situations. Think about your career highlights and successes; the key responsibilities you’ve held, challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve handled difficult situations and personalities.
When answering the questions, be specific, be succinct and listen to what the interviewer is asking you.
Leave a lasting impression
As the interview nears the end and you see the light, don’t switch off just yet. It’s your turn to ask the questions now and to leave a lasting impression that will stick.
Preparing questions for the interviewer shows that you’re genuinely interested in the opportunity and the company. Questions could include asking what the interviewer enjoys most about working for the company; where they see the company in the next 5 years, what growth opportunities are available within the organisation, and any other questions you have that will help you to assess if the position and organisation is the right fit for you.
Finally, find out what the next step in the process is and don’t forget your manners. The interviewers will most likely be very busy people so thank them for their time and for the opportunity to meet with you. A follow up email reiterating your keen interest in the role, the company and the opportunity is also another effective way of leaving a lasting impression.
Interviews are tough, they weren’t meant to be easy, but if you do your homework and go into the interview with confidence and self belief you’ll succeed.
To put this advice to the test, view our current list of job vacancies on our recruitment page and find the perfect job for you.