No matter how many interviews you’ve attended, they never seem to get any easier. Each interview is different as you must adapt to each role you are applying for; which many people find hard to do. We have come up with a list of helpful tips to help you prepare in advance and during the interview. These should hopefully help give you the best chance of getting a job offer and keep you as calm as possible during the process.
- Research the company! Knowing about the role and the company will impress any interviewer. Read the job description and visit their website to give you a better feel for the company. By gathering some information on the company and their industry will allow you to build up a basic knowledge and background to the job you’ve applied for. This will come across well in the interview if you are able to talk confidently about the company and the industry, as it will show the employer you have a real interest in them, which will help you significantly in trying to get the job. In addition, you are likely to be asked what attracted you to the job and why you want to be in their industry? So, this knowledge will help in answering these questions.
- Get ready ahead of time! Prepare the day before, so that on the day of the interview you don’t have to get anything ready last minute; which will mean you can stay relatively stress-free in the build-up. Leaving things to the last minute can cause panic and even lead to you getting behind in your preparation. You want to make sure you turn up early, preferably arrive at the reception area at least 15 minutes before your interview, so that they know you are keen and will create a good first impression.
- Dress smart! First impressions are crucial with anyone new you meet, especially a prospective employer so be sure to polish your shoes and straighten your tie (so to speak) and make sure your attire is appropriate for the role you are applying for.
- Prepare questions! Ensure you have a list of 3 – 4 questions to ask your interviewer at the end of the interview as this will demonstrate your interest and commitment to the role. Having the questions written down will negate the need to think on the spot. It’s important to have a few questions prepared, so that if any are answered during the interview you still have some to fall back on.
- Prepare answers! Find out the key competencies of the role and consider in advance how you will respond to typical questions about your past experience e.g. “tell me about a time when …” Avoid waffling by using a structured response such as adopting the STAR pneumonic – Situation, Task, Action and Result. Remember the old favourite “why should we employ you?”
- Figures! If you are interviewing for a sales role then ensure you take along anything that shows your track record in sales. If you have won any awards, make sure you take along these as well. Back up what you’re saying with facts and figures which will help your achievements carry more weight and provide substance behind them.
- Eye contact! Try to stay focused throughout the interview by keeping eye contact with the person who is interviewing you, as this level of engagement will reflect well. Also, where possible try to interact with the interviewer as much as possible so that it is more like a 2-way conversation. Don’t forget to smile! Try to avoid distractions such as looking around and fidgeting as this may show a level of disinterest or lack of knowledge as you are struggling to participate in conversation.
- Take in the information! As much as an interview is about you trying to sell yourself as a candidate, the company will be trying to sell themselves to you. Therefore, to help you make your decision on whether to choose to proceed to the next stage with that company you should take a notepad and pen with you in the meeting. This will enable you to make some notes during the interview, as well as having some prompts for questions you want to ask and topics to be raised. This will give you something to reflect on post interview and help you absorb as much information as possible.
- Use a Recruiter! Specialist recruitment agencies, such as ourselves can help source your dream job, by utilising an extensive network of contacts to match your career ambitions with a company that are able to facilitate them. Furthermore, using industry experienced recruiters will be able to give you the upper hand with bespoke do’s and don’ts ahead of the meeting. Call us today to see how we can help – 0208 0044 154