Nail your next job interview

We all know interviews can be nerve-wracking, but they are an important step to master in order to secure you a fabulous new role!

Read our top tips below to help guide you:  

1 – Research

When we say research, we don’t mean you need to spend days and days prepping as if for an exam, but a few key bits of research will really help you when it comes to interviewing successfully and impressing your interviewers.

Firstly, research the people you are interviewing with – this is easy to do now with Linked In. What are their positions and where have they worked before? Have they worked somewhere you have worked? Do they know any of the same people as you? How long have they worked at the company?

Secondly, and very importantly, do some research on the company you are interviewing with! This may sound obvious but it is something that trips candidates up and it’s easy to focus so much on thinking about what you can bring to the company, you forget to consider what they can offer to you.

You are very likely to get asked “what do you know about the company” or “what appeals to you about the company” and you beed to ensure you have a considered response to this question. What industry do they operate in? Who are their key competitors? Have they been in the news recently?

2 – Reread your CV

Seeing as it is your experience, you should be familiar with where you have worked and what you have done! However, make sure you refresh your memory on what you have said in your CV. Remind yourself about the key achievements you have highlighted as chances are you will get asked to talk about them. Often the first question you will be asked in a interview is to give a brief career history so you should practice this to yourself so that you can get it down pat. You should keep it high level (no more than 5 minutes total) and focus more on your current/most recent roles. Talking endlessly about a role you worked in 5 years ago is not a good idea! This question is designed to relax you and see how you can communicate succinctly whilst highlighting the key information. From here. the interviewers will start probing into your experience further.

3 – Prepare for competency based questions

Nine times out of ten a job interview will include at least one competency based question – i.e. a question that asks you to provide an example of when you have done something.

There are hundreds of examples of these that you can easily find on google, but the best way to identify what might be asked is to refer to the job description and the skills listed there. If, for example, good relationship building skills are listed as a key criteria, then expect a question on how you have successfully built a relationship in the past, or had to work with someone you didn’t have a great relationship with.

Don’t memorise potential answers to competency based questions are chances are you will either use your answer in the wrong way i.e. not really answering the specific question you have been asked.

4 – Prepare questions you can ask the interviewer(s)

This is a really important step and one that candidates often struggle with. Make sure you go to every interview with at least 3 questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview – if, when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, you say no, this can have a detrimental impact and undo some of the good work you have done during the interview. Having no questions can indicate a lack of genuine interest/enthusiasm.

4 – Plan your journey

Make sure you have looked up the location of where the interview will take place, have worked out your journey and leave plenty of time to get there – turning up late is not a good look.

5 – Dress smartly

Wear a suit! There is no way you should turn up to any job interview looking less than 100% smart and professional – trust us, it make a difference and interviewers ALWAYS notice this! This is a key opportunity to make a good first impression.

6 – Accept water

During the interview itself, always accept a glass of water if it is offered. Having a glass of water will help calm your nerves – taking a sip before answering a question will buy you a valuable few seconds while you’re thinking of an answer!

7 – Be conscious of your body language

An interviewer will not just be listening to what you say but will also be looking at your body language – even if you are a bundle of nerves, remember to look the interview in the eye, give a firm handshake at the beginning of the interview and smile! During the interview, retain eye contact, try to have your hands neatly in your lap in front of you and sit up.

9 – Don’t waffle!

When you are in an interview it’s easy to start waffling – waffle is your enemy! The key is to give enough detail in your answer but not go off on tangents – always relate what you are saying directly to the question you have been asked. If the interviewer needs more detail they will ask you.

Good luck! #youglowgirl

 

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash