Congratulations! You’ve received an ‘invite to interview’ letter or phone call. Now it’s time to prepare yourself for interview and ensure that you have every base covered. Never go into an interview thinking it’s a done deal. There could be dozens of people going for the same job and it’s essential that you pull out all the stops to stand out from the crowd.
These 5 tips for a successful interview will get you into the right frame of mind to deliver a first-rate interview that will leave a lasting impression for the all right reasons.
1. Research is Essential
Find out as much as you can about the company and the role you have applied for, as doing your homework will show just how much you want to join the company. Whilst asking questions about the company’s latest venture is a great way to show that you have an objective interest in the company and what they are up to.
2. Common Questions You Can Practice
Whilst you never know which questions are going to come up, there are some core questions that are bound to be asked by most employers. For example tell me a bit about yourself, what are your biggest strengths / weaknesses and where do you see yourself in five years’ time. Practicing the answers to these can help you to speak with clarity and confidence. Although be careful not to over egg the pudding so to speak by rehearsing your answers word-for-word, as you don’t want to give robotic answers that sound over practiced and unnatural.
3. Appearance Matters
It’s so important to look the part at interview. You’d be surprised how few people pay attention to this essential rule. Crumpled trousers, stains on clothes, trainers, an unshaven face or unruly hair can give the wrong impression immediately and first impressions do count when you are meeting a potential employer. Polish your shoes, wear clothes that fit and look immaculate. Think about what you would be expected to wear to work if you got the job and aim one level higher to make a lasting and professional first impression.
4. Calm Those Nerves
If you are worried about staying in control of your nerves during an interview there are a number of things that can help. Doing your research is one of them. As if you are confident about what is involved with the job role, what the company does and understand a bit about what you could bring to the table, you will find that those nerves start to dissipate once you start talking. If you are asked something that you are not sure about, keep calm and answer in the best way that you can and most importantly never lie if you are not sure.
5. Ask A Few Questions
This can be the tricky part of an interview. Many people when asked if they have any questions, clam up and say “No, I think that you have covered everything thank you.” But if you really want to impress the interviewer, just one well thought out question can make all the difference. You don’t need a huge list of questions – one or two will be fine. For example, why not delve a bit deeper into the role you are interviewing for, ask about the company’s long term goals or ask the interviewer what they enjoy most about working for the company, but never try to throw the interviewer with a purposefully difficult question. If you have researched the job role and the company beforehand, questions should come to you naturally.
Finally, be yourself. Even if you don’t get the job, going to an interview can be a great way to gain experience for future interviews and you’ll soon be able to perfect your own interview technique.