Top 10 Job Interview Tips
A job interview is stressful. Not everyone is comfortable selling themselves. Many of us are raised to be humble and not be seen as ‘bragging’, so the idea of having to sell yourself to a room full of strangers is terrifying.
A recent study found that 92% of respondents were anxious about job interviews. The key to overcoming your anxiety is to prepare. Here are our top 10 job interview tips to help you present at your very best.
Do Your Research
The more you know about the company (and the job), the more you can tailor your answers to show them you are the best candidate. Failure to research the company can mean you miss opportunities to sell yourself or say the wrong thing without realising. It will also help you when it comes to asking your questions.
What is the selection criteria for the job? This will give you an indication of what is critical to the interviewer and the type of questions they may ask in the job interview.
Do they want someone that works well in a team? In the job interview, they will ask you a question such as “Can you tell us about a time you had to work as part of a team to achieve an outcome?” or “Can you provide an example of a time you had to work with a difficult coworker? How did you handle it?”
Think about the best examples to use for this role (based on your research) and practice your answer out loud. Record yourself on your phone and listen back.
While this sounds like a no brainer, you need to make sure you don’t stay up late ‘cramming’ for the job interview like an exam. You will present at your best when you are well rested so get to bed early the night before.
On the day
Dress To Impress
Dress at least one level above the typical dress code for the business. Are they a casual workplace? You don’t need to wear a formal suit, but you do need to dress up enough to show you are respecting the process and taking it seriously.
Never underestimate the small details. Scuffed shoes, chipped nail polish and frayed seams can mean you don’t make a good first impression. Avoid perfume and aftershave as they can be overpowering in a small space.
Aim to get there early to give yourself time to relax and not be rushed. If they tell you it will take an hour, allow for two hours parking to be safe.
Always bring the contact details of the interviewer. If you find yourself in an unavoidable situation where you may be late to a job interview, call and explain. A broken down car or cancelled train is part of life. The key is to communicate early.
Bring The Essentials
Keep it simple. Bring a pen, a copy of your CV, a list of questions you want to ask and a list of your referees. Don’t take copious notes but you may want to jot down a quick reminder to ask something later.
In the room
Your body language sends silent messages to others, so you need to be aware of this in a job interview. Smile. Make eye contact with all of the interviewers. Sit up straight. If you tend to gesture a lot with your hands, think about sitting on them as this can be distracting to others.
Be a Listener
Don’t get so caught up in thinking about what you might say next that you stop listening to what the interviewers are saying. It is easy to do when you are nervous. Make a conscious effort to stay present.
In a job interview, you may get an interviewer that asks lengthy or poorly worded questions. If you are unsure what they have asked you, ask them to repeat or rephrase the question. Can’t think of an answer straight away? Ask if you can come back to that question.
If you find yourself heading off on a tangent when answering a question, it is okay to say “To come back to your question, ….” This shows you are self-aware and can correct yourself when needed. Believe me; the interviewers will appreciate this.
What you ask can immediately separate you from the rest of the pack. Ask questions that demonstrate that you are thinking about working for them such as “what will my first week be like”‘ “who else is on the team” or “what is the biggest challenge the company will face over the next few months”.
Employers want to know that you want to work for them, not just get a job, so keep the questions about pay and conditions until last.