We believe these nine top tips are the key to a great interview.
Prior knowledge is paramount to success in an interview. Familiarise yourself with the company’s website, google them, look at their annual report, find out who their competitors are, research who will be conducting the interview; the more you know the better. Not only will it demonstrate that you are serious about the role, but the more you understand the employer, the better you’ll be able to answer questions during the interview.
Look smart and smile. A company is more likely to hire someone who is well presented and will therefore represent their company in a positive light. Some companies do take a more relaxed approach to attire, but conventional office wear will always create a professional, positive first impression. A smile is also a powerful tool – even if you feel nervous, a smile combined with good eye contact will ensure you come across as friendly and relaxed.
When it comes to interview preparation, the job description is your best friend – ensure that you read the job description carefully and that you can give solid examples of how you meet the required criteria. Not only will it help you to understand more about what the role entails, but it’ll also help you to recognise exactly what the employer is looking for. You can then tailor your answers accordingly to prove you’re the best candidate for the role.
Another crucial component to interview success is anticipating common questions that will be asked and preparing responses in advance. Compose detailed yet concise answers that focus on specific examples and achievements. While you will not remember your answers word for word, the process of writing down relevant accomplishments will help you to focus your mind on what points you want to convey during the interview.
During the interview, the key to success is the quality and delivery of your responses. Your goal should always be authenticity, responding truthfully to interview questions. At the same time, your answers need to showcase your skills and experience in the most relevant and focused manner. Consider using the STAR Interviewing Technique to help structure your responses.
It is always important to have a handful of questions prepared to ask your interviewer – this demonstrates that you are switched on and genuinely interested in the opportunity. Try to plan questions that won’t have been covered in the interviewer’s introduction, or those which you should already know the answer to.
Plan your route to the destination in advance and on the day of the interview allow plenty of time to get there. Ensure to allow extra time for unexpected delays – if unforeseen circumstances present themselves and you will no longer be on time, be sure to contact the company to notify them of your delay and your expected arrival time. Plan to arrive around 10-15 minutes prior to your interview, any earlier could be a nuisance to your interviewers.
Your body language says just as much about you as your verbal communication. Good posture, a firm handshake, eye contact and a smile will demonstrate your social skills and ensure that you come across as confident and professional.
Print off extra copies of your CV and ensure that you have a couple of pens and a notebook to hand in case you need to write anything down or take notes. If applicable, bring a folder containing your portfolio, certificates and/or any other examples of your work or qualifications that are relevant.
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