Tips For A Successful Job Interview
A job interview can be a daunting prospect even for the most confident among us. We are all aware of the basic ways to conduct yourself for a job interview: dress smart, arrive early, be polite to everyone you meet and follow up afterwards. Here are a few other tips that may help calm your nerves and ensure you are well prepared.
Research the company
You need to ensure you have an understanding of the company that goes beyond the basics. Being informed and aware of the company, their values and their background is important when interviewing. It gives you confidence and allows you to show how your experiences and background make you a good fit. Similarly, your knowledge and interest of the business shows you care about the job role you’re interviewing for and can put you ahead of other applicants.
Being genuine during a job interview can help your employer relate to you or understand you more. If you are not being true to yourself, it can come back to bite you further down the line. Getting a job that isn’t the best fit for you because you pretended to be someone you’re not, or embellished your strengths and qualifications, will never turn out well. An interview is a chance for you and your potential employer to get to know each other and if it doesn’t feel right then there will be other opportunities that come along in the future.
Mention your strengths and accomplishments
Although sometimes it may feel odd to talk about yourself, how great you are at certain things and all the things you’ve achieved so far, in a job interview it is quite an essential part of the process. It’s important to show the interviewer why you are a good fit for the role. Tie in any questions they may ask you to your background and how you have demonstrated the skills they are looking for. Be prepared with examples of your work and skills that align with the role you’re interviewing for. Addressing the requirements of the role and showing how you meet those, is a key part of a successful interview.
This point is similar to being yourself. You should be honest with your potential employer from the start. Often, an interviewer likes and admires someone being able and comfortable to admit previous mistakes or gaps in their knowledge or skillset. Having self-awareness of yourself and your strengths and weaknesses is not a bad thing. If there is something you’re not good at or have little experience of, the fact that you are willing to learn says a lot about your character. If there are gaps in your CV it is okay to be honest and straight forward with your reasoning and explain why. It is much better your interviewer has a clear and honest understanding of you as a person than you start off a potential new job with lies.
Prepare your answers to common interview questions
While you will never know exactly what you will be asked, preparing responses to typical interview questions is a good thing to do beforehand. This will help you remain calm and clear headed when interviewing and allow you more capacity for answering more difficult questions. Having a think of your answers beforehand also allows you to link your strengths to specific skills in the job description. Being prepared also gives you the chance to practise speaking with confidence and enthusiasm.
Keep your answers concise
Your time with an interviewer is usually limited. Going into too much depth and detail when answering questions can mean you go off on a tangent or your interviewers start losing interest. Keeping your answers precise makes the interview flow better and keeps everyone on track. Doing some interview practice with friends or family will help you keep focused on your answers and learn to answer concisely.
Think of questions to ask your interviewer
When it gets to the interview, and you come up with a blank when asked if you have any questions, it makes you appear apathetic. This typically does not go down well with interviewers. To ensure you seem interested and engaged in a role, it is good to have a couple of questions ready to ask your interviewer. Avoid asking questions that have already been covered during the interview or things that only require a yes or no response. Try to ask open ended questions that can provide you with the opportunity to talk about your strengths and qualities, previous experiences, or any concerns you may have.
Like with most things, practice makes perfect. The more interviews you go to, the easier they will become and the more confident you will feel. Learning how to have a successful job interview takes time and effort and you shouldn’t be discouraged when an interview doesn’t go so well. Take it as an opportunity to learn from and understand what you can do better next time.