So, you’ve got a big interview coming up for an exciting new role and you really want to show them that you are just the person they need. But even though your CV shows you have all the credentials, how do you combat the nerves and make such a good impression that they’ll want to hire you on the spot? This comprehensive guide is designed to provide you with professional interview tips and proven techniques to help you land that dream job!
1. Arrive Early
The first way to make a good impression is not to arrive on time, but to arrive a little bit early, which also helps you to relax and gather your thoughts before the interview. Not only does it make a great impression, but you will have more time to prepare and make some last minute notes if needed. 15 minutes early is the perfect amount of time to arrive before an interview. It shows that you’re professional and organised.
2. Exude Positive Energy
When we meet a new person, judgements (whether right or wrong) are made very quickly. That’s why it’s important to smile, maintain eye contact and have excellent posture when greeting your interviewer and other members of staff. Before you even talk, they will be looking at how you’re dressed and the body language you present yourself with, so make sure to appear as confident as possible, and go into that meeting room with a winning attitude!
- Smile when you shake the interviewer’s hand
- Show enthusiasm in your voice
- Relax your shoulders
- Let them guide the direction of the conversation
- Thank them at the end
Avoid doing the following:
- Crossing your arms
- Looking around the room
3. Show That You’ve Done Your Research
Interviewers love it when their prospective hire knows a thing or two about the company. It shows you have prepared and have a genuine interest in the role and that you are serious about the job. You can research a company by:
- Checking out their website’s “About Us” page
- Checking out their competitors
- Following them on social media
- Finding out the company’s mission and values
- Asking your recruiter to send you information
Brushing up on your industry knowledge is crucial when planning for an interview, so make sure you have a solid understanding of the different roles and functions of your department, and a well-structured answer for the addressing the reasons why you want the job.
4. Know the Job Specification by Heart
A great way to answer interview questions is not just to base your answers on your CV, but to tailor them to the job description. Go through the job speciation thoroughly, to ensure you have a firm understanding of the skills and duties expected of you if you were to be chosen for the role. Make a point of addressing each quality you have that makes you the perfect person for the role. There’s nothing worse than being unprepared and stumbling on your words to try and find something impressive to say! Knowing you’ve done your background research will give you added confidence and shows that you are well prepared.
5. Ask Questions
Questions aren’t only for the interviewer. Remember, you are trying to get to know more about the company, its working culture, and if you can see yourself really fitting in there, so asking questions is just as important for you, too. Throughout the interview, you should make a mental note of relevant questions you want to ask at the end. Asking questions shows that you are listening and engaged, and that you are curious about the nature of the role. Always have at least two questions planned to ask at the close of an interview, or during, if possible. Great questions to ask include:
- Who would I be working with on a day-to-day basis?
- Who are your competitors?
- What is the working culture like?
6. Dress to Impress
An impressive CV, excellent verbal communication, and eye contact go a long way, but if you’re wearing muddy trainers and a jumper with stains, you’re not exactly exuding the professional, productive, go-getter type – to an interviewer, you’re saying “I am a lazy person who doesn’t care much for company image!” Don’t let that be you. The outfit you choose should be relevant to the role. From suited and booted corporate professional, to casual smart digital marketer, make sure you understand the dress code policy before you decide on your interview clothes. Smart and presentable is the key.
7. Take a Deep Breath
Sometimes we can forget to breath normally when the nerves are setting in before a big interview, and when we’re breathing fast we can’t fully relax and find the right words. Practising breathing meditation techniques can help to keep us calm before and during an interview. A simple technique you can try is to breathe in for three seconds, and out for three seconds repeatedly. You will notice instantly that your heart-rate is dropping, and you will feel much less anxious. Also, you do no favours by placing too much pressure on yourself. Yes, job interviews are scary, but we all go through them, and within half an hour to an hour, it will all be over – so stay calm and think positive thoughts!
8. Be Yourself
Interview anxiety – it happens to the best of us! But what is important to avoid is trying so hard to impress that none of your personality come across. Avoid answering questions mechanically like you’re reading from your practice notes. Find a way to connect with the interviewer on a personal level. You can even share a story that relates to your interests, if it fits within the context of the interview. Remember – the more your personality shines through, the more you will be remembered!
9. Take a Professional Development Course
To ensure that you are fully prepared for your the interview, an online professional development course such as iStudy’s Get That Job Today! – How to Answer the Top 10 Interview QS, can give you the confidence and skills you need to stand out from your competitors. Distance learning courses can be studied full-time or part-time, are flexible, accessible, and provide guidance from experience tutors. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to earn an accredited certificate! On successful completion, you’ll gain a recognised qualification which you can use to enhance your CV.
There are many different type of professional development courses that cover a wide range of industries, such as:
- Microsoft Office Training
- Personal Management
- Motivation & Professional Development
- Women Empowerment
- Business Planning
10. Know Your Selling Points
Knowing your strengths is essential if you really want to stand out in an interview. They want to know what makes you the best candidate for the position, and you’ve got to be able to convince them that they’d be silly to turn you down. Writing down a list of all the things you’re great at will help you to highlight your selling points when answering interview questions.
That being said, it’s important to have a solid idea of the areas you could improve on too, as one of the most common interview questions is “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Understanding what those are will help you to define what you need to work on, and if you do answer that question, don’t be self-deprecating – use positive ‘weaknesses’ such as “I am too much of a perfectionist”, or “I take on too much work.”
Some points to consider are:
- What is the greatest achievement in your career to-date?
- What would former employees say about you?
- How do overcome challenges in the workplace?
By following this helpful guide to a successful job interview, you will have an excellent understanding of the key skills required to really impress your employer, and will be able to go into your appointment confident and clear on what you can bring to the company. Remember, whatever the outcome, it’s all valuable experience, and always make sure to follow up and ask for feedback!