Our Top Ten Interview Tips
Our Top Interview Tips
Interviews are often regarded with a mix of awe and fear, which hardly helps a candidate start off on the right foot. That fear is driven by the fact it’s unusual territory, and the candidate feeling they have no control of the outcome.
WRONG! We’ll let you into 2 secrets:
1 – Most interview questions are predictable, so you can prepare for them in advance, and
2 – The interviewer wants you to succeed. It’s in their interest to make an appointment and get the job done.
So we encourage people to prepare and take more control of the outcome. Here are our Top Ten Tips for interviews, to reduce stress, and get more job offers
1. Get there EARLY
We’re stating the obvious we know, but all too often people turn up late. Allow at least an hour for the ‘if-it-can-go-wrong-it-will’ factor. If you don’t need the hour, you can still use it to think about some of the following:
2. Suit or no suit?
Suit. Every time. Nobody failed an interview because they were over-dressed. If you don’t have a suit, look as smart as you can. Polish your shoes and wash behind your ears!
3. Take a spare copy of your CV:
Sometimes interviewers breeze into an interview forgetting the candidate’s CV. In that case, bring out a spare with a smile and a flourish – just try to avoid looking too smug!
4. Prepare for the obvious questions:
Have a practiced two minutes in your head for when the interviewer asks, “So tell me something about you”. Then use the same two minutes for when they ask, “Tell me why you should get the job”. Underline the story. Make sure you look prepared and drive your strong points home.
Other questions you’re likely to get are:
“Why do you want this job?”
“Why should we give you this job?”
“What do you know about us?”
“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
These are all very straightforward and easy to prepare for. If you’re ready, it’s a breeze. If you’re not, you’ll trip over your own tongue.
5. LISTEN to the question!!!!! – We mean REALLY listen
Listen to the question and answer it – and only it. Don’t anticipate the next question and answer that too. That’ll take you down the Cul de Sac of Detail – and once there it’s very difficult to reverse out and retain your dignity.
6. Don’t answer the next question before it’s asked
We mean it. Too many interviewees talk themselves out of the job and get caught in detail. They try and anticipate where the interviewer wants to go and get it wrong. It can get very messy. Don’t go there.
Not like a Cheshire cat, just normal and natural. Before you enter the interview room take a moment to prepare yourself. Take a breath, relax a little, smile, and walk in with good eye contact (did you know close friends only have eye contact 60% of the time, so try to mirror that). A firm handshake, and another pause, and you’ll feel much more in control from the start.
8. Make it clear you’ve done some research.
Precede a question with “When I was looking at your website I noticed……” You’ll look as though you’ve done some homework. If you print out a few pages from their website, that also shows a little extra thought and effort. It’s small details like this interviewers notice and will give you a competitive advantage.
9. Ask some questions of your own.
Have some good questions written down in advance. Ask about customers first. Ask questions about the company next. Ask questions about you last. Look ready, willing, thoughtful and able.
10. Finish with a flourish
End on a high. Give yourself another chance to restate why you should get the job by asking: “I’m really keen about this role. Is there anything you’d like re-assurance about at this point?” At this point, you should be cruising like a regal swan.
We’ve seen more interviews fail for the lack of some preparation for what’s entirely predictable and they fall in a horrible heap if their foundations are built on sand.
Do the simple things well and you’ll be fine….