How to excel in a job interview
So you’ve spruced up your CV, searched for job vacancies and started the application process. But what’s next? Hopefully, you’ll start to hear back from potential employers with those all-important interview offers.
Job interviews can be an extremely nerve-racking part of the recruitment process and if you’re unprepared, it can leave you feel uncomfortable and disheartened. Ensuring you have the right skills, knowledge and understanding of the job is essential. Here’s our step-by-step guide to help you become a job interview pro and land yourself a new position…
Do your research
Make sure you’ve spent enough time beforehand researching the company and its brand. Find out essential information about the business that’s interviewing you, the job title you’ve applied for, and any other important information you think would be useful to know.
Check out the company’s website, social media profiles and other bits of detail that can be found online to help you get clued up. Being prepared for any questions thrown your way will also help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during the interview to battle those nerves.
Remember, showing you’ve carried out thorough research prior to your interview is a clever way to impress potential employers and it shows your interest in the job role on offer.
Prepare for common interview questions
Now you’ve completed your research, you should start preparing for those common questions most interviewers will ask. These will most likely be a challenge, to put you on the spot and feel under pressure when answering. However, if you prepare efficiently, you’ll get the opportunity to
blow the employer away with your answers.
Referring to yourself as a ‘good leader’, ‘team player’ or a ‘well organised’ individual just isn’t enough. You must support your skills with relevant examples to prove to the interviewer you’re not just using generic answers to impress them.
A popular method of explaining your past experiences, specific situations and skills is called STAR:
Situation – Before you start your story, ensure to give some context, outlining where you were and why.
Task – Next, explain what you were doing and describe the challenges you were faced.
Action – This stage is when you get the opportunity to expand on the actions you took, and how you overcame the challenges.
Results – Finally, conclude the story by revealing the outcome, demonstrating your skills, achievements and what you learnt from the experience.
Remember to keep this structure in mind with a few examples prepared for your interview. Try
tailoring your examples to suit the job role your applying for to demonstrate your research.
Make a good first impression
Within seconds of meeting your interviewer, they will decide what they think of you. Therefore, it’s really important to make sure you make a positive first impression immediately.
One main aspect of impressing your potential employer is your overall presentation. This may seem self-explanatory for most but it’s surprising how many job-seekers fail to make an effort with their appearance. Prepare a smart and professional looking outfit in time for the interview, also making sure you’re clean and well groomed.
Avoid arriving late for any interview you’re attending. If so, it will instantly leave a bad impression and start the interview on a negative. Upon arrival, greet the interviewer with a pleasant and approachable attitude, shaking their hand confidently. It can be difficult hiding those typical nerves in the beginning, but try to stay calm and relaxed throughout.
End the interview positively
Don’t be afraid to ask any questions at the end of the interview if there’s anything you’re unsure about or interested in finding out more. Find out what the next steps are, and when you will find out the outcome of the job.
Once everything has been discussed and the interview has come to an end, be sure to thank them for their time and you look forward to hearing from them soon. Leave with a confident handshake and a positive smile to leave a good impression with the interviewer.
Not every interview will be successful due to the tough competition out there, but if you make sure you keep trying and prepare well, you will most likely bad yourself that ideal job sooner than you think. Remember you can learn from failed attempts to improve in the future so don’t let it dishearten you. It’s essential to stay positive, be resilient and keep applying.