I have recently been speaking to a lot of candidates that are either taking their first steps into the world of work or candidates that haven’t had much interview experience. So wanted to share some helpful tips that may help you prepare to go into your next interview with confidence.
- Read The Job Description
While the first interview is mainly used to get to know you, and the questions asked may be quite general, Make sure you read the responsibilities, qualifications, skills, and other requirements of the vacancy. This means you can reflect ahead of time on the personal experiences and knowledge you want to present to the Hiring Manager.
- Review Your CV Before The Interview
Read through your CV or application form and think about things the interviewer may ask you about. For example: are there any career gaps or short temporary contracts (be prepared to explain the gaps and any temporary contracts you may have worked) What are your achievements, and highlights of your career?
- Avoid Speaking Negatively
Even if you had a bad experience, talking negatively about your pervious employers or colleagues will just reflect badly on you. If asked why you left your last job, it’s best to be respectful and keep it simple.
- Mind your Ps and Qs
It sounds obvious but remember to present yourself in the best light, speak clearly using formal business language, be polite and have good etiquette. Please don’t use slang or swear words and be respectful. This showcases that you can meet business contacts, customers and communicate in an appropriate way. Be mindful of your body language, make eye contact and look alert and engaged in the conversation.
- Prepare Some Examples
During the interview, this is your chance to sell yourself and showcase why you are the right candidate for the job. The interviewer may ask you to give an example of when you have used a particular skill set or demonstrate your strengths as a candidate. For instance, you may be asked how you showed resilience or handled conflict in the workplace. Be prepared to provide examples that show you have the right skills, personal qualities, and experience for the position and company you are applying to.
- Stay Calm
It’s okay to be nervous, it shows that you want to make a good impression and that you care. Just remember that the person interviewing you is a person too and that they just want to get to know you. If your nerves are getting the best of you, take some deep breaths, and compose yourself. If you stumble or are unsure of how to answer a question, simply say to the interviewer, “Is it okay to circle back to that question I would like some time to think about how to answer it” Then when you are ready you can drop your answer into the conversation at the appropriate time.
- Research The Company & Hiring Manager
Many candidates overlook this and it’s such an important step. Review the company’s website, social media, and communication channels, if possible, look up the person interviewing you on Linkedin. Having a full understanding of the company’s operations will give you confidence going into the interview and help you to focus some of your answers or raise questions to ask the hiring manager. Make sure you know what the company does, what are their values, mission statement, and what are its goals for the future.
- Review the Company’s Product or Service
If the company sells a product or service, it is a great opportunity for you to review the process from a customer’s point of view. If you are hired for the position, your goal will be to create value for the customers, and being a user is the first step to understanding their needs. It will also show the hiring manager that you are greatly interested in the position.
- Be Punctual
Ahead of your interview, ensure that you know how to get to the location of the interview. Figure out public transport options or places you could park in advance. Plan to arrive 5 to 10 minutes before the interview starts and make sure to call your recruiter if you are running late or lost so that they can advise the client that you are on your way.
- Dress to Impress
First impressions always count, and it can have a significant effect on the way your interviewer views you. There is a reason people say, “dress for the job that you want”. We would always recommend business formal attire, even if the company has a casual dress policy. It is better to be overdressed and go for more formal business attire and please if you are wearing a formal shirt don’t forget to wear a tie.
- Don’t forget to Ask Questions
Everyone dreads it when and interviewer asks you “Do you have any questions” at the end of the interview. However, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to really drill down and showcase your interests in the role and company. Many interviewers use this to evaluate if you have genuine interest in the company and position. It gives you yet another opportunity to leave the interviewer with a positive and lasting impression. We would recommend that you prepare some of your questions ahead of time. You can use your research on the company, position and hiring manager to inspire you. It’s fine to go in with a list of questions to hand if you are worried about remembering them. If you are stuck, then being proactive and asking the interviewer for feedback on how they felt the interview went or asking them if they have any reservations on offering you the role, is a good way of gauging your chances of being offered the job or a final opportunity for you to address and reassure them of any concerns they may have.
- Video Interview
- If you are having a Zoom/Teams video interview these are our top tips for success.
- Wear the same outfit that you would have if the interview were being held face-to-face.
- Have a neutral background free of distractions. Best practice would be to blur your background.
- Do the interview in a quiet spot where you won’t get disturbed.
- Make sure you have a good internet connection or strong mobile signal if you’re tethering.
- If your device’s microphone isn’t very good, try using some earphones with a mic. For example, the kind you get with a mobile phone, or a headset.
- Try to look into the camera when you’re talking. That way you’ll be maintaining some form of eye contact.
Overall Being properly prepared will set you up for success, set you apart from other candidates and will account for the impression you will leave the hiring manager with. It will also give you an opportunity to reflect on your own needs, which will then help you better understand if the company and position is the right fit for you and your career aspirations.
If you are looking for your next opportunity, please feel free to get in touch.
01235 462 938