Interviews can be daunting and make many people understandably nervous. While there is no set-in-stone guideline for success during an interview, there are some general tips and tricks which will help you along the way in order to make it run smoothly. Prepare yourself well beforehand with these top-tips and remember to breathe – interviews can be scary if you don’t know what you’re up against; therefore preparation is key.
1. Ensure your CV is exciting and grammatically correct
This is a fundamental step to success. Make sure you check and double-check your CV for any errors or spelling mistakes. This includes dates you worked (make sure these are correct), any university or school names and any other grammar mistakes – any errors in your CV will almost guarantee you won’t make it to the interview phase of recruitment. Since when applying for jobs, your CV acts as an extension of yourself, so if you can’t make this right, you’ll need to revise it again until it’s perfect. Many employers won’t even read on if they find a mistake, so it will need to be both interesting and correctly written.
2. Show you’re an interesting person
Yes, while the main focus and talking points of the interview will be surrounding the job role, salary, and duties, it is important to talk about yourself as a person, too. Remember that you’re not a robot; show that you have hobbies and partake in activities outside of the workplace. This helps to remind the potential employer that you are an interesting and dynamic person with goals and ambitions. If you play in a sports team, explain that you are a dedicated person with interpersonal skills and commitment. If you like to take pottery classes, use this to show that you are a creative individual with a passion for self-expression and individuality. You can add these snippets of information without it feeling forced; simply express that these interests show that you have a range of skills and hobbies.
3. Take an online course to refine your knowledge
Showing you are dedicated to your professional and personal development will be an excellent selling point for you in an interview. Taking an online course on Theccm for example is a great way to showcase your determination and commitment to the industry. Even if you choose an online course which is a little different from the role you’re applying for, it still looks good – you’re actively learning and seeking new knowledge which is more than a lot of people can say! Even if you missed out on certain qualifications at school, heading back to top-up your maths or English looks good to certain employers.
4. Dress for success
While clothing and appearances don’t mean everything, they definitely help when in an interview scenario. Wearing something classy and professional will show that you are serious about the job – this might be obvious, but some people are too quick to dismiss the power of a good suit or classy dress. Turning up dressed for success is a great way to show you are invested in the interview and you have put the effort in – this effort does indeed go a long way. The potential employers will definitely appreciate you making yourself look presentable, especially in an office environment where it is almost always compulsory to look somewhat put-together.
5. Smile and use positive body language
Your potential employers will be more likely to hire you if you come across as an open and approachable person. Not sitting with your arms folded is a pretty obvious one, but many people get nervous and forget to do one vital thing – smile! This is a great way to show that you are friendly, enthusiastic, and ready to go. Never underestimate the power of a genuine smile, your potential employer will much prefer a toothy grin to a tired grimace. Add a firm handshake, looking engaged and interested, and you’re onto a winning combination.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed in an interview, but these tips can definitely help. If you’re confident in your own abilities, your enthusiasm should begin to shine through once you start talking. Even if you feel underqualified for the role, confidence is key and as long as you smile, it won’t be so bad. Just remember that you are your own worst critic, so don’t be too harsh on yourself. Enjoy the interview, even if it turns out to be unsuccessful, you are still learning and practicing each time. Take away some positives and improvements from each interview so you can prepare yourself better each time.
6. Research the company
Ensure that you have done your research into the company that you are applying for. This may involve researching their website and online presence such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Take note of their new opportunities and their current areas of focus. Being able to demonstrate your knowledge about the company shows that you have a genuine interest in them. During your interview, point out areas of their website that you find interesting and can potentially relate to in some way. Further, you could point out areas of their business that you would be interested in finding more about. Knowing a lot about the company is always a great way to make conversation with your interviewer.
7. Demonstrate your skillset by using examples
In order to demonstrate how your skill set fits with the job role, provide some examples of when you have actively used these in practice. An easy way to set these experiences out is by using the STAR technique. First, explain the situation you were faced with. Secondly, set out the task you were presented with. Then, explain what actions you took in order to complete these tasks and finally describe the outcome. Using this technique allows you to cover every aspect of the example and shows how you effectively dealt with it in a structured and easy to understand manner. Simply stating that you are good at solving problems quickly is somewhat plain and uninteresting on its own. Describing situations to the interviewer illustrates that you are not just relaying skills that you researched online, it demonstrates that you have real-life experience which is vitally important in a professional role.
8. Ask the interviewer questions
At the end of your interview, make sure that you ask the interviewer questions, this shows that you are serious about the job and want to know more about the role. You could ask questions such as ‘what do you like most about working here’, or ‘what training opportunities do you provide’. Asking questions also ensures that you are happy with the role and that it would be the right fit for you. Finding a job that is right for you is essential and ensures that both you and the company operate well together. The opportunity to ask questions also allows you to fill gaps in your knowledge about the company and ensure that any worries you may have are answered.