Top Tips for Interview Success
It’s always exciting to be offered an interview, but the reality can sometimes be quite nerve-racking.
So how do you successfully combat an interview and stand out from the crowd? Here are our top tips to success!
1. Arrive 15 early
Never arrive on time for your interview. Always aim to arrive at the office 15 minutes before. Any earlier than this is too early and 15 minutes allows for time delaying things such as registering at reception, getting a name badge, or just plain getting lost on the way there!
If you arrive earlier than 15 minutes before your interview don’t go to the office. Go straight to the nearest coffee shop and get a drink to help you pass the time. When it comes to a more acceptable time to arrive head to the office. If you haven’t finished your drink it’s fine to take it in with you and say you arrived early. This shows that you handled the situation and used your time effectively, rather than awkwardly sitting in reception for half an hour.
2. Don’t waffle
It is easy to panic in an interview, especially when posed with a question you’re not 100% confident to answer. However, if it’s not a short yes or no questions it’s completely acceptable to take a moment to think about what you’re being asked and how to answer it properly. It not only means your more likely to respond with a clear, concise answer but you also show the interviewer that you are actually listening to everything they have to say, which is very important if they could become your new boss.
3. Don’t wing it!
Believe it or not, most people ‘wing it’ at interviews. They’ll read the job advertisement once when applying for the job and after being offered an interview might scan the advert once again before going to the interview.
It’s important to prepare for your interview and make sure you really know what the job entails and have at least a rough understanding of the company you’ve applied to work for. Read through the job advert again and highlight any key points you think might be useful. If they have a company website it’s also wise to visit it and try and understand the role and company further.
Try and think what sort of questions they could ask you and mentally prepare answers for them. Simply taking this step will help you feel more prepared and relaxed. Lastly always have at least two questions to ask them. It’s a common ‘end of the interview’ technique to ask an interviewee if they have any questions. Having at least two shows you’re genuinely interested in working for them.
4. Be honest … ish
Ok so we’ve all extended the truth a little here and there to help us get that dream job, and as we’re all doing it it would seem that you could be shooting yourself in the foot by being completely honest, and to some extent we agree with that.
However, most of us have found that as our careers have developed some lies are just not worth saying.
We think it’s fine to say you know Excel and then run home and use it for the first time, but don’t tell them you’re advanced at it and will outshine everyone in the office if that’s really not the case. The key is to make sure your lies won’t effect the role once you land the job.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to know it all to get a job. No interviewer will expect you to be perfect. In fact they are more likely to doubt you if you appear too good to be true. Some honesty about what you know and need to learn more on helps you come across more human and honest, which in turn makes you a much more desirable candidate.
Easier said than done right? However coming across as relaxed and comfortable to your interviewers makes your chances of getting hired a lot higher.
It’s important to remember that the majority out there don’t like interviews either, and that includes the interviewer! Meaning they’re unlikely to be loving the awkward questions and one on one conversation too.
The solution to relaxing is to try and create a rapport with your interviewer. Exchange general chit chat like ‘how has your day been so far’ or ‘looks like a great office’. Remember that they’re human and already think you can do the role as that’s why you were given the interview in the first place. All you have to do is show them you’re a nice person to work with (and not a psycho) and verbally repeat all the skills you already mentioned on your cv.
And if you still can’t relax remember it’s an interview for them just as much as is it for you. If you don’t like them, you don’t have to take the job, there will be other roles. It’s just a case of finding the one that’s right for you!