So, your CV has impressed your potential employers enough to get your foot in the door, but now for the hard part – the interview. It’s the golden opportunity to show the company that you are the best person for the job and the chance to really sell yourself as the perfect employee. It’s little wonder then that many of us struggle in an interview situation – faced with the pressure, it’s easy to make small mistakes that could impact your chances of getting the job of your dreams.
We’ve rounded up our top tips on acing that interview – now, take a deep breath…
Do your research
Businesses want to find someone that will fit in with their values and culture, so doing some research beforehand will give an insight into their company ethos. Take a look at their website, media coverage and LinkedIn pages to get a feel for them, as it will make it easier to build up a rapport with your interviewer if you already have a solid idea of where they’re coming from. It also means that you can match your achievements and knowledge to what they are looking for. For example, you’re sure to impress by saying something like “I noticed that your productivity rates rose last year when you implemented a new software solution. I have prior experience with Time Management systems and appreciate your approach to becoming more efficient.”
Although there are no guarantees as to what you’ll be asked, there are some key questions that are likely to crop up. Having answers prepared pertaining to your key strengths, ambitions, examples of work and your background is a good start, so have some short, strong statements in mind to avoid being caught out. Another good idea is to read through the job description thoroughly and identify examples of your prior experiences that show off the requisite skills.
Even if you don’t feel confident, ‘fake it until you make it’. Stand tall, make eye contact, and speak clearly and concisely. Your potential for success lies in the delivery and the quality of your answers, so stay calm and focused. Take a pause before answering to consider your response and keep it straight to the point. Many people struggle to talk about their successes as they feel boastful, but this is your chance to show off your skills and knowledge – believe in yourself!
Watch your body language
Even if your answers are spot on, your body language can speak just as loudly as your words. Employers frequently cite that a positive attitude is one of the crucial factors in choosing to hire a candidate, so be mindful of how you are coming across to your interviewers. Leaning slightly forward indicates interest, whilst using hand gestures reinforces and shows confidence in what you’re saying. As long as you seem engaged, confident and positive, you will already be on your way to making a good impression.
These may all sound like nothing more than common sense, but you would be surprised by how many candidates trip over on the minor details. Above everything, remember just to relax – it’s also a chance for the company to show what they can offer you. Good luck!