You’ve found an ideal job and you’ve been asked to go for an interview – so what do you do next? What can you do to make sure you’re at your very best? What can you do to make yourself stand out?
According to this survey the biggest mistake made at job interviews is the interviewee having little or no knowledge of the company they’re applying to work for. Two other high ones are failing to make eye contact and the way we dress and act.
To get to the point, there are actually a lot of factors during an interview that will help an employer to determine whether you’re right for the job. And sometimes, it can be very hard to know where to start.
Over the past couple of years I’ve had my fair share of interviews and in every one I’ve been told one thing – I’m good at interviewing. So much so that I’ve got a little book of tips and tricks that I always refer back to when I’m preparing for an interview.
Now you may be job hunting or you may not – you may be in a job you love or you may be studying – but wherever you’re at in life, it’s always good to have a few useful tips to help you out along the journey of your career. Plus, you never know what’s round the corner. So here are some great tips that I know will help you ace every job interview you have.
Prepare your questions and answers
Interviews don’t have to be as hard as you think they are you know. You can remove all the worry and stress of being in the actual interview by preparing your questions and answers.
Scrutinise the job description and go through it bit by bit – figure out what they could ask you. Does it list what skills you’ll need? They’ll ask you when you’ve used them. Every single sentence in that job description you can change into a question. Then for each question you come up with, answer it by tailoring your answers directly to the job description and memorise them. Then on the day, you’ll be prepared and that is the first step to success.
Research the company
One question you will always be asked in any interview is “so what do you know about the company?” Even if you just have a couple of sentences, always have in your mind something you’ve read about the company. When were they established? What’s their mission statement? And the key factor – what do they do? It sounds simple, but the statistic above is a pure example.
(Two other questions you'll always be asked will be "tell me about yourself" and "why do you want the job".)
Plan everything beforehand
You’ll be nervous the night before your interview so you won’t want to spend it getting everything ready will you? Make sure you plan your journey in advance. If you’ve got to travel, make sure you know the route or book your train tickets in advance. I’ve even practiced the route for some job interviews just so I knew exactly where I was going. Another thing to do is keep an eye on the weather and plan your outfit the night before. Wear something you feel comfortable and confident in. Something they’ll remember you in. I’ve worn my blue coat to my past few interviews, because I love it and because people might remember me in it.
Eat and take water
When you’re nervous your mouth dries up, which means if you don’t have a sip of water before you go into your interview, your voice might crack. Always take a bottle of water with you. It’ll cool you down, calm you down and prepare you for half an hour of talking constantly. And eat a good meal before you go – there’d be nothing worse than your stomach rumbling loudly in the middle of an interview!
Four Best Body Language Tips
1. A firm handshake
A flimsy handshake is a sign of laziness and if you grip too hard you might come across as a bit too excited! Having a firm handshake shows you’re confident and ready to be interviewed.
2. Eye contact
The biggest positive sign of body language in an interview. If you can’t look your future employers in the eye, they won’t hire you. If there’s one person interviewing you, look them in the eye. If there’s a panel, look all of them in the eye, not just the one that asked you a question. They’ll find you easier to talk to, you’ll come across as open and once again – your confidence will shine through.
Oh how employers love a good smile! Don’t come across as a cheerleader but do smile and have a chuckle now and then. Employers aren’t just finding out whether you can do the job – they’re looking to see if you as a person will slot nicely into their company.
4. How you sit
This is another important one. I know it’s quite obvious to say don’t slouch, but also, don’t sit on the edge of the chair. Sit right back in it and put your hands on your lap, clapsed, with your two index fingers against each other and pointing outwards. This is what’s called the power stance. It gives across just enough authoritativeness and confidence to your hopefully future employer and basically tells them, “I’m here, I'm ready and I can do this.”
Just be you. Listening, positivity and honesty are the three things that should help to make you stand out. A lot of factors we don’t even know about will help employers determine whether or not you get a job, but if you let your personality come out in your answers, more and more boxes will be ticked.
Then sooner or later, you’ll have more boxes ticked than everyone else.
Do you have any other job interview tips?