Regardless of your working history, academic success and suitability for the role, the interview process will always be the dividing factor between a job offer or an unsuccessful application. Many candidates stumble at interview stage and make mistakes that could have easily been avoided, preventing them from achieving the job of their dreams. These 7 simple steps below are designed as a clear checklist of interview pointers to ensure that your next job interview is a resounding success.
Look the part, act the part
It goes without saying that you should always dress as professionally as possible for a job interview, ideally as if you work in a bank or as a lawyer. If you’re ever in doubt about dress code, always dress ‘over-dress’ rather than ‘under-dress’, employers are never going to discount you for looking too smart. Additionally, make sure that you ‘act the part’, by ensuring that you shake hands with the interviewer, maintain eye contact, and speak clearly and articulately throughout the interview. Although these things may seem trivial, an interview is all about building a professional rapport with the interviewer, and looking and acting the part is a sure fire way to do this.
2. Know the company
Researching the company that you are interviewing for is vital for interview success. Whilst you should ensure that you know quantitative facts, such as any awards they’ve won recently or the year that the company was founded, it is crucial that you also understand qualitative information about the company. For example their principles, motivations, and what differentiates them from their competitors. It is unlikely that an interviewer will ask you to relay any specific facts about the company, however, being able to give an informed opinion on why you want to join the business will reflect well on you as a candidate.
3. Know the interviewer
This is a step that is often overlooked when preparing for an interview. Whilst it’s important to research the business that you are applying for, it can also be beneficial to look into the specific person that you will be meeting with. For example, if the interviewer is a senior member of staff that has progressed throughout the company, you can ask specific questions about their career path and how you would achieve a similar one if you were to join the company.
4. Know the role
Like with researching the company, it seems relatively straight forward that you should also research the role that you are applying for. It is, however, important to research the role with you as a candidate in mind. For example, find ways that you can pick out specific duties or achievements that you have done throughout your working, academic, or personal career that can be used as evidence of how you would exceed in certain aspects of the role. Additionally, look for areas of weakness in your CV with regards to the role and try to find ways that you can demonstrate that you will be able to meet these requirements.
5. Be specific
Using solid facts or statistics to support your successes is essential. Rather than saying what you have done, say what you have achieved. It will sound a lot more impressive and genuine if you are able to say, ‘I was a top performer in my team and consistently exceeded my targets of making 100 calls per day and 10 sales per week by 20%‘ as opposed to, ‘I worked in a call centre for 4 years and was responsible to managing a high volume of calls.’
6. Ask questions
Asking questions is probably the most important aspect of any interview and one that many candidates forget to prepare for. Asking questions about the company, the role, and how you would fit into the company shows that you are proactive and inquisitive, with a genuine desire to work for the business. Employers are always going to want to employ candidates who, not only show that they are really keen to join a business, but also who want to work for them for a long duration of time and asking informed and sensible questions will quickly demonstrate this desire.
7. Close the interview
The end of the interview will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer, so make sure to end on a positive note. Having said this, don’t be scared to be quite direct, for example by asking ‘I will be honest, I love the company and really want the role, do you have any concerns about my application?’ or ‘Are there any areas of my experience that you would like me to clarify?’ This gives you the opportunity to resolve any concerns they may have, as well as showing your genuine desire to impress and achieve a job offer.
If you would like any more advice, from interview
preparation to hiring the right candidate for your business, please do not
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