So you’ve got your CV in, answered everything requested of you on the online employment application form and you’ve been called up for interview…. FANTASTIC! Now all you have to do is show them what they could be missing if they don’t hire you!!
Remember an interview is a two-way thing.
- You have to impress a potential employer enough for them to want to hire you but also
- The employer has to impress you enough to want to work for them.
Think of yourself as a precious commodity. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and should rightly be picky about who and where you work, but don’t get to cocky about it, keep remembering that you still have to impress them as well!
So a few tips that have worked for me and most definitely worked for some of the people I have hired in the past:
Most importantly PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE
- Make sure you are organised and have researched the company and the role you are applying for
- Prepped your outfit for the interview – shiny shoes, clean outfit that fits the environment (If in doubt always wear a suit to an interview)
- Have your CV ready to take along with anything else that may not be found on the online sites.
- Make sure you know what you have written on your CV and that you can discuss your education, experience and achievements confidently.
- Check your online status’ – assume all potential employers will ‘Google’ you – check yourself out online before they do to make sure there are no surprises! LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, (the list is endless) check the information people can see about you – what do you want them to see?
- Make it easy for your interviewer to gather all the information they need while you are there.
Speak to your recruiters
- If you have been put forward via a head hunter / recruiter then question them about everything.
- Find out what format the interview will take – one-to-one, group session, will there be tests?
- Make sure you have a full job specification. Get a full brief from your consultant
- Find out what they have said about you – how have they sold you into the company to get you the interview? Is there anything you should be aware of?
Research the company
- Before you go for an interview find out as much as you can about the organisation.
- Check all avenues; websites, annual reports, company brochures, social media sites and the press.
Remember: First Impressions Count!
- Be on time – if in doubt get there early!
- Dress smartly and appropriately
- Smile Smile Smile and make the right eye contact when you meet your interviewer
- Be positive and enthusiastic
- Be honest and do not criticise previous employers or companies
- Be confident! Try to relax and show your sense of humour where you can.
Ask prepped and intelligence questions
- Prep these before you go – Raise relevant points during the interview and ask questions. It shows you are interested and inquisitive
- Think about your role and the company what do you need to know about them to make an informed decision on them to accept a job?
Honesty is the best policy!
- Do not lie on your CV or during the interview. You will get found out.
- Trust is important – If a prospective employer cannot trust you now, how can they be expected to when you are working for them?
- Be yourself and if you do not know the answer, admit it and suggest a solution to the problem. You are Human after all – you can’t know everything and it won’t be seen as a negative if you are honest!
- Be honest to yourself when completing psychometric tests. Don’t try to give the answers you think the employer wants.
Focus on the positives – Your achievements
- Where you can, quantify your achievements and give real examples that demonstrate your skills.
- Anything negative make sure you have a positive twist against it!
Essential Tips… to help you get a yes!
- Turn your mobile phone off. Annoying and embarrassing for you to have to fumble around to mute it.
- Don’t smoke before you go in. The smoke will linger and it can be very off-putting (if you have to smoke to calm your nerves – wash you hands thoroughly and make sure you have strong mints with you and make sure the smoke blows away from your clothes!)
- If you have a coffee before going in make sure you have mints with you as coffee breath is also not a good thing!
- Alcohol is a definite no-no – no matter how nervous you are.
- Smile, maintain good eye contact and try not to fidget. If you get a dry mouth ask for a water when they offer you a drink.
- Don’t answer questions with just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – End negative with a positive i.e. if you are asked for your greatest weakness, try to choose something that could also be seen as a positive.
- Be confident. Talk about your achievements – But, don’t be arrogant or too cocky!
- Don’t argue or lose your temper – no matter what the situation. Should you disagree or decide you are not interested in working for the company, complete the interview on a positive – better to leave with the company wanting to hire you than not. You can positively move on to the next interview then.
- Listen well to any questions you are asked and try to answer the question directly rather than waffling or going off track!
Remember to BE YOURSELF! There’s no-one better!