You’ve had the phone call or email congratulating you and inviting you to the next step: The dreaded Interview. Now your dream job hangs on your ability to convince someone you’ve never met that your best thing since sliced bread. It can be a daunting and stressful experience but we’re here to help ensure you stand out from the crowd, in the right way of course. Follow this handy guide to acing your job interview and get yourself that next role!
Before you even think about getting into the interview room or joining the zoom chat it’s absolutely crucial to research both your role and the company. One of the most common questions that interviewers begin with is “what do you know about the company?” You don’t want to fall at the first hurdle now do you? Find out some basic information from the company’s website, when they were founded, how widespread they are etc. Another great tip is to find out their most recent news and accomplishments. These might not necessarily be on the website itself so check out their socials for the most recent company news. The company values can also be beneficial to look for when researching for a job interview – maybe they’re committed to certain charitable works that you could mention or are environmentally conscious. All this information will demonstrate to the interviewer your interest in the company and start your interview off on the front foot.
With regards to researching the role itself, your best friend is often the advertised job specification. If there’s something about it that you don’t understand then make a note of it and try and research exactly what it means. If you still can’t gain any clarity on what exactly the term or exact job requirements are then you can always keep it in mind for when the interviewer inevitably asks if you have any questions.
Once you’ve done some research and feel you know a bit about the company you want to work for it can be a good idea to take a bit of time to prepare some answers. Interview questions vary from job to job but it all effectively comes down to “Why do you want this job?” and “why are you the best candidate?” Have a go at preparing answers to these questions. Think about how you can use your previous experience, qualifications and anything else to give the best possible answer, maybe write down what you come up with either in fluent prose or in bulletproof form. It can be helpful to have some notes to refer to.
Don’t be put off by unanticipated Questions
Once you’ve created some preprepared answers and notes think about the varying ways they could twist or change the question. At the end of the day, the point of a job interview is for you to explain why you are most suitable for the job, regardless of what the exact wording of the question being asked is. Once you’ve taken the time to understand and set out your key selling points then it’s a simple matter of twisting any question you’re asked to fit them in, referring to your past experiences as evidence. For more tips on exactly what to talk about in a job interview check out this article.
Once you’re feeling as prepared as you possibly can be for the interview it can be useful to practice what you’re going to say out loud. Experiments show that speaking out loud not only helps to work out how to put across what we want to say but also improves our ability to remember it. Whether it be asking someone else to ask you the questions and you practice answering, recording yourself and listening back to it or simply speaking aloud to yourself, practicing your interview questions will improve your fluency as well as making you feel more confident.
That being said, It’s important not to dwell on any mistakes you might make in recordings. It’s usual to feel nervous before an interview and so any minor trips in fluency are to be expected and not to be overly fussed over. Furthermore, we are not suggesting that you attempt to commit large passages to memory and then regurgitate them word for word. Bullet points and shorter phrases are much more useful when preparing for a job interview and even then, you shouldn’t worry about repeating them verbatim. The content and conveying your job suitability are much more important than memorising prewritten paragraphs.
Just as important as what you say is how you say it. In a job interview, the interviewer is looking for someone who is interested in doing the job and doing it well. You could have the best-written CV in the entire country, if you show up to your interview dressed inappropriately and acting bored then the chances are you’re not going to get the job. Dress smartly according to the company dress policy, for more details on exactly what to wear to a job interview see this article.
Body language and how you put yourself across is crucial to acing your job interview. You need to show enthusiasm for the company and the role you’re applying to. We don’t mean bouncing up and down on your seat in abject excitement or laughing wildly at any weak joke the interviewer might make. Instead, try and come across as friendly and interested. Smiling and nodding while the interviewer is explaining the ins and outs of the role/company make you seem approachable and interested. Asking thoughtful questions further conveys that you’re taking in everything the interviewer has to say.
Don’t Give Up!
Even if you ace your interview there’s still a chance that someone else might get the job. There could be numerous reasons why this could be but it’s important not to dwell on missing out. If there were any mistakes you felt you made, whether it be in terms of fluency or struggling to answer a question make a note of them so you can do better next time. Don’t beat yourself up about it, it happens to us all. What matters next is that you’re not disheartened and you keep up job-searching!
If you’d like to give yourself the best chance of landing your dream job, contact us for a free CV consultation today. With services including CV polishes, rewrites, Linkedin profiles and cover letters we offer a complete toolkit to YOUR Career success.