Ten Interview Tips

A previous member of staff came to see me yesterday after being rejected following a job interview.  After a bit of a chat and a few questions about how she conducted the interview it was obvious there was some work to do.  Certain elements of her interview technique were all wrong and it got me thinking about whether or not others don’t know some of the very basics.  So, with that in mind here are ten quick tips:-

  1. Know the organisation.  Research what they do, what rules and regulations they have to follow.  Know this stuff like the back of your hand and understand it.
  2. Turn up early.  About 20 minutes will do – it’s just enough time to read through any notes you’ve made and so that you can calm down a little before your big moment.
  3. When the interview is under way, don’t feel you have to start talking the moment a question is asked.  Take a breath and repeat the question in your mind so that you can figure out what it is they’re asking and how you can give them the answer they’re searching for.
  4. Put yourself in their place.  If you were interviewing you, what answer would impress you?  Again, take your time and give them what they want.
  5. Use eye contact whenever possible – address your interviewers directly and don’t stare blankly into space whilst you’re talking.  Smile and appear friendly.
  6. Use open body language – try not to fold your arms or play with your paperwork or pen as this creates a physical barrier between you and them.
  7. Have a good reason why you want to work for this company/organisation and make it clear at interview.  Don’t just say you’re looking for new work because you hate your current job, even if you do.  Have a plan for where you want to be in x years time and be ready to talk about it.
  8. Remember this is a two-way conversation.  You might be after a job, but they are after an employee, and that makes their day equally difficult.  Get them to sell the job to you whilst you’re selling yourself to them, which leads to…
  9. …come up with a list of intelligent questions to ask your interviewees at the end.  ‘What is an average day in this role like?’, or ‘what is the office culture like here?’ are good starting points.  Remember, you need to be happy that this organisation is the one for you as well as them being happy that you’re their ideal candidate.
  10. If you’ve been told you’re going to hear about your interview after x days and you haven’t, get in touch with them.  It might be that you didn’t get the role, but don’t let them get away with not giving you feedback on your performance, as any advice given could be helpful in the future.  Additionally, you’ll appear more assertive and this could be useful if you get any future interviews with the same organisation.

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