You’ve sent in your resume and out of the 100’s of people that might have applied, you’ve been chosen to move ahead in the process. Now it’s down to business..
For most of us, interviewing is not second nature. It’s stressful, nerve wracking and doesn’t always result in getting the job. So what can we do to really optimise our chances in an interview and hopefully lead the conversation to a point where a job offer is forthcoming?
These are our 10 favourite interviewing tips.
1.Research, Research, Research
Fact: people like to talk about themselves. Hiring Managers are no different when it comes to talking about their companies. It’s a really good idea to know a bit about the company before you head in. This way, you can ask (or answer) insightful questions about their vision and how you might fit in to that. Read over their website, consider researching company news releases, their social media pages and even check out the LinkedIn pages of anyone you may be interviewing with.
Going into detail about the company in an interview shows interest – that you should take the time to read up on the company reflects well on your level of interest and shows that you’re the type of person that likes to be prepared.
2. Preparation is Key
Always. Not only does solid preparation make you feel more confident but it places you in better stead to make a good impression with your interviewers.
Practice the types of questions you will come up against (see our list of Common Interview Questions), know your resume / career history back to front, have a few of your best achievements on hand and you’ll nail it.
3. Dress The Part
Seems pretty logical, but you’d be surprised how often interviewees don’t dress appropriately. Given that first impressions really do last and it generally takes less than 10 seconds for someone to make an impression of you, why not put the best possible foot forward?
This also holds true for phone interviews. One of the first coaching tips we give for a phone interview is to get dressed properly. Most people ask “Why? They can’t see me?”
To which we respond “it doesn’t matter – getting dressed creates a self image and mentality for yourself just as much for the person you’re speaking with. If you’re well dressed and in the ‘corporate zone’, your answers are much more likely to be as well.”
4. Be on Time or Early
Pretty self explanatory – don’t be late. There’s nothing an interviewer (who has a job to do outside of interviewing people) hates more than having to wait for someone.
5. Be Confident
Aussies: sometimes we have this tendency to want to be hesitant of boasting about our achievements – that whole ‘tall poppy syndrome’ thing. Let it go for the interview. If there was ever a time to boast, this is it.
That doesn’t mean you should across as an arrogant know-it-all, but you need to be willing to emphasise your skills. If you do so in a way that is well backed up by examples, then you’ll look impressive without seeming egotistical.
6. Act like you Want the Job
Maybe you’re not 100% convinced on the company, the job or you might have been headhunted and aren’t sure if it is a better option than your current.
No matter what your hesitation, go in there and act like you want the job. An interview is not a job offer. Once you get the job offer, you’re in a much better decision to decide if the role is right for you. You won’t get the job offer if you don’t impress during the interview.
7. Set Social Media to Private
In a recent HR survey, it was found that over 90% of hiring managers / recruiters will check a candidate’s social media BEFORE they decide to interview.
With this in mind, either set your profile to private (friends only) or make sure that you have nothing visible that could potentially affect the way that people that don’t know you well might perceive you.
8. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Body Language
What is your body language telling a potential employer? Are you arms crossed, rejecting what they’re telling you? Or is your body language open and inviting?
Employers get a sense of where you’re at without you ever saying a word. For example – if your shoulders are relaxed, back and down you will come across as confident and open. If they are up around your ears or hunched, it will tell the interviewer you are stressed or not sure of yourself. If you can’t look them in the eye, they may think you aren’t being truthful.
Likewise in a conversation – leaning forward can indicate interest whereas leaning back can signal you’re disinterested. Be mindful of what your body is saying while your mouth isn’t moving.
9. Have a Conversation
LISTEN and RESPOND. Make sure you’re actually answering their questions and not just telling them what you’ve decided you want them to hear.
The conversation should be a discussion between equals, so make sure you don’t talk too much. Ask the interviewer questions and genuinely respond to the person sitting in front of you.
10. End with a Thank You
You would be amazed, shocked and possibly appalled by how often this doesn’t actually happen but even if you’re not sure it went well, always thank them for their time. Be professional. Another nice touch might be to email them a little note thanking them within 24 hours of the interview as a courtesy.