Everybody gets nervous when it comes to job interviews. You don’t always know what are the best things to say, what are the best questions to ask or even what to do with your hands. However, some easy tweaks to the way you prepare your outfit or even the way you introduce yourself can transform you into a much more hirable candidate in the interviewers’ eyes. Just follow Groomfield’s tips and tricks and you will truly ace your next interview!
Research the company. You might think this is not that important, as you’re there for a particular job, not the company per se. but especially at the beginning of the interview, you might encounter questions like:
- Why do you want to work at this company?
- What do you know about the company?
Make sure you know a bit about the company, their main competitors and the job that you are applying for – you don’t need to be an expert but do a bit of research on the history of the company and how it is run.
Tip: This is your chance to make a great first impression. Learn about the company’s background and the role you’ve applied for. You can find most of this online on Google, LinkedIn and the company’s social media.
Be there early. The best time to arrive is 15 minutes early. It gives you enough time to catch your breath and to get in the right head space before you check in at reception desk or meet with the interviewer.
Getting there 15 minutes early is a much more effective demonstration of your time keeping/travel organisation skills as opposed to turning up half hour early (which may not always be appropriate for the interviewer).
Tip: If possible, do a test run of the route before the day – consider traffic, time of day, parking and how these factors will affect your journey.
Dress to impress. First impressions are extremely important, so make sure you have clean hands/finger nails and try not to smoke before your interview, make sure you are remembered for the right reason.
If you’re in doubt about what to wear, dress smart – you look like you want the job more if you make an effort with your appearance. Generally, you want to wear professional, business attire. For men, this could mean a suit jacket and trousers with a shirt and tie. For women, this could mean a blouse and trousers or a professional dress.
Tip: Avoid wearing anything too bright or flashy.
Small World: As well as speaking to any mutual colleagues you may have encountered, employers will often use social networking sites to find out more about candidates’ personality.
- If you are a member of any social media sites ensure all publicly visible photos/posts/ blogs are not offensive in any way as your assessment may well have begun before you entered the building.
- Whilst en route to your interview be polite to anyone you meet especially outside the building. That person may well be your new employer
- Badmouthing about a previous employer/colleagues is a sure way to instantly be flagged as “negative towards co-workers”
Tip: There’s no need to bash your former employer or the company. It is all right to mention that your last job was not a good fit, but leave it that. For example, if your former boss is the main reason for you leaving the company, just explain that the management style was not ideal for you.
Focus on your body language: It’s not what you say it’s the way you say it.
Body language counts more than what you say, so pay attention to the following:
- Smile, engage with the people interviewing you, sit straight, make eye contact and never sit with your arms folded
- Nod your head from time to time to show you understand or agree
- Do not interrupt or speak over the interviewer
- Speak directly to the person who has asked you a question but make sure you do look at others in the room as well.
Tip: Smiling, head nodding, eye contact and a firm handshake is the most influential body language.
Don’t forget to Listen: During an interview, candidates are usually focused on answering the interviewer’s questions. But listening is just as important as answering the questions. If you don’t pay enough attention, you’re not going to be able to give a good response.
- If you misheard a question, ask politely to repeat it. If you didn’t understand the question, the interviewer won’t understand your answer.
- Take a breath, think through the question, and try to structure your answer so that it leads back to the question.
- If you need time, ask for a moment to think or take a sip of water – don’t sit in silence.
Tip: Ask for the interviewer for more information: When you are actively listening during an interview, you will realise when you need to ask for additional information so that you can answer effectively. This will also show the interviewer that you are engaged in the conversation.
Prepare some questions: You may be the one being interviewed but you also need to make sure that the company and job suits your needs.
- Ask questions that show you are interested in developing within the company, like whether there is the possibility for future training and what are their procedures for career progression is a good start.
- Try and save questions about holiday pay, sick pay, maternity/paternity leave until a later date as this will give the impression, you’re looking for a way out before you begin.
- Ask what the next stage is if you are successful and what sort of timescale you can expect a response.
Tip: Try to ask your questions while you are still seated with the interviewer. If you ask them as you get up or are walking out of the office, it might come off as a sign of nervousness or lack of confidence.
If you’re ready to put all the tips & tricks into use, make sure get your next interviw. Click here to view our most recent jobs.