10 Interview Tips to Nab That Job

In these harsh economic times, getting a new job is becoming increasingly tough!  So when you’re offered an interview, maximise your chances of landing the job with our tips below.

Be Prepared

Preparation is the single most important part to an interview and can be divided into two parts – researching the business, as well as reflecting on yourself.

Research the Business:

What do they do?  What are their strengths and goals?  How does this align with your strengths and goals?  If not, why do you want to work for them?

If you just need a job and never considered this when applying, prepare yourself with something to say when they ask why you want to work for them.  Do they have a prestigious/household name?  Do you like the benefits?  Do you know anyone who works for them who seems happy in their role?

It is easier to find out more about the role and interviewer now with everything online – check the company website, their social channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) and even search for your interviewer on LinkedIn.  Knowing more about the interviewer will mean you can better tailor your responses to them.  For example, you can use more technical talk and acronyms if you’re talking to your direct supervisor, but use a more general overview of tasks to a Human Resources advisor.

Reflect on Yourself: 

Know your skills and weaknesses.  Print out a copy of the job description and determine how you are able to address each criterion.  (Brownie points for bringing a copy of the job description and your resume to the interview – often interviewers have a lot of candidates and so having the written copy in front of them while you speak will help cement their memory of you.)

If you can have a friend test you with some questions, you’ll be more prepared for the day and will avoid any awkward silences.  Work out how to answer the dreaded “what are your weaknesses” question without resorting to an insincere cliché (eg. work too hard).

Punctuality

No matter how well you’ve prepared, if you’re late to the interview, the interviewer will be looking unfavourably on you before they’ve even met you.  In a tough job market, you’ve got to work so much harder to win them over.  It’s not impossible, but factoring in extra time to get there and being just 5 minutes early will save you a lot of work at the interview.

Respond to the Needs of the Position

During the interview it is essential that your speech as a candidate meets the needs of the vacancy.  Do you fill all of the desired criteria?  Great!  Chance are, most of your competition also tick all the boxes, so how can you bring added value?  Are there things you think you could help them improve? 

Ultimately the interviewer has a need and you’re there to solve it.  Tell them how you’ll solve their problem, rather than rehashing your experience and education (which would’ve been on your CV).

Ask Questions

Anything you couldn’t find in your research?  Ask the interviewer.  Find out more about the role – the day to day tasks, the size of the team, how long the interviewer has been at the company, what they like about working for the company, etc.

If charitable work is important to you, ask them about their corporate social responsibility programs.

Never say no when asked if you have any more questions, find something to ask.  The longer you can keep the conversation going, the more of an impression you’re able to make on the interviewer.

Confidence

Own your skills and abilities - show that you trust what you do, you're an expert in your field and are continually working towards your goals.  Just having confidence in yourself will make you more convincing to your interviewer.  Not feeling confident?  Practise beforehand; some find repeating positive affirmations into the mirror helpful.

Pay Attention to Your Tone

It's best to ensure that your tone is formal, but you still remain friendly and approachable.  Gauge the level of formality – if the interviewer seems quite laid back and is wearing casual clothing, you may be able to get away with less formality in the conversation.  Still, this is not license to get too comfortable with slang.  On the other hand, if you have a panel of interviewers in suits, ensure your tone matches the formality.

If you're concerned about getting a dry mouth during the interview and how that may affect your tone, bring a plain bottle of water with you.  

Listening is Crucial

During the interview you're under pressure so try to remind yourself during the interview to pay attention and listen carefully.  This ensures that you can give better tailored answers to the interview questions and avoid asking questions that have already been answered.

Sincerity, Humility and Honesty

In an interview is better be totally sincere and honest with your experience and your skills because lies are easily detectable for the interviewer.  And if the interviewer doesn’t trust you, they won’t hire you.  Sometimes it is ok not to have all the desired qualifications – if the interviewer likes you and thinks that you can learn on the job, you may still get the role.  Any interviewer worth his salt knows that skills can be trained, so instead hire for attitude and ability to learn skills quickly.

Control the Non-Verbal Language

During a job interview, the interviewer will not only evaluate your attitudes and work experience but also your non-verbal cues: gestures, how you carry yourself, how you sit, your posture, how you place your things.  Although you should be natural, try to sit up straight (this will also help portray confidence) and avoid fidgeting.

Dress for the Job

  • Generally speaking, it’s better to be overdressed for an interview than underdressed
  • If you’re being interviewed for a role that requires strong creativity, you can deviate from the plain neutral suits and dresses. 
  • Don’t forget your shoes: often you’ll remember to have your suit dry cleaned and have prepared your answers but the day of the interview comes and you throw on your old shoes!  Remember to give them a polish or buff the night before, as interviewers often notice if your shoes are not up to the same standard as the rest of your attire. 
  • Ensure shoes are comfortable; painful shoes are the last thing you want to be concerned about in the interview room.
  • Check your nails aren’t looking grubby and uneven, or give them a quick trim. 
  • For ladies with dresses or skirts, have a spare pair of hose handy in case!

 

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