Our top five tips to help you shine at interview
Preparation prevents poor performance
Know your stuff – and their stuff too! Interview preparation certainly means reviewing your career and your skills alongside the job spec, and drawing out plenty of information to sell yourself – but don’t neglect to do some wider research on your potential new employer too. Read up, follow their social media accounts and get in touch with any contacts you have there; make sure you know where the company is heading, what their values are, and how they fit into their business environment.
Show us your teeth!
We’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again – first impressions count for a lot. To get an interview started on the front foot, come in with good eye contact, a confident posture, and a smile. Not only will you get off to a good start, but acting confident, can actually make you feel more confident. It even applies to phone interviews – you can hear a smile in your voice too!
Practice makes prominent…
Interview practice is crucial preparation, and while it might not guarantee perfection, it will ensure that all those examples and answers you need are at the forefront of your brain. As cringy as it might feel, sit down with a friend, partner, or family member and get them to throw a bunch of typical interview questions at you. It’ll help you think on your feet, and expose those areas where you need to do a bit more homework too.
Question the questioner
An interview is just as much your opportunity to discover if a role and company will be a good fit for you, as the other way around, so seize the opportunity. It’s best to come prepared with some astute questions in mind (think ‘what are the prospects for professional development?’ rather than ‘how long do I get for lunch?’) Never leave without asking at least one question, or you risk looking disinterested in them, and indifferent about your own career.
Take time to send a little thank you after the interview, demonstrating not only your impeccable manners, but also your level of interest in the role. It can even provide you an opportunity to address any points or concerns raised at the interview – and might just help swing the balance between you and another candidate.