Interviews are scary! But just remember, if the interviewer didn’t think you could be the right man or woman for the job, they wouldn’t waste their time contacting you – plus they do want you to succeed, as they don’t want to spend the next five months conducting interviews!
To calm your nerves before the big day, we have put together a small list of tips and tricks to keep up your sleeve to help you succeed.
The 5 E’s
Try to appear:
- Eager, but not outrageously so
- Experienced, but not overbearing
- Educated, but not overconfident
- Executive, but not arrogant
- Effervescent, but not blase
Know your stuff
Make sure you have another look at the job description, and conduct some research on how to present yourself professionally for that job. Use Google and LinkedIn to see if you can find any info about the interviewer and the business, as nothing is worse than sitting there not knowing what the company even does. Dress to impress by knowing the type of industry and of course research the address so you can be at least ten minutes early!
The following are the most common interview questions asked.
- Why should we hire you?
- What would you have changed about your previous job, and why?
- How did you handle a difficult situation in the past?
- If we hire you, what could you bring to the company?
- How would your skills and past work experiences be useful in this company?
Make sure you have a detailed answer for each of these, as they will form a backbone that can be tweaked to answer many different questions! Your goal is to provide detailed yet brief responses, and never lie or give one word answers. For some answers, make sure to use real-life stories about how you overcame problems and your accomplishments in the workforce.
First impressions count
When you are there, make sure to greet the interviewer by Mr/Mrs and their last name. Shake their hand warmly but firmly and remember to keep good eye contact. Sit up right and confidently, don’t fidget or tap your nails on the desk and always wait to be told to take a seat before doing so. And turn off that mobile phone! When you speak, don’t tell jokes, of course no swearing or talk about sex/race/religion/politics and talk in a calm and collected manner. No uhhh’s, ‘ummmm’s and ‘like’s – this will not present you in the finest of lights education and confidence wise, plus you will literally sound like a small child.
Your resume got you this far (always bring extras), don’t blow it by acting modest, you need to focus on your achievements. Pick at least five of these to bring up and let them know your abilities as a potential employee. It is a race after all, between you and possibly 100 others! Be confident, don’t seem desperate and don’t sell anyone else out (this includes your former boss).
Interview them back
There is always a time at the end for you to do the asking of the questions. ALWAYS ask at least one question here, if not it will look as if you are unprepared and frankly not that bothered about the job. Don’t ask about your salary until you have got the job, but try asking questions such as “Could you please describe the ideal applicant for this position?” or “What would I be expected to achieve in my first year with you?”. At the end, make sure you tell them you would love to be considered for the job or even ask for the job! Not many will have the courage to do that, and it might just set you above the rest!
Manners maketh the man
Always follow up on interviews (and any other business) with an email saying your ‘Thank you’s and that ‘It was nice to meet you, I hope I can be considered for the job’, within 24 hours.
Success in job interviews takes investigation, preparation, and determination. The more effort you put into the preparation, and the amount of determination and professionalism in the actual interview, the more success you will have in acquiring those job offers!