You’ve found a job advertisement for your dream job. You’ve submitted a killer CV; check. Your cover letter ticked all the right boxes; check. And then, after a brief silence you receive the reward. You’ve just received a call for an interview. Brilliant! Now what?
The interview is the make or break process where the recruiter makes a decision based on his or her impression of whether you are the right person to hire for the job – which is why the interview is widely acknowledged to be the most stressful part of the job search process. This is your big moment to shine and so you’ll want to do your very best at this stage because the interview is the culmination of all your job search efforts.
So here are my four top tips to help you help you ace that interview.
1. Do your research
A sure fire way to make a good impression at the interview is to do your research on the company you’re applying to. This could be anything from its strategic direction, competitors or latest advertising campaign. Good research will equip you with material to answer many of the questions the interviewer will ask and will show that you are genuinely interested in working for the organisation. A standard question for most interviewees is how your skills can benefit the company. If you know a thing or two about the company, you will find it a lot easier to answer this question in the context of the job and its value to the organisation. Plus demonstrating how much you know about the company will go a long way to impress the interviewer.
2. Dress like you mean business
The interviewer will notice everything about you in the first few seconds of meeting you – so make the effort to dress appropriately for the role you’re applying for. You don’t have to wear a suit but it’s always best to dress in clothing that does not overwhelm or distract the interviewer from what you have to say. No matter what the company tolerates from their employees clothing wise, the dress code for applicants should be smart and lean towards creating a professional impression at all times.
3. Watch your body language
Many interviewers will be watching for what your body language reveals about you throughout the interview. They will be looking for deeper clues about your personality from the way you act, speak and move. Keep your palms open and avoid crossing your legs or your arms together. Don’t be afraid to make eye contact while speaking; just make sure that you don’t come across as intimidating by appearing to stare. It would be abnormal to adopt totally new body language during the interview – however, a measure of self-awareness about your body language is useful so that at least you communicate openness and honesty.
4. Be Confident
Walk in with a purpose. Answer with a purpose. Try not to be too self-conscious. Make sure you are confident in what you say. Confidence often reflects competence. Even if you hit a snag during the interview, make sure you handle the situation confidently – even when saying that you do not know an answer to a question.
Employers always look for competent people to join their ranks.