tips to succeed in an interview
First impressions count
. Greet your interviewer with a smile and firm handshake. Give eye contact. Try to make small talk during the walk from the reception area to the interview room. Liz Anderson, a human resources manager says, You have to sell yourself before you can sell anything else and the first 30 seconds are when the interviewer subconsciously makes decisions about whether they like you or not and whether you will fit into the team.
. Reread your CV and the job advert just before the interview. Do your research thoroughly Look at the company web site or obtain literature. You may be asked about the salary you are after so make sure you research that as well.
. Answer questions properly even if you need a few moments silence to collect your thoughts. Anderson advises, Its better to say you need a minute to think about your answer rather than speak instantly and regret it afterwards.
Why should they hire you
. Most job adverts will list qualities theyre looking for a team worker, a good communicator so its up to you to think of examples of how you can demonstrate these skills. Be ready to talk about your knowledge, experience, abilities and skills. Have at least three strong points about yourself that you can relate to the company and job on offer.
. Your interviewer will be thinking about what it would be like to work with you, so the last thing theyll want to hear is you talking about your boss or current colleagues behind their back. Interviewers like to see someone who enjoys a challenge and is enthusiastic.
Remember your body language
. It is not what you say, but how you say it. During the interview, do not fold your arms and lean back or look to the floor! Sit upright and try to maintain good eye contact. Use your hands and lean forward when making a point. Many people cannot think and control their body language at the same time, which is why you need to prepare.
Expect the unexpected
. Your interviewer may try to catch you off guard A survey by OfficeAngels has revealed that 90 per cent of employers ask killer questions in interviews. It is impossible to plan for every difficult question, such as How would your colleagues describe you? but try to appear relaxed and in control. Ask the interviewer to repeat the question if necessary but do not evade it. Hopefully you will not befall the fate of those job candidates at B&Q who we
. Show energy, a sense of humour and smile. Jean Smith, a social anthropologist says Its infectious, being positive and enthusiastic. Ask your interviewer questions about themselves and any issues the business is facing.
Clarify anything you are unsure of
. If you are not certain what are meant by a particular question, ask for clarification. At the end, ask the interviewer if there is anything else he or she needs to know about. Do not be afraid to ask when you are likely to hear if you have been successful or not.
Remember your manners
. It is better to choose than to be chosen. Tell the interviewer why you are interested in the company and job opportunity. Ask them for a business card and follow it up by sending a thankyou email or letter, saying how much you enjoyed meeting them and how interested you are. Take the opportunity to detail the key advantages you bring.
Making an impression
. It is often said that the interviewer makes up their mind within 30 seconds of you walking through the door and then spends the rest of the interview justifying that decision. Behavioural psychologists call it the halo or horns effect.
Advice on asking questions
. Always have some questions ready for the interviewer it looks bad if you have not prepared at least a couple of questions. It is best not to ask detailed questions about terms and conditions until you have been offered the job. Instead, try to ask about things that will show your keenness for the position.
Answering difficult interview questions
. Try to anticipate the less obvious questions you may be asked about your skills and achievements and reinforce your replies by giving tangible examples. If you need a moment to think about your response, do not be afraid to respond with thats a very interesting question, I would like a moment to think about that, or ask the question to be repeated. Answer questions as directly as possible, dont be tempted to waffle. Techniques, such as the STAR t
Plan Your Professional outfit
. The night before the interview day, it is always good to plan what you are going to wear. It need not be expensive clothing; just something neat, formal and professionallooking is enough. Make sure, however, that you feel comfortable in what you are going to wear and you dont feel like being a soul in somebody elses body. Keep your clothing style as modest as possible and make sure you avoid wearing too may accessories and overdoing it. Neutral c
Make a list
. Create a checklist with all the necessary things you have to prepare and to bring with you in the interview. Remember to bring an extra resume, just in case the interviewer asks for it even though you have already submitted one. Also, keep a pen and paper handy, because you may need to write something.
Make a research
. Before going to the interview make a research on the company. Check out their website to see information such as how long they have been in the business what is the structure of the company, its nature and everything else you need to know to make you feel comfortable while talking with the interviewer and be able to answer questions, in a professional way, showing you have a familiarity with the company. If the interviewer asks something you dont
Be on Time
. Arrive ten to fifteen minutes earlier in order to have time to relax and reduce your anxieties and worries.
Give a smile to everyone
. Smile at everyone who greets you while you are on your way to the building and while waiting for the interview to start. Youll never know if one of the persons you will bump into is your interviewer. And after all, being nice can only bring positive outcomes.
Be Considerate and Courteous
. When its your time to be interviewed, be sure your cell phone is turned off or in silent mode. Extend a handshake and wait till you are asked to take a seat before sitting down.
. Feel good about yourself and remember that you are there because your potential employer has seen something in you that would assist the companys interests. So this is a reason to feel confident already. As long as you know what you have written in your resume, and everything reflects the truth, you dont have to feel insecure. Now its your chance to prove to them that they made the right decision to call you for an interview and as a consequence
Make your long stories short
. While it is understandable that you need to sell yourself, overdoing it with long conversations that usually get offtopic isnt going to impress your interviewer but on the contrary is going to annoy her or him. Keep your answers short and simple but with valuable content. Be attentive and listen first to what the interviewer has to say before you answer and never interrupt her or him before she or he has finished what was saying.
. It is almost a common procedure at the end of every interview for the interviewer to ask if you have any questions to ask. Most of the times, this is an awkward situation for the interviewee because she or he doesnt know how to react. See it as an opportunity and ask sensible questions and address concerns that you may have in mind but avoid asking issues you have already discussed about, except if you need further clarifications about a specific
. Usually, the interviewer informs you about when to expect a notification. If not, dont be afraid to ask when you will be notified, asking also if it is ok to call them to follow up, in case you dont hear from them. This is a good way to avoid limiting yourself with waiting for an answer for that job, while you may want to contact other companies that have called you up or they expect you to give them an answer. If the turnaround time has already
Know the basics
. There are only three main questions an interviewer wants to ask Can you do the job? Will you do the job? Will you fit in? Structuring your planning around these three areas, will help you to cover the most crucial issues likely to be covered during the interview, and give you the chance to prepare your key statements and responses to market yourself most effectively. Can you do the job? Questions in this area are intended to probe your background
Always arrive 20 minutes early
. This will ensure that you are not nervous and will give you plenty of time to prepare.
Make up your mind to try and smile
. Smile through the interview because this is your final examination, you are not going to get the opportunity for a rain check, and therefore, you are going to get that job if your life depended on it.
Be sure you are well groomed
. Men Avoid colouring your hair to make a good impression. There is nothing worse than a man trying to pass off as a younger man.Women You can mostly get away with it it is sometimes even recommended.
Talk about your achievements
. How your involvement saved or made the company money, reduced expenses, solved problems, saved time, trained users, show value to your employer.
. You are the expert on what you have done. dont be shy about your abilities.
. Many firms require a psychological test, or a series of such tests, as part of the application procedure. The tests most commonly used are those that indicate intelligence or general aptitude. In addition, some firms use tests that give them information on specific aptitudes, personality traits, and interest patterns. If you are a recent school graduate, you are probably used to taking tests. But if you have been away from school for some years,
You and the interview
. Let the employer control the interview. Your answers should be frank and brief but complete, without rambling. Avoid dogmatic statements.Be flexible and willing but give the employer a clear idea of your job preferences.Stress your qualifications without exaggeration. The employers questions or statements will indicate the type of person wanted. Use these clues in presenting your qualifications. For example, if you are being interviewed for an en
Before the interview
. As the saying goes knowledge is power. Its even more powerful in a panel interview where questions are being fired left, right and centre. Make sure you study the job specifications and your CV and prepare as far as possible for likely questions.At a minimum, the interviewers will expect you to have knowledge of the job role, the company, its products, services and competitors, how its viewed and issues within the market. Such information can be
The day of the interview
. The golden rule of a panel interview is to engage with the whole panel, not just one specific member of the group. When you first get into the room, look at all of the interviewers, try and remember the names of each and address them accordingly. Shake them firmly by the hand if youre standing and then wait to be invited to take a seat. When sitting down, maintain an open, positive and engaged body position. Dont fidget, sit up straight and lean
. Practicing what youre going to say and how youre going to say it will help you speak confidently about your skills and accomplishments. Its a good idea not to memorize what you want to say. Instead, figure out which key points you want to focus on.Review the questions youve come up with and the situations youve described in the previous section. Decide which situations would make good responses to the questions. Practice answering the questions u
. How you present yourself in the interview your appearance, attitude and body language is vitally important. Its normal to be anxious but acting as if youre confident, even when you arent, can have a positive effect on both you and the interviewer.
. The interview is also your chance to show your positive attitude and your communication skills.Turn off your cell phone when you arrive at the interview and leave it off until you leave. Use a pen and paper to make notes, rather than a laptop or other device.Follow the interviewers lead. Even unusual or irrelevant questions get asked for a reason.Listen closely to the questions so you can answer them accurately. If you dont understand a question,
First Make the Fit Test
. Be absolutely clear for yourself that the role and company youd like to apply for really fits with your skills, career track, professional and personal objectives, beliefs and experiences. Conversely check, if you might match with the culture and needs of the company youd like to join. If theres no perceived fit already in this very first step, do not move on and do not waste your nor anyone elses time by wanting to conduct an interview. Only if
Research the Target Company
. To be well prepared is half the victory. Still, Im surprised how many candidates would arrive at interviews, even for senior level positions, and not having studied our values, mission statement, leadership principles, products, etc. Why would they have not reviewed our Internet site, not read our latest press releases, why would they have no idea about what our competitors are doing, what our current and future challenges could look like? Dont g
Know Your interviewer
. Today its easier than ever to collect information about your interviewers. Spend 4050 minutes on Google, Linkedin, etc. and you should be clear about titles, roles, careers, etc. of all the people wholl interview you. If not, ask the person whos responsible of organizing the interviews and/or with whom youre in contact to provide you some background information about the people youll meet. Addressing interviewers with their names and implicitly o
Adjust Your Appearance Style and Tone
. Imagine youre wearing a shortsleeved shirt, no tie and a casual pair of trousers when meeting for a job interview with one of the countrys top insurance companies? Or, imagine for the fun of it you took out your favourite Brioni business suit for an interview with the founder and CEO of the hottest Internet startup around who is one of those Harvard dropouts and who is absolutely not interested in any status symbols. Beyond these more obvious t
Stay OpenMinded Positive And Always Engaged
. Regardless of how the interview goes or what you think how it goes as these two are often dissimilar, your composure should display interest, engagement, and friendly openmindedness. Consider the interview as an opportunity to learn and to grow. Regardless of the outcome. Whilst paying attention and asking questions, of course, you are allowed to smile. By the way, please do not forget about your body language. Communication often is not only ab
Be Yourself And Do Not Pretend
. You should not try being everyones darling or pretending being someone else just to get the job. Neither in life in general, nor in an interview in peculiar. Sure, as mentioned previously, you would need to adapt and to show that you understood what the company, the role, and the interview is all about. Saying that, never give up easily your core values and convictions. Be ready to enter a good and constructivelyled discussion with different poin
Finish The Interview In Style
. The last part of a good interview usually starts with the candidate asking some smart final questions. For example questions about the more overall strategy of the company, about what the interviewer considers as being crucial for being successful on the job if not covered beforehand, or if clarification is needed about the role and its specifics. Either way, you should have written down a list of both more generic and more specific questions.
Two More Things Many Candidates Forget About
. Firstly, nothing wrong with, if you send to the interviewers or at least to the principal interviewer a short mail after the interview and thanking again for the interviews and mentioning that you would be looking forward to receiving their answer. This should be done, however, in a short and nonhyperbolized manner. Secondly, and this is very relevant in case you had not gotten the job, you should contact the company to ask for a personal and d
. Try to give more than a 3 word answer to each question. The examiner wants to hear you talk more than the interviewer. The examiner cannot easily give you a score if you only say yes and no.
Speak slowly audibly and clearly
. If you tend to speak fast when youre nervous, try to speak slower. Youll be understood bettter. If you usually have a soft voice, make an effort to speak louder. Its impossible for an examiner to give you a score if s/he cant hear you.
Prepare your answers
. You can never know exactly what you will be asked, but there are numerous questions which consistently come up at interview and by using the internet and doing your research you can have a bank of answers ready for most questions. There will always be questions that surprise you, but if youve thought through your work history, prepared examples and know your CV inside out, then you should be able to answer everything competently.
Research the company
. In almost every interview situation, you will be asked, at some stage, to confirm what you know about the organisation to which you are applying. The detail and complexity of your answer depends on the role you are applying for and the level of seniority, but it is critical that you demonstrate that you have done your homework and understand the company, the market and the competitor landscape. Their website is always a good research tool and if
Plan your journey
. It is astounding how many people turn up late for an interview, because they got lost. Know the address, print out a map and if possible do a trial run so you know exactly how long it will take to get there. Always take the main reception telephone number with you, in case of an emergency, and give yourself plenty of time.Once the interview itself arrives, make sure you follow the lead of the interviewer. Dont try to use all the examples you have
. Have all the required papers and documents ready and organized well before. Nothing is more offputting than seeing a candidate scrabbling for papers in the interview room.