The search for jobs can be very tough process but for many, attending an interview can be a daunting experience. It is important to prepare for your interview, because you are selling yourself to the employer and showing them why you’re the best candidate for the job. Therefore we have put together these helpful tips to help you succeed in your next interview.
Research the company
Make sure you do your homework on the company as you will most likely be asked questions specific to the company. You should learn about what the company does, and what their goals are. You can do this by looking at their website and social media pages, and reading the job description carefully to understand what the job involves and what will be required of you. This will help you to be able to answer questions related to the company, and adapt it to your own experiences which will impress employers.
Research yourself online
Not only should you research the company, but you should consider researching yourself online. It is becoming increasingly popular for recruiters to look up potential candidates on social media, or google to see whether the employee will fit into their company culture. Social media is a great opportunity to represent yourself as a brand, particularly on social media networks such as LinkedIn. Therefore you should look through your social media sites, and make sure there isn’t anything which could ruin your chances of getting the job.
You should research online the most popular interview questions, and practice answers to these questions. Some of the most common questions are:
“Tell me about yourself”
“Why do you work to work with us?”
“Have you ever worked as part of a team?”
“Why did you apply for this role?”
When you are answering these questions, it is good to use the star technique. The star technique stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Situation – describe the situation where your task or accomplishment took place
Task – explain clearly the objective and the challenge which occurred
Action – this is where you explain what you did, and the skills you used to complete the task
Result –explain the outcome (you should try to give an example which ends with a positive outcome)
This will help you to structure your answers, and to make sure you get all the right points across. You could ask a family member or a friend to ask you sample questions which you can practice answering.
First impressions are very important which is why you need to dress the part. You need to act and dress professionally to show the employers you are serious about the job, and you are going to be a positive representative of the company. Second chances don’t come around often, so if you’re not sure on the right attire you could contact the company and ask them about their dress code. This would be beneficial for you as you would not want to dress too formally for a company culture which is quite relaxed, and the employees wear casual clothes. However, most companies will usually expect the candidate to be dressed smart when attending the interview.
Arrive on time
In relation to first impressions, you would give the employer a very bad impression of you if you arrive late. Make sure you know where you’re going, and how long it will take to get there to ensure you will arrive on time. It is always good to try and arrive fifteen minutes early. This will allow you to relax and try to calm your nerves before the interview, rather than arriving right when they expect you and having to go straight into the interview.
Conveying positive body language and showing confidence are one of the most important traits to portray in an interview. Always be well-mannered, smile and be polite to all employees you’re introduced to during the interview. This will help you to stand out to the employer, as they’re less likely to want to employ someone who is slouching and fidgeting because it doesn’t make you seem interested in the job. Also try not to be perceived as overconfident, as arrogance can be very off putting to an employer.
Prepare questions to ask the interviewer
Employers always like it when candidates ask questions at the end of the interview. It will leave a good impression with the employer because it shows you’re interested in the job. It is best to think of questions that will make you stand out, and to show you have a real interest in the job. Some example questions could be:
‘What opportunities are there to progress within the company?’
‘Do you have any concerns about my potential to succeed in this job position?’
It is best not to ask the employer questions concerning salary or time off on holiday, until you are offered the job or if the employer brings it up. Asking inappropriate questions such as ‘what the company does’ could cost you the job.
By following the previous tips you should be well prepared for when you go for your interview. Being prepared and knowing your stuff inside out should help to ease your nerves. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep from the night before so you are well rested, and make sure you eat something at least an hour before your interview.