Interview are a great way for you to put a face to the piece of paper that has so far represented you, as well as an opportunity for you to sell yourself to a prospective employer. As it is a crucial and valued part of the recruitment process, here are a few useful tips which will help you perform to the best of your ability:
Although an interview is often worded as being a ‘chat’, it is the sort of chat that requires a lot of preparation because often there is a standard set of questions that are asked in all interviews.
So not only should you think about what questions could be asked and how you should articulate an answer, you should also do some research. You need to base your tailoring of interview answers based on the company and job role, so re-read the job description and read up on the company – usually their website is a great place to find out what you need to know. Try and analyse what you are reading to see if you can gage some perspective of what the company culture is like, so that you can see if you think you fit into that and if so, how you intend to demonstrate it in your interview.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
Your answers are not the only thing that will determine what impression you give to your employer, the way you look will as well. Dressing smartly and professionally is always advisable as it shows that you are professional and that you are taking it seriously. A good tip if you are a smoker is to ensure that you do not smell of smoke when entering your interview as it does not look very professional but is a common problem as nervousness prior to an interview often makes people smoke.
You also need to be aware of your body language, you want to be professional and strong but you need to be careful that it does not translate to it being arrogance. The best things to remember is to avoid crossing your arms as this shows defensiveness, and to always maintain a good level of eye contact.
3. Tips during the interview
Remember your manners. When you meet people shake their hand and if necessary, introduce yourself. Refer to people by their names, if you cannot remember, apologise for forgetting their name and ask them what it is. These things are very basic but do not go unnoticed.
Also try and ensure that you have a glass of water. Not only is this actually great if you are thirsty or your nerves are making your throat dry, but it can buy you some time. For instance, if you need to think about an answer you can take a sip of water which buys you some thinking time.