Some easy steps you should consider.
A job interview can be an incredibly daunting experience, but preparation is absolutely key. Here are a few of our top tips you can follow before the interview to ensure that you make a memorable impression to your potential employer:
- Get to know the employer
Take the time to learn about the business: their customers, products/services and priorities is hugely important. Your goal here isn’t to just recite what they do but to try to learn about how they see and positon themselves against their competitors. Understanding this context will demonstrate you “get” them and importantly, allow you to tailor your answers to be more relevant.
- Understand the role
While you might not understand everything this role requires day-in and day-out, you should be able to go through line-by-line understanding how your past experience or skills support why you’re a good fit for this role. You need to have plenty of real examples for each of the responsibilities listed that supports how you’ve done something similar in the past, what you achieved and why you’re great at what you do. If you’re asked, explain these and make sure you also discuss how you’ve overcome particular challenges and or achieved certain successes along the way.
- Practice out loud
Do a practice run of potential questions and your answers out loud and in front of friends, colleagues or family members. While it might seem embarrassing at first, practicing in front of a person will help you overcome your nerves and their feedback can be invaluable. They’ll be able to tell you whether you are making enough eye contact, talking too fast, giving enough clear examples, showing you’re nervous, or sounding too rehearsed. The people you practice in front of can help to highlight deficiencies in areas you wouldn’t notice on your own.
- What will you ask?
Towards the end, you will usually be invited to ask the interviewer/s questions. Be prepared for this and have 2 or 3 thoughtful, strategic questions to ask them. A few suggestions could be:
- What are the biggest challenges the person in this position will face?
- Can you describe a typical day/week in the position?
- What are some of the longer-term objectives of the team that this role is a part of?
What’s just as important here is that you listen to their answers and continue to remain engaged; the interview isn’t over yet!
If you’ve done your homework, confidence might be the only thing holding you back. Before your interview, find a private spot like a restroom stall, stairwell or elevator and strike a power pose for two full minutes. Changing your posture and body language can do wonders for your confidence.
While it is sometimes difficult to recall how an interview went as it can all feel a bit like a ‘blur’, you’ll get a sense if the interview has gone well if:
- it runs longer than 30 minutes,
- you discuss salary, or
- you get an invitation for a second interview.
By following these tips and doing your homework, you’ll walk in confident and be able to give thoughtful, compelling answers to your interviewer’s questions.