We’ve all been there, waiting in reception with our best outfit on, prepped notes from earlier in the week, and a nervous smile on our faces. An interview can be a scary process; your experience, achievements and your personality are all on show and you only have a small window of around an hour to impress your ‘judges’. However, if you can follow at least a couple of the below suggestions, you may be hearing the words ‘You’re Hired’ sooner than you think..
1. Get your google hat on!
Employers love to know that you have looked into their business and any recent press surrounding them, so make sure you really research the company by using their own website, as well as, newspapers and targeted news forums, such as Retail Week. This can only help you give a unique answer on why you want to work for them and what interest you about them.
2. That’s not on my job description?
Make sure you know exactly what the role entails, looking at key responsibilities as well as the job’s requirements so you can match up your experience and answer questions confidently on why you would be a perfect candidate. Not only that, it gives the prospective company the confidence that you know what you are going for and have thoroughly thought about the opportunity.
3. What’s your favourite colour?
There are so many weird and wonderful questions that can be asked in an interview so always expect the unexpected! However, on the majority of occasions interviewees will want to know why you want to work for them, and why they should choose you, so think about general competency questions and always look at your CV as well as thinking about your experience so you can come up with clear, concise answers and examples.
4. It’s the eye of the tiger
Preparing yourself mentally is very important for a successful interview, don’t take for granted what a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast can do for your brain to function better. Make sure you clear your mind of everything else (as best as you can obviously) and try to relax as much as you can the night before so you feel fresh and ready to go kick some interview butt!
5. Dress to impress
No matter how cheesy it sounds, first impressions count – A LOT. So make sure that you dust off your favourite dress, suit or two piece, and you present yourself as polished, presentable and purple (okay maybe not the last one but you get the jist).
6. Tick Tock
Out of all the interviews I have arranged over the years, one thing never gets old when it comes to creating bad impressions – time keeping. Unfortunately bad things do happen at times (bus/train breakdowns, unexpected roadworks etc) however it is vital that you give yourself more time to get to the interview, making sure you get there at least 15 minutes before appointment time. Not only does this allow you to gather your thoughts, it also shows your prospective employer you can make timelines and are punctual candidate.
7. You’re never fully dressed without a smile
I read somewhere once that you use more muscles to frown than smile, is it true? No idea. But it is a nice thing for your interviewee to see and it sets up the meeting with all sorts of positive vibes that can make both you and them feel easy which can only lead to a better flow of conversation. Body language is just as important, I know it’s hard at times when you are nervous but try your best to have relaxed shoulders, maintain eye contact and above all else, no arm crossing!
8. I can do anything you can do better
Okay, maybe don’t go into the room with that exact notion however confidence is a very attractive trait to see in a person and shows that you know your own abilities as well as being able to clearly showcase them to your ‘examiner’s’. Confidence doesn’t always come naturally to some people but if you can do the preparation before (Points 1, 2 and 3) then the answers will come more freely and you will remember key points when asked questions which gives a more confident answer.
9. Excuse me, sir?
So, you have completed your research, turned up on time, wore your best outfit, smashed the questions they have thrown at you – what now? Prospective employers like to see you have researched the business but also that you are genuinely interested in knowing more. Questions you could ask could be around future plans, team structure, or any achievements not noted in the press.
10. Thank You
It’s as simple as that, always end the interview with a thank you and a hand shake. This shows you have manners but also do appreciate the time out taken for them to see you, and consider you for the post.
So there you have it, 10 tips on how to succeed in an interview. Unfortunately as much as you have prepped and impressed, it doesn’t always work out but it is important to remember not to give up – there is always something else around the corner.
If you would like to have an informal discussion, please contact Sarah Dovaston here about the roles we are currently working with.