A good interview is key to landing your ideal job. No matter how good your career record is, an interview can easily trip you up so effective preparation is absolutely vital. Also, bear in mind that first impressions count, so make sure your interview always gets off to a great start.
The three key criteria that an employer will look for are; knowledge, skill and attitude. Knowledge and skill get you to the interview. The most important aspect of the majority of interviews is to demonstrate your attitude and behaviours around how you utilise your knowledge and skills.
Bear this in mind, and follow these top tips and you are bound to be in good shape when you go to your next interview.
- Research the company, industry, project and competitors. Use Google, websites, news, blogs, case studies, industry publications and social media to bring yourself up to speed. Your recruiter will also be able to provide you with many useful insights and tips.
- Find out early on who your interviewer and manager will be. Obviously this could be the same person. Google them, look them up on LinkedIn so you can understand their background and find some common ground ready for the interview.
- Ensure you fully understand the role you are going for. Re-read the job specification and think about how your skills and experience demonstrate your competency in the new role. Make sure all this is clear in your head and you can speak confidentially about it.
- Make sure you can clearly articulate your CV. You might think you know your CV like the back of your hand but when it comes to speaking about it out loud it can be very different. Practice talking aloud about different areas of your CV and your background in general.
- Find out the format of the interview beforehand to avoid any unexpected surprises. For example, will it be a panel or competency based interview
- Prepare and practice potential questions you are likely to be asked. There is a lot of information online if you search for ‘most common or typical interview questions’.
- Get at least four ‘expert’ questions ready for the interviewer. For example; what do you see as the hardest part of this job? What training do you envisage the successful candidate will need? Which competency are you most looking for?
- On the day, make sure you plan your trip, leave early, dress smartly and appropriately. Also make sure you have the interviewer and recruiter contact details to hand should an emergency arise.
- First impressions count so make sure you are punctual, give a firm handshake, smile, and look smart. Also, be confident, which will come naturally with good preparation. Use positive body language and speak clearly and concisely.
- For more interview resources, visit our candidate career zone.
So now you are prepared for your next interview, have a read of this article from The Telegraph discussing 13 of the most common interview slip ups and make sure you avoid them at all costs! ). We would like to hear your comments. Do you have any interview tips yourself? Do you have any amusing interview stories to share?