Getting The Most Out Of Your Interview
Everybody understands the importance of making a good impression to your potential employer at a job interview, yet not everyone knows how to behave and what to expect, which often makes it quite a nerve-racking experience. There are, however, several tips a job candidate could use in order to make sure they are well prepared and in control of the situation.
Preparation and research
The most important thing you should do before attending an interview is to find out as much as you can about the company and the job you are applying for. The more preparation you have done, the more confident and relaxed you will feel. Go through the company’s website, read the job criteria carefully, and make a list of questions you may be asked. Don’t be afraid to be proactive – perhaps try to utilise your networking skills and approach somebody working in the company in a similar position to the one you are aiming for, ask if they could share their insights with you about the job and what it entails.
Plan your big day ahead and leave some extra time for yourself in case you will get stuck in traffic or won’t be able to find the office straight away; show your punctuality and professionalism by turning up in advance.
Appearance and presentation
Your goal is to appear professional and reliable, so look and dress appropriately. If you are unsure about the company’s dress code, go for smart clothes and choose your accessories wisely. A folder with the necessary documentation will show you are well organised, whilst a golden chain or a noisy bracelet will only distract during an interview.
According to the leading recruitment websites, 33% of 2000 surveyed employers said they know within the first 90 seconds of a job interview if they will hire the candidate. So when invited into a room, often it is not so much what you say but what you do that counts. Use your body language to establish your presence and intentions – make eye contact, smile, be confident and speak up.
Coping with nerves
An important thing you should remember – there is nothing wrong about feeling nervous on the day of the interview, and an employer will expect that from you. But it is also important to be able to cope with your nerves and not let them get in the way of making a good impression.
Start an interview positively and remember that you have already been selected from a pile of other applicants for your skills and experience, so it is now your personality that the employer wants to see. If you have done your homework, then just be yourself and think about it as a good learning experience, regardless of the outcome.
Prior to the day, if there is any uncertainty about the interview that makes you feel anxious, make a call to the office to find out how long it will take and how many interviewers there will be – that way you will know what to expect.
Most of the questions you are going to be asked will be based on the job criteria. These you can rehearse at home and perhaps practise with a friend. When answering the questions, try to keep your answers short and clear, be honest, and make sure you know the details of your CV/Resume inside out. Use examples from your current or previous job to show that you are qualified for the position.
Avoid using negatives, so instead of focusing on things you haven’t done before, point out that you are eager to learn. Be aware that interviewers may ask intentionally difficult questions about your weaknesses or times when you experienced problems working in a team. Give your answer a positive spin – say you are a perfectionist or admit that you had struggled with a task but make sure you explain how you managed to cope with it and what you’ve learnt.
Social media image
Last, but not least is your image on social media. If you don’t provide a recruiter with your social network profiles, 73% of potential employers will check them out anyway before inviting you for an interview. Figures show that 93% of recruiters will try to find your profile on LinkedIn, a professional social networking site, so having one may increase your chances of being noticed. The other reason for employers to check you out on Facebook or Twitter is to find out how much of your personal life you are ready to share with others. This may include angry tweets about your current job or some strong language, which will not impress your potential interviewer, so it is your responsibility to make sure you don’t display the wrong image of yourself. It doesn’t mean deleting all your profiles from social networking sites, but you may consider looking closer at the privacy settings in order to avoid any disappointment.