There aren’t many moments in a person’s life that are more ‘crunch’ than a job interview. Success could mean a whole new professional direction for you.
Nailing the job interview process is a tough ask for those who have been through it a hundred times before, let alone those who may be new to the challenge. But while it’s true that every employer is looking for someone different, and thus every job interview is different, there are a few basic tips and tricks that tend to work across the board.
If you’re about to step under the spotlight in the interview room, here are 10 tips which will heighten your chance of success.
Research the organisation
Knowledge is power. By demonstrating to your potential employer that you’ve done your homework on the organisation you’re showing them that you have a real desire for the position, and are a naturally proactive person. This will also come in handy if the interviewer asks the ever-challenging ‘what are your salary expectations?’ question.
Tweak your CV to better match the job ad
Look closely at the job ad. Does it specify the experience that the organisation is looking for? Does it list the personal qualities of the ideal candidate? If so, be sure to stack your CV with the sort of content that matches the things that the organisation desires.
Dress yourself a level above the job’s standard uniform
Go one rung higher on the smartness ladder when dressing for your interview. If it’s a blue collar job or one with a relatively casual uniform, smart-casual should suffice. If it’s a white collar job, go instead for a suit and tie or a nice dress.
Perhaps the most make or break part of the job interview will happen before you even sit down. You must get there on time. If you can’t manage to arrive on time to the job interview, any sane employer will join the dots and realise that you probably won’t be able to get to work on time either. It’s as big a black mark against your name as any. Aim to get there 15 minutes early.
Make the most of that first impression
First impressions count – that’s a scientific fact. Science goes onto tell us that facial expression, posture, confidence and personability all factor into how someone perceives us at the first meeting. So upon being greeted by the interviewers be sure to offer a smile, a firm and friendly handshake, and remember to take note of their names. It’s also polite to wait until you’re offered a seat before you make yourself comfortable.
It’s easier said than done in the pressure cooker environment of a job interview, but remaining positive in the face of challenging questions is vital. Aim to come across as someone who is enthusiastic and who enjoys a challenge. Also refrain from talking ill of former employers or co-workers.
Arm yourself with real world examples
Interviewers will be far more impressed with hard facts and figures than they will be with promises and subjective opinions. Arm yourself with real world examples of your value as an employee, such as sales figures, awards and recognitions, and past promotions.
Be a good listener and a measured talker
Many an interviewee has fallen into the trap of just waffling on about anything to fill in perceived awkward silences. It’s far wiser to listen carefully and deliver a measured, relevant response to an enquiry. Take your time answering, and don’t be shy in seeking clarification on any question. Use the C.A.R. technique – provide examples that feature the Context, the Action and the Result.
Avoid getting ahead of yourself
Unless the interviewer brings these things up themselves, it’s wise not to talk about salary, perks and holidays during the first interview. These subjects are best discussed at a later date, as (unfortunately) there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it through the first round of questioning.
Be proactive post-interview
Your work isn’t done when you leave the interview room – proactivity can turn a 50/50 call into a definite second interview if you are simply polite post-interview. Send the interviewers a quick email saying that you enjoyed meeting them, and thank them for their time. It’s also wise to reiterate any points that you feel may have been lost in the moment!
Interviews by their very nature need to be challenging in order to sort the wheat from the chaff. But with a bit of careful preparation and an idea of how you need to perform, getting that second interview call back will be all but guaranteed.
breakthru is an expert in employment support services. We can help you prepare for work, find a job and keep that job! Contact the breakthru team now for help!