The best way to ensure you perform to the best of your ability at an interview is to fully prepare in the build up to the interview day. Below are some key tips on how to ensure you impress at interview and are successful in securing your dream job:
- Research the company and the job
Ensure you fully research the company prior to attending an interview. You should be able to get a lot of the information you might need from the company's website, press releases, LinkedIn Group etc. It is essential you have done your research as you might be asked questions about the company, its market, products and/or services and competitors; or about the role itself. You'll need to have a good knowledge of all these aspects.
If you have been provided with a job specification then read this thoroughly and try and align any answers you give as part of the interview with the responsibilities and experience present on the specification.
- Be familiar with your CV
Make sure you are familiar with everything you have told the employer about yourself in your application (including CV, covering letter, application form etc) – you don’t want anything you have already said to come as a surprise should it be raised as a question.
You will need to be able to talk in depth about your education and employment experience to date, i.e. why you chose the options you did, what experience this has given you and why these would be applicable to the role you are applying for.
- Prepare some questions to ask at the interview:
It is always a good idea to have at least a couple of questions prepared ahead of your interview, ideally several. This is definitely something employers look for, and are impressed by; as it gives the impression you are interested and enthusiastic.
- Dress suitably
Regardless of the company’s dress code, employers still expect candidates to dress smartly for an interview. Typically this is regarded as a full suit.
- Arrive early
Arrive a few minutes early to give yourself time to relax before the interview. If you are travelling to somewhere unknown try to do a mock run first so you know exactly where you’re going.
- Make the right first impression
First impressions are crucial at an interview. When you greet the employer act confidently, make eye contact, shake hands and remember a smile can make all the difference.
- Body language during the interview
Throughout the interview, try and be aware of the following:
- Maintain good posture; don’t slouch
- Make frequent eye contact; don’t stare
- If you are seated when someone enters the room, always stand and shake hands with them
- While answering questions use some measured hand movements; ensure these are not over exaggerated.
- Listen to the questions
Listen thorough to the question being asked prior to answering. Make sure you answer the question you were asked and if you don't fully understand a question during the interview or need longer to think of a response, ask the interviewer to rephrase it. An employer will be more impressed by a well thought out considered response then a rushed and hasty one.
- The end of the interview
Always end the interview on a positive note. After asking the questions you prepared, or which came up over the course of the interview, reiterate your enthusiasm for the position. Make sure you leave a lasting impression. When you leave thank the employer for taking the time to see you, shake hands again and smile.