In a recent blog article, we discussed the importance of CVs and the role a good CV plays in helping to secure a job interview. Now that you have perfected your CV, how can you ensure you stand out from the crowd in a job interview? It’s all about going back to basics. Interviews can be a daunting prospect even for the most confident of people. However, with a bit of preparation and practice, the process may seem a whole lot less worrying.
Preparation is key.
If you’ve been to a few interviews before then you will be aware of some of the typical questions that may be asked. And if not, have a think about some of the types of questions that you think may be asked ask. Read through the job specifications carefully and tailor your answers accordingly. Practice your answers and even run a mock-type interview with a family member or friend. Ensure that you have a few examples ready that you can use to help illustrate your skills. You should be able to pull examples from your carefully prepared CV. Lastly, don’t forget to bring along a copy of your CV and anything else you think may be of interest to the employer (e.g. portfolio of your work).
Do your research.
Recruiters and employers will be interviewing numerous people for any given role so it’s vital that you do you research and come prepared. Check out the company’s website and gain a good understanding of exactly what they do and their culture. Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions and why you think you would be a good fit for their company. Also, make sure that role and environment is also a good fit for you.
Turn up on time.
This may seem like a no-brainer but is a mistake that so many people make. Follow the interviewer’s instructions carefully e.g. if they ask you to turn up ten minutes prior to your interview then ensure you do so. If you are going to be late due to unforeseen circumstances, call the interviewer and let them know. And although you may want to seem eager and organised, turning up too early may not necessarily be a good thing. Allow yourself enough time to get to your job interview – and if you are a bit too early – then spend a bit of time practicing your answers to help calm your nerves.
Appearance and attire.
Make sure that your interview attire is neat and tidy and suited to the culture of the company. Conducting a bit of research prior to the interview (and scanning the company’s social media pages) should give you a feel for the company’s culture/style (e.g. corporate, smart casual etc.). Making a great first impression is very important and may set you apart from other job seekers.
Good verbal and non-verbal communication is critical during the interview process. Listen very carefully to what the interviewer is asking so you don’t have to ask them to repeat the question. Take your time with your answers and speak in a clear and concise manner. If you are a very nervous person, take a moment and take a big deep breath prior to proceeding with your answer. Your body language is also very important. Ensure that you make eye contact with the interviewer and try to avoid any nervous habits e.g. playing with your hair, nail biting etc.
Go the extra mile and follow up with a thank you email after your interview. Once again express your interest in the position and include any important details that you may have forgotten to mention in your interview. However, it’s important not to be too pushy, this is just a friendly thank you message.
Wishing you all the best with your job search and if you do have any questions about the interview process, please do get in touch.