The three stages to consider for interview success. Continue reading to discover our top tips to help you, before, during, and after the interview.
The Before Stage
This is all about the preparation you need to do. You can divide your interview prep into four sections to guarantee interview success. The basics, you, the employer and practice.
Firstly, the basics. Make sure you know the interview date and time, the company name and how to say it, the address, try out the journey once before if you can, the name of your interviewer and how to say it, and what you’re going to wear. If you’re in any doubt ask the company.
Secondly, you. Know your CV, application form and cover letter inside out. Know your relevant experience and skills and how you’re going to talk about them. Know at least the top 10 questions they are likely to ask you and your answers to those questions. And above all else, be clear on why you are applying to the role, and why you think you are a good fit.
Thirdly, the employer. Research the specific role, what are the expectations and key responsibilities, the skills they’re looking for, the organisation, the culture, the sector, the interviewer and know the questions you’re going to ask them.
Finally, whatever type of interview you’re going to face, practise. Do a mock interview online or with a friend. Or set up a friendly Skype call. Or rehearse your presentation. And practise some calming techniques.
On the day of the interview, you’re bound to be nervous. So spend time in advance thinking about how you might handle it.
Some Do’s and Don’ts To Guarantee Interview Success
First of all, make sure you arrive early. Be polite to everyone you encounter. Keep yourself calm with a few deep breaths. And switch your mobile phone off.
The interview starts as soon as the interviewer greets you, so make eye contact, smile and shake hands or offer whichever greeting is culturally most appropriate. Be friendly and chat confidently while you walk to the room together. Don’t fold your arms, slouch, or lounge, tap your feet, or drum your fingers.
During The Interview
Do use the STAR technique to structure your answers. It’s not complicated. Remember you’re just telling a story. Don’t just talk about being enthusiastic, confident, positive and open-minded. Demonstrate those key soft skills in the interview room. Do pay attention to the interviewer and notice when they’re really interested and when they’re not. Don’t leave your questions until the end. Drop them in throughout the interview.
After The Interview
At the end of your interview, reiterate that you’re excited about the opportunity. Ask when you can expect to hear back and if it’s OK to contact them and how they prefer you to do so. Always thank the interviewer for their time and stay engaged and friendly until you’re out of the building.
It’s really important to follow up after the interview. Here are a few things you can do. Send a thank-you note straight afterwards with your reflections from the interview and emphasising how much you want the job and why you think you’re right for it. But make sure you do it within 24 hours. Ask about connecting via LinkedIn, and offer them a connection or an article they might be interested in. If you haven’t heard anything after you expected to, send a quick friendly email saying that you’re looking forward to hearing from them and that you’re happy to provide any additional information.
But don’t harass the interviewer. The idea is to stay in their mind without annoying them.
If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of success, don’t leave your interview prep to the last minute. What’s the next thing you’re going to do to get ready for your interview?
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