It’s difficult enough for recruiters and
hiring managers to notice your CV out of the thousands of CVs they receive, so
getting the interview is a big win! This doesn’t mean you’re home free – it’s
essential that you prepare properly for the interview and 1) give the
interviewers what they want, AND 2) get what you want out of the interview.
These tips will help you to establish a
good impression with your interview and ensure that the interview is a win-win
for both of you.
1. Make a great first impression
We’ve all heard it before but the first three seconds after you met someone
knew is the most important. When you first meet your interviewer, before you
have uttered a word you would have made a first impression with how you’re
dressed, your facial expression, and your overall demeanour. Dressing
appropriately for an interview supports your image as a person who takes the
interview process seriously and understands the nature of the industry in which
you are trying to become employed.
2. Arrive prepared
Too many job candidates think that interviews are all about the company
grilling them to see if they’re the right person for the job. However, a job
interview is an opportunity to establish whether you’re right for each other.
Do your research – visit the company’s website, look up the CEO, Managing
Director, or General Manager on LinkedIn and social media to get an idea of
their vision for the company, any awards they may have received, and what the
media is saying about them. If your interviewer happens to ask the question,
“What makes you the right person for the job?” – instead of answering with a
point-by-point account of how your skills match up with the job spec, you can
confidently talk about how the company’s philosophy is in line with your own
goals, and then get down to how you’ll achieve the daily specifics.
It’s insulting to the company if you
haven’t bothered to take the time to look them up and learn more about why the
company was established and what they’ve achieved.
3. Be honest and straightforward
While you may be nervous about answering the interview questions with what the
interviewer wants to hear, remember that if you got the job, you’ll need to
follow through with your performance when you arrive for work – from Day 1.
That means: no nonsense. Don’t bloat your career experience with white lies or
adopt a “fake it till you make it” attitude. Interviewers are savvy about
candidates telling lies or being too enthusiastic about their previous work
experience and when they catch on to any BS, they will catch you out.
Don’t brag about your past achievements,
but rather show how your problem-solving skills, specific expertise, or the
right opportunity presented to you, helped you to meet your previous employer’s
requirements. This shows that you’re aware of your position within a team –
that it’s not just about you and your amazingness.
4. Let the interviewer know that you
want the job
Sure, you’ve rocked up for the interview. You look your best. You know about
the company. You’re answering your interview questions with ease. It should be
a given that you want the job, right? Wrong. While you shouldn’t break down and
resort to begging for the job, one crucial step that many interviewees miss is
to overtly inform the interviewer that they are genuinely interested in the
How do you do this? Towards the end of the
interview, you’ll be able to tell whether the process has gone well and if it
has, this is the perfect time to add the cherry on the cake: “Based on what
I’ve learned about your company and the requirements of this vacancy, I know
I’d be a great fit because it really aligns with who I am and what I want to
do. Your company seems like a great place to work because of X, Y, Z and I can
certainly contribute to what you do.”
5. Above all else, practise.
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Look in the mirror or take a video of yourself as you answer typical interview
questions. This will help to build your confidence a bit and eliminate some of