Knock ‘em Dead at an Interview
Your essential interview techniques
Let’s face it, we all know how daunting interviews can be. Some people just tend to wing them, bragging that they are prepared, but how do you think that turns out? Show up prepared then you’ve got the interviewers at your feet. You walk in, hold your head high, even though the nervous shakes are commencing, along with the sweating palms, but you know you’ve got your life boat because you are prepared. Follow these top interview tips from our recruitment team and you will be able to walk into an interview knowing you’ve done all you can to Knock ‘em Dead.
Do your Research
Know your stuff. Once you get that phone call asking you to come in for an interview, you now have permission to commence Operation ‘find out as much information as I possibly can’. You can almost guarantee that you will be asked specific questions about the company. In this case do research on things like:
- Who they are.
- What they do.
- What products/services they provide
- Last year’s profits, company shares/values, product launches.
Don’t hesitate to ask the employer for further details on the job your applying for and company literature, things that you think will be important to you potential new job role and what will make interesting conversation topics. Take time to read into the industry and key developments within it. This will help you to converse with confidence and make suggestions on things you think will benefit the company in the industry, keeping it relevant to the job role. Another critical thing is to make sure you know the job description inside-out! You’d be surprised how many applicants forget this part, even though it’s the most important!
Answer and Ask Questions
Make sure that you are prepared for questions like:
- ‘Why do you want to work with us?’
- “What do you know about the company and the position you are applying for?”
- “Why should we hire you?”
- “What will you bring to the company and your job role?”
Make sure your answers are detailed and precise. At the end of an interview, you will be asked “Have you any questions?” NEVER say no. If you have done your research you will have a number of questions you want answered – aim for 3. Try to word them around the topics of organisational culture, promotion/career opportunities, preferred management and communication styles. This way, you will show your enthusiasm for the job and working that company, as well as showing you are prepared and knowledgeable.
Some good examples of such questions are:
- “Why has the position become available?”
- “What can I expect from you in terms of development in the company?”
- “How do you build good relationships in teams?”
- “How would you describe the company culture and management style?”
Tell a Story
Make a list of your strengths and qualities. First, ask yourself how they fit into the job role and expectations. Next, get promoting. Tell the interviewer exactly what your strengths are and link them in with some examples of times when you have used them to accomplish something important. Now, tell the interviewer a story with a beginning, middle and ending. Think about;
- What the situation/task was.
- What your role and contribution was.
- What problems did you come across?
- How did you overcome them?
- What was the outcome?
The key to this tip is to prepare your success stories, highlighting achievements and strengths.
Bring your personality with you, don’t leave it at the door. You want interviewers to meet the real you (without being too over the top). They want to see if you will fit in with the working culture of the business, as an individual and in a team. Remember, if you can’t get hired being yourself, then you don’t want to work there.
First Impressions Count
When you walk through the door of your interview, it may be that you have 30 seconds to make that first encounter a special one before the interviewer decides if they like you and if you will fit into the team or not. First and foremost, make sure you put time and effort getting ready for the interview. Turn up appropriately dressed and well groomed. Greet your interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake, careful you don’t squeeze too hard.
Mind your Manners
It is better to choose than to be chosen. Tell the interviewer why you want to work there and why they should hire you. Be confident and make it out as if they need you, but be careful you aren’t over-confident. After the interview, get in touch with them by sending a thank-you email or letter. On this, thank them for their time, how much you enjoyed meeting them and express your interest in the job again.