The job market can be incredibly competitive, therefore you will most likely not be offered an interview for every job you apply for nor will you be offered a job every time you leave an interview.
There are however some simple tips that will help you make a great impression at your interview and help you to leave with your head held high.
Top of all advice lists and almost a tad clichéd nowadays but it really is important to delivering a great interview. Not only should you know a little about the company, their ethics, products/services and why you would be a great fit for the position you should also do a little bit of personal research. With LinkedIn nowadays you can almost perform a pre interview. Find out who is taking the interview and find them on LinkedIn let them look at your credentials and well presented LinkedIn Profile, Recommendations and Key skills before they even meet you. You don’t even have to connect with them you just have to look at their profile and there are high chances just through the inquisitive nature of people on social media they will have a look back. Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is set so people can see you though, otherwise this won’t work.
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. If you walk in to your interview with a bit of swagger about you, that’s great but you don’t want to dominate the interview conversation. Have confidence in your ability, be positive with your responses and demonstrate any previous results you may have produced. Remember people will nearly always hire someone they actually like so be careful not to cross that fine line and make yourself unlikeable.
The old “be yourself” adage may be a bit tired and old hat but it’s true in all elements of the interview including the interview stage. Dress how you feel comfortable, wearing what you would wear for day to day work or if the role would demand it how you would dress for a business meeting with potential clients. Not all interviews require you to wear a suit, in fact if you have never worn a suit before there is nothing worse than showing up in an ill fitting hand me down suit. Each job role would expect something different (which you could guess after doing your research) but the most important thing is to feel confident and feel like this is how you would dress for the expected role when you get it.
There is nothing worse than an interviewee who sits there quietly nodding along, asking no questions and contributing nothing to the conversation. It also means that you could leave the interview none the wiser and unprepared for something the interviewing company felt came across in the interview but you didn’t pick up on. Choose your question order wisely though; it is never good to open with “what’s the pay?” but asking questions about why the company was set up, how the interviewer started there or what the 5 year plan is are great questions because they show a genuine interest in the company and the people who work there.
It is easy to go into an interview and being a yes man/woman but this helps neither you nor the company. There is no harm in saying “no I don’t know how to do that” but always add “but I would love/be willing to learn how to as I work”. The ability to admit our short comings and be willing to work on these and develop as an individual is a very desirable characteristic in any interviewing candidate. Over the years we have even known some technical support people admit they don’t know how to do that but do say “I am comfortable googling it and working through the issues there and then”. Depending on the interview this level of honest and problem solving could be appreciated. Being honest in your interview also avoids any awkwardness of arriving on your first day and being asked to do something you have no understanding of.
At the end of your interview don’t just get up and walk out. Make pleasant conversation with the interviewer if you get the chance. If you are escorted to the door make conversation with the person walking with you - don’t be shy and don’t talk about work just be nice. If you pass people you met on the way in wish them a nice weekend and say you hope to see them soon. All of these things will not only leave them with a positive impression of you but also if you leave the building smiling you will feel much more positive about the interview, which will help when following up a couple of days post interview to see how you did.
So there you have it! 6 simple tips to help you come out of your interview with your head held high with no doubt in your mind that you nailed that interview and the company would be lucky to have you.
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