So, you got the invitation for an interview… Congratulations! But how do you ensure you deliver when it comes to the main event? First thing you have to remember is that only 2% of candidates are invited to an interview, which means they’re already impressed with your experience. We have a few tips on how to get the most out of your interview to be in with the best possible chance of getting that job offer.
With interviews happening both online and in person now, the principal still stays the same throughout. You should always prepare for an interview regardless and also dress the part too, so no jeans and trainers please!
You will need to do your research on the company. When were they established? What services do they offer? How do they compare to their competitors and what are their USP’s (Unique Selling Points)? These are the basics to any interview as nine times out of ten, they will ask the question ‘what do you know about us?’. If you just ‘wing it’ and state the obvious, then you’re unlikely to impress them in order to advance to the next stage of the interview. So, get on their website, view their products and services and seek out their social media profiles for their latest news posts.
An additional tip we love to share is to buy one of their products or services (if you can). In doing so, you can explain the pros and cons of the product or service, carefully of course so that you don’t offend them, and possibly identify weaknesses in the customer journey and how you would change that into an opportunity for them. This is a sure way to get their attention and impress them in an interview as you are showing how you can bring value to the company and potentially increase their growth within the market.
Practice makes perfect
A given, yes, and though you won’t know what they’re going to ask in the interview, you can prepare through revisiting the job advert.
Carefully look at the points they describe on what you will be doing in the role and their person requirements. They will most likely ask you, ‘tell me about yourself and your experience’ and what they want to hear is the relevance to the role.
For example, if they’re looking for someone in sales, they may want you to explain your sales experience and hitting targets. If it is administration, they will be looking for examples of how you supported the wider team with your administrative support, be it either compiling accurate documentation or meeting minutes, or even fielding sales calls for senior staff.
The best explanation is always delivered with a positive achievement result. So, if you were an Account Manager for example, explain how you may have brought in additional revenue or reinstated lost accounts. You want to try to include a figure to showcase the uplift in your achievement so that the value can be demonstrated. You may have increased website traffic by, say 10% within a marketing role, which you achieved by implementing, or doing X, Y and Z, for example.
The best way to practice is to note each section of the job description and write an example of what you have done similar to each one. If you can then add a results-based achievement, then even better!
It is always nerve wracking in an interview, of course it is! Use those nerves to your advantage! It means you care! Before you go in, take three, slow, deep breaths and focus your mind. Try and have water in the morning alongside your caffeine fix to keep your mind working freely and so you can stay focussed and not jittery on false adrenaline from the coffee!
Keeping calm throughout your interview is another given, though show some of your personality and aim to build a rapport with the interviewer, without turning it into an interrogation. If you feel like you’re rambling in your interview, stop and take another breath, or break to take a sip of water that they may have offered you, to compose yourself again and regather your thoughts.
Some obvious points are to sit tall and confident throughout your interview. No slouching, crossing your arms and generally looking bored. Even if you know the role isn’t for you, just maintain a pleasant smile and complete the interview, as the role may not be right, but they may have another, more relevant role in mind for you. If not now, then perhaps in the future, so first impressions really DO count!
If you haven’t interviewed for a while or have key points you wanted to bring to the interview, there’s no harm in taking a small notepad in with prompts. You can even explain that you have just brought some notes in preparation as it has been a while since you were last interviewed. Just make sure you only glance occasionally at the notes. You want to be having a two-way conversation with the interviewer, not having a conversation with your notebook! It is a lot easier to do this when it is a video interview as you can keep the notes off the screen.
Questions Questions Questions
At the end of every interview, you should be asked ‘do you have any questions for us?’ and the answer should always be YES! So, come prepared with 2-3 questions for them, and please don’t let one of them be about your salary!
Some great questions to ask include:
1. What is your favourite thing about working within the company? You are asking them about their own experience within the company to assess the staff morale. It also gives them a chance to express their passions about the company too.
2. How many candidates are currently being interviewed for this position? This allows you to see how many people are in the running against you.
3. When are you hoping to make a decision for this role? This question is key to knowing when to follow up with them if you haven’t heard anything yet after the date. It may not be the answer you wanted, but occasionally they may have had a last-minute candidate to compare against you and they want to confirm you were the right candidate to go for before making their offer. Ultimately, being proactive here helps you to stand out while they are still deciding and may give you the upper hand.
So, what are you waiting for? Go get preparing for your exciting job interview and we want to wish you all the very best of luck!
Should you need further advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our interview advice service is perfect for those who need more of a helping hand in preparing for their interview. We will do all the research for you, as well as discuss all the findings and possible Q&As for your specific role and company, in which we discuss in an hour long, booked in phone call with you. We also send some valuable documentation to really help boost your confidence ready for your interview.
This service has seen many candidates successfully obtain job offers as a result and this could be you too! If you’re interested in this service, please enquire via our contact us page here.