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Tips to Help You Ace Your Next Job Interview

1 month ago - Mark Ashton

Tips to Help You Ace Your Next Job Interview

Regardless of all the new technologies and automation that’s creeping into the recruitment process.  Interviews are always going to part and parcel, and in most cases, will always be the deciding factor when it comes to whether or not you get hired.

Whether you are attending your first major interview in a while or perhaps you just want to brush up on your skills, even the most qualified of candidates need to prepare for job interviews.  The old saying goes ‘you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’ is still as prominent today as it was when it was carved out.

The process of interviewing is no longer seen as a straight exchange of questions and answers.  It’s more alike to a match-making process.   You need to understand what the company are looking for in both the short and the long-term.  And vice-versa. It’s about being comfortable with the environment, and those who you will be working alongside as well BEFORE you commit to the position.

 

You wouldn’t have got through the rigorous selection process and be sat in front of the hiring manager if you didn’t fit the bill in terms of your skillset and experience, so the interview process is your chance to bring your CV to life and showcase yourself as the perfect package.

 

Here are some key traits of candidates that know exactly how to nail a job interview.

 

1.    Do your Research

However far up the chain your position, and whatever your credentials and experience, you need to do your homework when it comes to the company and the hiring manager.

Not only is it crucial to understand the position and what it entails, but you also need to go beyond that.  The first port of call in the company website and social media pages.  This will give you the basic information about the products and services offered.  It will also tell you if they are recruiting in other areas of the business too.

From the social media pages, you can see what type of engagement they have with their customers and if they have been actively promoting any specific products or services through incentives or other forms of rewards. LinkedIn is a great tool to utilise in advance of your interview, do you have any common connections with the interviewer?  Do you know anyone who works at the company already? Perhaps someone you know is connected to somebody within that business. I always feel reassured when I get a notification from LinkedIn that tells me somebody I am going to meet has taken an interest and looked at my profile.  It gives the impression that the individual cares about the opportunity enough to spend some time researching.

It is number one on my list for a reason.  It gives the interview advanced notification that you are doing your research, it also gives you key points to talk about when you are in the interview and helps you quickly get to grips with what the business is up to currently.

2.    Relax and Be Yourself

I’m sure you’ve heard this one time and time again, but it’s important.  You aren’t there because you may have some of the skills needed.  You have been asked in for an interview because on paper; you tick the boxes.  The interview is about them learning more of who you are, and similarly, it’s for you to get a better understanding of who the company is and what their company culture is like.  After all, you want to make sure the move is right for you, as well as for them.  So, relax and be yourself.

3.    Questions

If you’re taking the time to read this post, I’m sure you would have already Googled what the most commonly asked interview questions are.  But this point isn’t really about generic interview questions.  This is your only opportunity to ask about the team and the culture of the company.  Therefore, it’s important you use this chance to ask the right questions.  How do they see the role progressing in the future? Have any of the board members or senior management been recruited from positions within the business? What are the day-to-day elements of the job? What direction is the company going towards? It isn’t always about money, or at least it shouldn’t be the foremost topic of conversation. And, you shouldn’t lead with questions about compensation or benefits. Often, when doing your research as covered in point one, you will come up with some questions of your own.

4.  Non-Verbal Communication

Demonstrating confidence is key.  Regardless of what role you are applying for, you need to keep good eye contact throughout.  But not in a creepy way!  A firm handshake and a good posture can go a long way in making that first impression count.  Your body language can be open or closed, so be mindful of them when you are sitting in the reception area waiting to be greeted by your interviewer.

5.    Verbal Communication

There is a very fine line between confidence and cocky; you must remain firmly in the centre of that line.  Your attitude will be assessed throughout, and if there’s one thing that I hear time and time again, it’s that a candidate came across over-confident, and appeared to be somewhat cocky.  Modesty, professionalism, and confidence all need to be balanced accordingly.

Talking too much, and giving too much information away can be a common downfall in the interview process.  Rambling away in an interview could resemble your performance in an important board meeting where time is of the essence.  Prepare thoroughly for interviews and make sure you only cite those skills and examples that are relevant to the position.

Keep it professional.  An interview is as formal a process as it gets.  Regardless of common connections or how likely you think you are to get the job, you need to remain professional.  Bring enthusiasm, but don’t overstep the boundaries.

Pay Attention and Listen

Of course, I know it goes without saying that you will pay attention. Be sure to listen. From the start through to the finish of the interview, the person who is interviewing you is given you information.  You need to take it all in.  Communication goes both ways, and you need to make sure you give the interviewer the right responses at the right time.  Try to match the pace and style of your interviewer throughout.  This lets them know you are listening and are in sync with what they are saying and are paying full attention throughout.

It’s important to not come across as desperate.  Even if you can start the following day, you need to remain cool, confident, calm and collected.