Interviews can be intimidating affairs. After all, you have around 40 minutes to make the sort of impression that will land you your ideal job. It is imperative, therefore, to make every moment count.
If you’re in the process of preparing for a big interview, here are our 4 killer tips for nailing it and landing your dream job.
Interview Tip 1 – Know thyself
In the days leading up to your interview, take the time to go through your CV with a fine tooth comb. Spend time getting properly reacquainted with your employment history, including key dates and responsibilities. Your CV should be an honest reflection of your working life, so it should be a simple matter of re-living past experiences.
It may seem tempting to skip this important step, as it is simply a memory recall exercise, but having key dates, achievements, and other important information, at your fingertips will help you feel more relaxed and confident at interview.
Interview Tip 2 – Do your homework on your prospective employer
While knowing your own employment history is important, taking the time to research your prospective employer is too. This is a sure-fire way to set you apart from the competition.
Knowing basic facts such as the size of the company, their main competitors and a little of the company’s history, are the bare minimum. If you really want to impress, however, spend a few hours online researching the latest trends in the industry or any important deals that your prospective future employer has been involved in.
Dropping information about your prospective employer into conversation is an art form. Less is certainly more; no employer will be impressed with you simply reeling off a list of rehearsed facts, but demonstrating a genuine interest in the company is a different thing, and certain to impress the interview panel.
One area where many interviewees miss a trick is preparing questions in advance. When your interviewer inevitably asks if you have any questions, shrugging your shoulders is the expected response. If, however, you ask a number of prepared and pertinent questions, the interview turns into more of a conversation than the grilling you were expecting.
Interview Tip 3 – Dress to impress
You only get one chance to make a first impression. It’s an old adage, but it’s one that has lost none of its relevance, especially in an interview setting.
While dressing to impress is fairly straightforward for men, with a smart suit usually fitting the bill, the styling options for women are often far from straightforward.
If you’ve decided to dress smartly, a simple, well-fitted, black suit is a classic look that makes a great impression. With companies increasingly adopting a smart-casual approach to dress, however, women have an opportunity to communicate more about their personality, through their dress.
Contrasting colours are a great way to make a lasting impression. Consider a midnight blue pencil skirt, with a white blouse, and a black blazer; it’s a subtle, yet quirky, look, which is intriguing enough to remain fixed in the mind of your interviewers.
Interview Tip 4 – Know your weaknesses
Interview Tips “What are your weaknesses?”
It’s the interview question that us all. Claiming that you have no weaknesses signifies arrogance and a lack of understanding about your own personal limitations, while listing too many can be destructively self-deprecating, so the question presents quite a conundrum.
The important point to understand here is that the question is not a personal challenge, but rather an opportunity to display self-awareness and a commitment to improving your skills – attributes that make you an asset to any prospective employer.
Pick three particular weaknesses you are aware of in yourself, but give them a positive spin. Explain how you came to realise these weaknesses and outline the steps that you have already taken to make positive changes, as well as what you intend to do in future to conquer these shortcomings.