Preparing for a job interview can be a nerve-wracking process, especially if you’ve scored yourself a chance to land your dream job! It’s easy to get worked up thinking about what’s at stake for your career on top of how great the position would align with your career goals.
Even though a bit of pre-interview nerves are perfectly healthy, we promise it’s not worth getting completely flustered over. Why? Because with preparation, a focused mindset and the ability to speak with clarity about your experiences and strengths will go a long way.
If you’re trying to refine your interview skills and could use some extra pointers to add to your pre-interview plan for action, we’ve thought of some tips just for you. So no need to get anxious. By applying these ideas, we hope you’ll have a fantastic interview... and score a brand-new job too!
Here are our top tips:
Find out more by doing thorough company research
The interviewer may ask you questions on what you know about the company, if you had been aware of them prior to your application as well as who you think their competitors are. For instance, if you're going for a web developer position, they might ask what you would do differently to boost the aesthetic appeal of their website.
You’re going to want to make a good impression with this because it’ll show off your diligence and that you’re excited at the prospect of working for them. It’s also useful to look up their history, achievements and culture - not only for extra preparation but to ponder whether you’d be a good fit if you got the job.
The small talk matters more than you think
It might seem irrelevant to the matter at hand, but actually it’s one of the most important parts of the whole interview. Really. It shows that you’re able to make a connection and breaks the ice. Not only that, but it highlights job-relevant skills from listening, communication and how you act under pressure.
It also gives your interviewer further insights into your personality and whether they could see you within the role. You could find a common interest, discuss something company related or your plans for the rest of the day. Just remember to stay positive and appropriate with all your responses.
It’s said that bosses know within the first 90 seconds whether or not they'll hire a particular candidate. So make that small talk count!
Prepare yourself for questions that might catch you off-guard
It’s not an “uh-oh” movement, but being able to make something great out of the unexpected. So by exploring what potential curve-ball questions might get thrown your way can only benefit you. These could range from:
“What do you consider your greatest weakness to be?”
“What’s your biggest pet peeve?”
“When have you failed? And what did you learn from this experience?”
It can definitely leave you in a bit of a standstill if you can’t think of a way to respond to this line of questioning. It’s all about spinning your negatives into a positive.
Practice open body-language beforehand
Seems simple enough, right? Be it’s easily forgotten, especially you’ve got a lot of other factors to think about at the same time.
Avoid slouching or squirming around in your seat, instead, sit up nice and tall, smile, make eye contact, use your hands and mirror your interviewer's positive body-language. This also includes nodding at appropriate times, monitoring your voice delivery and walking with confidence.
Nailing these body-language traits will put you at a great advantage as you will come across engaged, self-assured and approachable.
“Any questions for us?” Yes, yes you do
This is where preparation is needed also, yes to impress - but mainly for your own benefit. The more pertinent and insightful your questions are, the better. From clarifying certain elements of the roles needs and job description, what the company goals and ambitions are, and asking more about the particular department you would be working in. It’s your chance to find out extra details that could be make-or-break for you taking on the role.
You could also inquire about next steps, when they expect to fill the position and opportunities for advancement.
All in all, it’s advised to cultivate about 3-5 questions with this in mind.
Be calm, collected…and avoid trying to be somebody else
As we said before, pre-interview jitters are perfectly natural. But don’t let them take hold so much that they affect your performance. With the knowledge that you aren’t going to do you any good, do your best to shove them to one side and embrace your calm side. If you’re prepared, why put yourself through that anxiety!
Regardless of the end result, you’ll be able to have an informative, interesting conversation, share your career ambitions and learn more about yourself and the industry in the process.
And though this may sound like the biggest cliche of all: be yourself. And what is meant by this is to be authentic, not put on a persona you think your interviewer is going to respond positively to. You’re more likely to match-up with a company that holds similar values and thoughts that way.
Send over a thank you note soon after your interview
Want to get ahead of the other candidates in a super simple way? Write a thank you note. Only 24% of job candidates take the time to write one after their interview. If you don’t have a direct email for your interviewer, you could contact the company's HR department and ask to pass on your thanks and gratitude.
Overall, 68% percent of hiring managers stated that whether or not a candidate sent through a thank you note ultimately affects their final hiring decision. It’s best to send one out within 24 hours after your interview.
Looking for new opportunities that will lead to interviews?
The Training Room offers opportunities to train and educate yourself in a number of different industries. From E-Learning courses in: Cybersecurity, Web and Software Development, Accountancy, Personal Training, Nutrition, Teaching, Event Management and plenty of others on top of that!
Upon receiving a qualification in the course of your choice, you could even be invited to an interview with one of our partners! You’ll be able to receive first-class tutoring and support along the way.
Full our full-range of courses through our website now to take your career to new heights!
Find out more here