Interviews are something that we will all have to face at some point in our lives, whether it be for a job, a course, or part of a professional workshop at Pearson College London. This blog gives you a few top tips for interviews, both before, during and after.
Before the Interview
1. Research the Company... IN DETAIL
You need to know about the company you are interviewing with. There is no point turning up to a job with millions of reasons why you would be good for the company without researching a thing about it. Research its structure, whether it has merged with or acquired other businesses, how it operates, where it is based, and how long ago did it start up.
You might also like to research the interviewers, especially if you are given their names beforehand. Knowing who is interviewing you is a really great way to get ahead and see what they have done in their career to get to the point at which they are now.
Being able to weave the research you have completed into certain answers is a brilliant way to show what you know and impress the interviewer. If you can prove that you have taken the time to really understand the company, it will show a real interest in the business and make you stand out from the crowd.
2. Common Questions
Consider the most likely questions that you are going to be asked before you even get to the interview. There are a few obvious ones such as:
- What can you tell me about yourself?
- Can you list your strengths?
- What weaknesses do you have?
- Why should I consider hiring you?
- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What is your salary expectation?
- What motivates you?
- What makes a good team player?
- Is there anything that you would like to ask me?
This way you are ready and won’t get stuck for something to say. The most frequent interview questions can all be prepared for.
(information courtesy of Monster)
3. Plan your Route
If you need to travel to the interview, plan your route beforehand, factoring in any delays or traffic that you might encounter. If you have time, you should even do a practice run of the route before to ensure you understand the best way to get there.
Photo by Viktor Forgacs / Unsplash
During the Interview
1. Be Punctual
Arriving on time is key to success in an interview as a candidate who is late immediately sets a bad first impression. You will need to be on time when it comes to the actual role so being 10 minutes early to an interview is a great start.
However, turning up too early could cause you to have an awkward waiting time and you can put the interviewer in an awkward position too. This is because you must appreciate that they will be working too and turning up early can make them feel like you are making them wait. So, 10 minutes early would be recommended.
2. Dress Appropriately
It is generally recommended, unless specified otherwise, that you dress smartly for an interview - sometimes smart casual. Dressing smartly immediately radiates that you have made an effort to present yourself in a professional manner for the interview. Wear something that is comfortable too, in case you are asked to role play or present something to the interviewer.
In your answers, you should relate back to times when you have demonstrated the particular skill that they are asking for. There is simply no point in stating "I am a good team player", without giving an example of how. This would be a better example:
*"I consider myself as a good team player due to my ability to facilitate other people's ideas to work to a common goal and solve the problem in question. For example, I played in a sports team for seven years which constantly presented problems to solve and teamwork to work towards success."
3. Body Language
Your non-verbal communication skills are even more important than your verbal communication skills. Being able to convey positivity and interest through body language is vital to success.
For example, at first, practice your handshake. You need to use your right hand (to their right hand) and it needs to be firm but not too firm.
You need to sit with an open body language and with a straight spine. Have your hands together, perhaps clasped, and use your hands to illustrate when you are talking, but not too much that you look silly.
4. Ask Questions
The interviewer will often ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview. Utilise the research that you have completed prior to the interview to ask more in-depth questions about the product or service line that you would be working on should you be successful. Mention a piece of research that you have done by stating a fact and lead this into a question.
You could also ask if there is anything that they are looking for that you have not yet demonstrated, giving yourself a second chance to think of an example of a time where you have demonstrated that particular skill or quality.
After the Interview
After the interview, ensure you complete the firm handshake again and thank the interviewer for taking the time to sit down with you.
When you have returned home, connect with the interviewer/s on LinkedIn so that they remember you and this further manifests your interest in both them and the company.
These are a few things that you can do in order to increase your chances of success in an interview.