Ten Interview Tips

So you've secured that all-important interview for your dream job. Here are ten ways you can make sure you make the best impression possible.  

Prepare – In a recent survey it was discovered that only 14% of employers felt candidates were better prepared than 5 years ago, only 4% of candidates made use of company’s annual reports that are often readily available on the internet, only 2% used business networking sites such as www.linkedin.com to research the company and interviewer themselves and only 42% of jobseekers search for recent news articles about the company.

Paint a Picture - over the last few years there has been a marked shift towards competency based interviews. To prepare for a competency based interview think of particular instances in your career when you have been successful and try to relate your answers to these situations. Talk about what you have done and how you have used your skills in these situations rather than simply talking about a list of skills you have.

Show Enthusiasm - interviewers are mainly assessing two things; your technical skills-set and how well you will fit into a team. However in many cases potential employers may overlook a slight lack of technical knowledge if you can demonstrate enough enthusiasm for the role and / or the company.

Don’t Panic - interviewers may throw some questions at you that they do not necessarily expect you to know the answer to. This is particularly true for senior or managerial level roles. Interviewers are testing how you react under pressure or how you tackle a problem or challenge. If you are asked a question that you do not know how to reply to ask the interviewer to re-word the question or clarify where the question in leading. Do not be afraid to say you don’t understand the question or are not sure how to respond. It may give you a few extra seconds to formulate a response.

Interview the Interviewer - any good interview is a two-way process. This is your opportunity to find out as much as you can about the company and the role. Prepare some questions in advance. Not only will this make sure you don’t forget to ask any vital questions but it will help demonstrate to the interviewer that you are sufficiently interested in the role to have done some research.

Write Things Down - during the interview you will be given information about the company, its employees and the role itself. Write some of the key information down; demonstrate to the interviewer that you are well organised and wouldn’t miss any information in a team briefing or client meeting. This is particularly important for client-facing roles.

Provide Practical Examples – before the interview spend some time preparing your best work to demonstrate on the day. If you are going for a technical role show the interviewer some code or some practical work that you have done for other companies.

Embrace your Nerves – some people do get nervous but admit to yourself that this is not necessarily a bad thing. Being a little apprehensive can ‘keep you on your toes’ as well as stopping you coming across as complacent and helping you perform better. Remember – many Managers are pushed for time and they would not be interviewing you if they didn’t think you had the basic skills to do the role. Most unsuitable candidates are filtered out before the interview stage. Equally, it could be the Manager sitting opposite you is equally nervous as interviewing is not normally a ‘day-to-day’ part of their role.

Don’t Forget the Basics - you should dress smartly for the interview and should arrive earlier than you need to on the day of the interview; you may be delayed by traffic or for other reasons. When you arrive be courteous to all employees of the company especially the receptionist; treat them as if they’re already your colleagues. At the interview itself be positive about yourself and your abilities - but do not waffle or lie.

Close the Interview Well – at the end ask the interviewer if he or she has any misgivings about you or your answers; you may be able to overcome any problems there and then. If not, say you’re prepared to answer any further questions the interviewer may have via email or telephone. 

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch.