How to nail a job interview
Posted: 11th May 2017
Author: Steph Madden
Job interviews are incredibly nerve-wracking, especially if it’s been a while since you last had one. The more prepared you are, the easier it is to calm the nerves and focus on giving the best first impression you can.
Research is essential to help you get ready for the job interview. Find out as much about the company you are hoping to work for as you can. This is a lot easier in the digital age, as there will be a website and social media feeds to help you get a real feel for the business. Jot down some notes of any important points so that you can familiarise yourself with them before the interview itself. A good place to start is the About Us section or similar on the corporate website, as this usually has information about the history of the company and maybe even a mission statement or ethos, which you can show knowledge of.
Next, consider the most common questions that you are likely to be asked. There are some questions that are always going to come up, such as your experience, why you want to work for this particular company, what skills or qualities you have that make you right for the role, and what you can bring to the company. Having answers to these questions prepared in advance will help you respond confidently and calmly when they come up on the day. You will also need to be able to answer questions on things like salary expectations, so do your research so that you can reply appropriately.
There may be questions that you can’t prepare for, and your potential employer could even throw in a curveball that you’re not expecting. Have a strategy of how to deal with these situations. It’s best to pause for a moment to think, take a deep breath and answer honestly. If you are unsure of a question, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification to understand.
When you are invited for the interview, ask what the format of it is. It may just be a formal meeting with one person as is traditional, but it may also be a group interview, there may be multiple interviewers present, or there could be a test or assessment. It’s much better to know what to expect before you arrive. Whatever the situation, you are likely to have the chance to ask questions, so have a couple prepared to show your interest in the company and the role.
On the day itself, be organised. Make sure that you are dressed appropriately, which in most cases means fairly traditional office wear, even if the day-to-day wear at the company is more relaxed. Be smart, but also be comfortable. Know where you are going and allow extra time for the journey to ensure you arrive a little early, so you can be calm and relaxed upon entering the room.
Most importantly, don’t forget to be yourself, smile and stay positive – it will show and come across to your interviewer.