7 Key Job Interview Tips you need to know
1 First Impressions
The most important of the interview tips is making the right first impression! A job interview outcome can be decided within seconds depending on the type of first impression you make. The first moments of the interview can be hectic but it is important to be prepared. The first step is to ensure you’re there on time; arriving a few minutes early gives you a chance to compose yourself and get focused. When greeting your interviewer, make sure you give them a firm handshake – show them you mean business. Finally, try to avoid looking away at the floor or the ceiling – eye contact is key in making that connection with your interviewer!
2 Confidence and Positivity
If you are nervous before the job interview (which I’m sure you will be – I know I was!) focus on your breathing – slow deep breaths help you to stay calm. Tell yourself you can do this; you’ve prepared and you’re ready!
During the interview, don’t fidget or play with your hair or your pen. Try to give off a positive and confident mindset throughout. Enthusiasm and personality can play a HUGE part in showing the interviewer you have the right attitude. Remember, you’re never fully dressed without a smile ☺
3 Presentation and Appearance
Research shows interviewers make on-the-spot decisions before you even utter a word. Although appearances shouldn’t matter – in this situation, they most definitely do. With that in mind, dress for the part; shine your shoes, iron your shirt and dress to impress are important interview tips. Hygiene too goes a long way, make sure you’re squeaky clean and looking fresh and awake. In 2015 we surveyed over 200 HR professionals about appearance and presentation of Irish candidates, see the results here.
4 Research the Position
Know the company inside and out before entering that interview room as you are likely to be asked a question on what you know about the company. This doesn’t just mean knowing what the company sells, but rather their activities like the CSR programmes they run, their social media/online presence, check if there’s any company news or press releases they’ve made recently. Go that extra mile to impress your interviewer! For more on how to answer these types of question, see here.
5 Know Your CV
There’s not much point in knowing all about the company if you don’t know your own CV. Believe it or not, we see candidates slip up on this time and again. For example, if the interviewer asks you about the IT skills you have listed on your CV and you can’t remember which ones you wrote down – it may put doubts in the interviewer’s head about your credibility. See more of the most common CV mistakes here.
6 Have Questions and Answers Prepared
Although the interview process is never set in stone, it can be predictable. You will typically get asked questions surrounding your own personal strengths and weaknesses and to explain why you think you will be the best person for the job.
The best way to illustrate your skills is by using examples and situations from previous jobs. When answering questions about your strengths or experience, use the STAR technique:
- SITUATION – Give the background of a situation you and your organisation were in.
- TASK – Give details of the task you were given and what you needed to do to find a solution.
- ACTION – The action you took in the given situation or task.
- RESULT – What was the result of your actions – Was it beneficial? Be sure to add what you learned from the experience.
This technique for answering the questions of your job interviewer allows you to stand out from the crowd and showcase your abilities in an authoritative manner.
7 Ask Questions and Take Notes
You should always have a couple of questions up your sleeve to show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the role. When asked at the end of the interview, “Do you have any questions?”, don’t just say no!
Having said that, the question needs to be appropriate.
Bad example: “How much money will I make?”
Good Example: “Will there be a possibility of progression in the future with this role?”
As soon as you are out of the interview, take notes! Write down everything you can remember while it is fresh in your mind. Identify the questions you struggled with and what you could have done or said differently. This way, if you are called for a second interview, you can refer to it and be 100% ready to take on Interview number 2!
If you want advice and support to ensure you secure the best job possible, get in touch with us here Matrix Recruitment. We have five centres around Ireland, find the team nearest to you here.