How to be successful in interviews

The day of your interview has arrived, you really want, you need this job. You’re nervously waiting in reception with all the other candidates for the interviewer to call your name, you’re thinking “are they more experienced than me? They look confident, they look like they are ready to go”. They may have what it takes to do the job, but can they smash this interview like you can?

Just like everyone else in their working life we all have to attend at least one dreaded job interview. If you want to succeed in the business world you have to climb the career ladder, having rivals at each interview, everyone wants that ‘great opportunity’ and to be successful. With almost all industries being highly competitive how do you stand out from other candidates and steal that job from under your competitions nose?

Just Recruitment has made a name for itself over the last 35 years, we aren’t just a recruitment company that helps people get a job, we get individuals the job. We provide candidates with CV and interview preparation tips, we provide them with the skills they need to get the job.

Here at Just Recruitment, we want you to succeed therefore we have detailed below the information you need to sail through the interview and secure that job.

Self-Image

Self-image is becoming increasingly important within the life of business, but on a scale of 1 – 10 how much thought do you put into creating a positive first impression?

In today’s fast-paced society, it only takes a couple of seconds for interviewers to judge your personal image and to know if you are the right person for that role. Typically, 60% of an interviewer’s decision is based on how you present yourself, 25% is your handshake, that leaves just 15% for the words we use.

Your CV may have gotten you through the door but now it’s time for your personality to shine.

We believe that projecting the correct corporate image is a definitive moment for all employers and in fact recruitment agencies too. First impressions are key, now that you are through the door you have to emphasise your “wow” factor.

Communication Skills

How you communicate is crucial. Soft skills and good communication are just as, if not more important than the qualifications you have presented to the interviewers.

Key things you need to remember during the interview:

  • Be clear and concise (try not to mumble or waffle on, get your point across).
  • Do not rush your words, take it slow.
  • Remember who you are talking to.

Perception

How do you want to be perceived? Think about how you are coming across when meeting new people.

What do you stand for? Do you know what your values are? If you are unsure, or you just presume that you make a good first impression, get your friends and family to test you and remember to get feedback.

Preparation

First things first, be prepared. Your interviewer is a skilled business person, they know what they are looking for in a candidate.

It is astounding to know that many people show up to their interviews not prepared, not knowing the name of the potential employer, not doing their research. Here are some points to help you prepare.

  • Know your potential employer, company and interviewer.
  • Make sure you know where you are going so you aren’t late.
  • Research the company, what do they do, what their values are, what services do they provide, what and who is their target market.
  • Know the job specification that you are being interviewed for.
  • Be ready for questions, conventional and unconventional, they may ask about your work ethic, your functions in your current employment or how you approach tasks.
  • Ask questions, it shows that you are inquisitive, you are keen about the job and the company.
  • We understand that you want to ask about the benefits of their company such as; holiday, salary, bonus’ but you need to be patient as these questions should be asked on the second or final interview.
  • Always speak positively about moving forward.

Attitude

Have a can-do attitude. It’s never a good start if you don’t look or sound happy to be there, a smile does go a long way.

Ensure you are punctual, arrive at least five – ten minutes early. The interviewer tends to keep people waiting it’s one of their many tactics so don’t sweat it.

If you are going to be late, let someone know as soon as possible whether it be your agency or the client themselves.

Positives

From the start of your application you are portraying who you are, therefore when you complete your application form ensure everything is filled out neatly and to the best of your ability. Don’t be lazy.

Again smile. A little smile never hurt anyone.

Make eye contact when speaking with your interviewer(s), try not to let your eyes wonder.

Conduct yourself as a strong individual and that you are there to secure the job.

You are there to sell yourself, accentuate your positives. Make the interviewers aware of the positives you can bring to the company if you were to secure the position.

When answering questions, ensure you are giving truthful answers and not eccentric lies, they will figure it out.

Lastly, remember you are selling yourself, you are marketing yourself and alerting them that your skills, attributes and your experiences are all relevant for the position and the culture of the client’s business.

Negatives

Try your best to avoid answering questions with closed answers, instead of answering with a ‘yes or a no’ try and expand on your answer, engage with the questions.

Never insult or make derogatory remarks about your current or past employers.

Turn your phone on silent or switch it off! The dreaded ‘buzz’ of a ringing phone will dash any hopes of a second interview.

Dress Code

There’s no such thing as overdressing for an interview. Go in your best bib and tucker and you’ll never feel anything less than a decent candidate who’s keen to impress.

Always wear your smartest clothes, this demonstrates to the company and interviewer how keen you are on the job, you’re showing them that you know how to behave in their world.

Avoid. Avoid. Avoid!

  • Don’t lack enthusiasm, don’t sit there acting as if you don’t care about the job. They won’t hire you if you’re not interested.
  • Overbearing, aggressive, arrogant or a ‘know-it-all’.
  • Weak handshake.
  • Don’t disrespect your previous colleagues or employers.
  • Failure to keep good eye contact.
  • Try not to talk about the salary too much.
  • Don’t forget your manners, a lack of maturity or courtesy is a big no, no and it will not be appreciated if you come across rude.
  • Do not show up looking scruffy as discussed above, dress to impress.

Closing interview

Now the interview is coming to an end, if you are interested in the role it may be time to ask about the next interview stage(s) if applicable. If you are offered the job on the spot you don’t have to accept it right away, you can ask for time to think about your decision, it might be a good idea to ask them if they can wait until a certain date.

Don’t be discouraged or panic if you haven’t got a decision from the recruiters immediately, they probably have other interviews booked or they would like time to make their decision, after all they need to pick the appropriate candidate for the role.

Sometimes you may get the impression that you haven’t got the job, or you get the feeling that you haven’t impressed the recruiter, however, you may be surprised that interviewers don’t always convey their emotions and you may have successfully landed the role. Patience is a virtue.

Finally thank the interviewers for interviewing you and giving you this opportunity.

Now relax you’ve got this!

© Copyright Just Recruitment 2019

If you liked this article you may like to read – Banish interview nerves: a four-step plan

You may also like – Five things to do after the job interview

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