No matter how experienced you are, interviews can still be a daunting part of finding a new job. However, follow these tips and I can promise you will ace your next interview to put you in real contention of landing your dream job.
1) Research, research and research again
You can never do enough research when preparing for an interview. Take a look at the companies website, social media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.), press releases and previous big news, such as acquisitions or new customers. If you know anyone who works at the company or who knows people that work at the company, ask them what it’s like to work there. What is the culture, diversity, working environment and company ambition.
2) Not just the company, but also the interviewer/hiring manager
The majority of candidates will only research the company, however you must also do whatever research you can on the person you’re interviewing with. Check out their social media profile and see if you can find some common interests. Google their name to see if they’ve been mentioned in the news recently. Find out if they’ve done any charity work, if so then most people will have this listed at the end of their LinkedIn profile.
3) Make a good first AND last impression
Did you know that the first and last 90 seconds are the most important and most memorable to a hiring manager? Of course it’s important to make a good first impression, specifically in the first few seconds. However, do not forget to leave on good terms and practice how you plan to close the interview.
4) Send a thank you note
It’s so important for you to follow up with the interviewer in the hours after the interview has finished. Remember to get their email address, however ask your recruiter if you forget. Just send a note thanking them for their time, confirming your interest in the opportunity and advise you’re looking forward to the next steps.
5) Remember to take the basics
An oversight for a lot of people, but make sure you take the essentials when you’re interviewing. This includes a copy of your resume, a pen & a pad and anything relevant to your position, i.e. sales reports, recommendations, completed projects etc.
6) Time management
Delays happen, however there’s not much worse than arriving late to an interview and setting a bad first impression. I would recommend you head into your interview about 10-15 minutes early. Anything more than that can show you have poor time-keeping ability and can also mean the interviewer rushes into seeing you, potentially getting off on the wrong foot. If you do arrive early, get some final research in the parking lot in.
7) Body language above all else
Generally speaking, your body language makes up for roughly 60% of the image you portray to people. It is more important than what you say and how you say it. Make sure you stay engaging and welcoming (avoid slouching or crossing your arms) with plenty of eye contact.
8) Ask plenty of questions
A fairly basic one, but one that should definitely not be forgotten about. Have a list of questions prior to the interview that you’d like to ask, this can be about the company, strategy, recent growth and future plans, opportunities etc. However, also ask questions based on the response of the interviewer. For example, if they say “we have grown by 25 employees over the last 12 months”, ask them what they did to achieve this growth.
9) Dress to impress – and appropriately
It’s very difficult to overdress for an interview, however it’s always a mistake to underdress. I would recommend wearing a suit & tie if you’re going for any kind of office job. It’s hard to know what you’re interviewer might be wearing, however if you’re unsure then always overdress.
10) Prepare mentally & physically
Ensure you are fully prepared both mentally and physically for your interview. This includes things like having a good nights sleep, reading a book, getting inspiration from quotes, listening to a podcast, going for a run or getting some exercise in the morning.
Of course there are plenty more things you can do to prepare yourself, however this is a good starting point and will certainly get you on the right track.