You’ve done perhaps the hardest part of the recruitment process, stood out from the potential 100+ other applicants and been called to a face-to-face interview. But this is a scary prospect for many, with your chance at the job resting on your performance. Make sure yours doesn’t turn into the stuff of nightmares, here are our top tips to take the fright out of interviews.
1) Proper preparation – you’ll be surprised how often candidates turn up at the wrong place, wrong time or ask for the wrong person. Make sure you know who you’re meeting, where and when. Find out the best route, how long it will take and anything that could cause delays. Factor all this in when planning your journey. Avoid any last-minute panics and plan your outfit in advance. Check everything still fits and is clean – the red wine stain on your suit from a wedding last summer won’t make the best first impression, nor will the blouse with a button missing.
2) Research – researching the company is as much about making sure the organisation is right for you as it is about impressing the interviewer. Visit the company website, look at the products and services they have to offer, if they have one, read their blog or any recent news articles. Check out their LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook pages. This will help give an insight into their company culture and the issues they feel strongly about for example. You don’t need to stop at researching the organisation, the majority of workers in the UK have a LinkedIn profile, while we’re not suggesting you link with your interviewer, you can have a look at their profile and that of other people within the organisation.
3) Practice – unless you’re a serial job hunter, interviewing isn’t something you do on a regular basis. As with anything to ease your nerves you feel comfortable. Practising, as they say, makes perfect. An interview is basically a sales pitch, and you’re the product. As any salesman will tell you if you don’t know your product you won’t be able to sell it. Print out your CV, go through your skills and experience. Think about any key achievements and make a note of key stats, such as savings made, leads generated etc.. Compare your CV to the job description and try to pull out specific examples of how you meet their requirements. Have a go at answering some common interview questions and get acquainted with the STAR interview technique. This will all help to ease any anxiety and reduce the interview jitters.
4) Keep calm – it’s an easy thing to say, but harder to do. Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but try to relax and not let nerves get the better of you. Take some deep breaths, try to think of it as an exciting experience, that could lead to a new job. Rather than something you must endure.
For more job-seeking help and advice check out our handy hints page.