1. Dress to impress
Interviews are all about first impressions, and what you wear to an interview will speak volumes about your commitment and enthusiasm for the job – not to mention your ability to appropriately present yourself in a formal situation. Never worry about being overdressed; if you’re the only candidate in a suit and tie you will stand out above the rest.
2. Tell your story
The focus of the interview will be on you, so be sure to have your relevant stories, experience and qualifications to hand. Make sure what you say in the interview matches your CV and cover letter, as they will likely have these documents in front of them as they question you. Write down why you think you would excel in the role and as part of the company, and practice saying it out loud: now is not the time for modesty!
3. Know the company & role
Showing that you’ve taken the time to research the company and role you’ve applied to work at will reassure the interviewer that you would take the job seriously and perform to the best of your ability. As well as your knowledge, showing your admiration for the organisation can also be an effective way to make a good impression – as long as it’s not insincere or over the top, few people are immune to flattery. Allow AT LEAST an hour in preparation on the company and another hour on the role, and you’ll be in good shape.
4. Prepare your questions
Always have two or three POSITIVE questions prepared in advance that show you to be inquisitive and interested in the company you potentially are going to work for. Positive questions are those that delve deep into the fibre of the company, and could be – “Tell me about a recent client win”, “what is the company’s strategy for growing over the next 12 months” and “tell me about the last person you’ve hired who has exceeded expectations”. Avoid negative questions like what are my working hours and how many holidays will I get?
5. Ask for feedback
It’s normal to become flustered under pressure, but the single most important thing to ask in an interview at the end is for feedback. This question allows you to address any concerns or reservations the client may have about you, and gives YOU the opportunity to address there and then. Assuming there are no concerns, ask for next steps, timescales and process. Again it shows you’re genuinely interested in what’s going to happen.
And don’t forget if you’re not used to asking for feedback – PRACTICE asking the question out loud!