Landing that all-important job interview is an exciting moment and a big step towards realising your goal.
In this video, we’ll share a few tips on preparing for the big day, staying relaxed during the interview itself and leaving a lasting impression that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Preparing yourself for a job interview can be the difference between giving in to stress and impressing your future employer. Treat the interview as a conversation between two people rather than as a series of formal questions and answers. It’s a chance for both your potential employer and you to decide if you are the right fit for each other.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some things to think about before the big day.
First, research the company and job you’re being interviewed for and ensure you’re clear on what the role involves, the skills required and why you would make the best candidate. Always walk into an interview knowing how to articulate how you can add value to the company, and if possible, with examples of how you can help answer their needs.
It's also worthwhile to try finding out in advance who will be interviewing you, so that you can tailor your approach to their needs. For example an HR manager will often look for different skills than, say, your potential line manager—so try to imagine what is important to them.
Next, try to anticipate the questions you’ll be asked. Here are some of the most common interview questions, but be sure to research whether there are any questions particular to your industry or role:
- What can you tell me about yourself?
- Can you list your strengths?
- What weaknesses do you have?
- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
- Why do you want to work here?
When thinking about your answers, make sure you don't go straight to the solutions but you always tell a story where you explain your thought process. Including data and concrete examples will help you prove your points. Prepare your answers in advance and practice delivering them out loud so that you can approach the big day with confidence.
It’s also worthwhile to prepare questions to ask during the interview. Not only will this help you learn more about the job that’s on offer, but it will also show potential recruiters that you’re highly interested and engaged. Remember that interviews are most impressed by candidates who can think on their feet and ask for clarification where needed.
Right before you head into the interview, focus on staying calm and relaxed. Arrive early and take a moment to gather your thoughts. Taking deep breaths and exhaling slowly will also help relax your body and mind.
During the interview, bear in mind 70% of your communication is nonverbal. So remember to keep eye contact, smile, sit up straight and jot down relevant notes. Also, try not to cross your arms, as this can come across as defensive.
After the interview, consider sending a quick ‘thank you’ email to the interviewer, which will demonstrate to them that you appreciate their time, your professionalism and how much you really want the job.
As well as thanking the interviewer for their time, use the email as an opportunity to showcase your understanding of the role. End with a friendly and clear sign off, such as “I look forward to hearing from you soon”, or something similar.
With these tips, you’ll soon feel fully prepared and ready to make a great first impression on your future employer. Good luck!
- what to do before the interview to help you anticipate questions you may be asked
- tips on how to stay relaxed during the interview
- what you can do post-interview to demonstrate your motivation for the role