Attending job interviews can feel like walking a tightrope. Indeed, in today’s competitive job market, one wrong move can take you out of the running for a job.
When looking for the ideal candidate, employers take numerous factors into consideration. While experience and education can be the most significant provisions, other things also come into play with their decision, including an interviewee’s attitude, presentation and awareness of the company.
When interviewing, then, you need to keep these factors in mind. Here are seven tips for a successful interview.
1. Mind the Dress Code
First impressions are very important, especially at an interview. What you wear could affect recruiters’ overall opinion of your professionalism and, in some cases, take you out of the running for the job.
Indeed, while your skills, experience and career objectives are what interviewers seek for, your choice of attire also demonstrates your attention to detail. Even if the company you have your eyes on doesn’t endorse a formal business dress, you should still ensure that you look professional and polished at the job interview.
So, what should you wear then?
For starters, business suits are always a safe choice if you’re aiming for a corporate position. Alternatively, if you’re interviewing with a smaller company, you could opt for some nice slacks, a shirt and tie, or an A-line dress.
You should also pay attention to your appearance in terms of nails, hair and accessories. The sharper you look, the better the impression you’ll make on your potential employer.
2. Give Your Social Media Accounts a Spruce
Chances are that your recruiter will have looked you up online before your interview, and what they might have come across could significantly affect your chances of landing the job. Having a professional online presence, then, is essential for interview success.
Instead of letting your social media accounts hinder your job hunt, use them to build your brand and demonstrate your expertise. Be sure to update your LinkedIn profile, and get your online portfolio, website or blog in top shape too! Not only will this give you an advantage over other candidates, but it will also show potential employers that you are well-suited for the role.
As for your personal accounts, make sure that they are private and out of reach of any recruiter!
3. Research the Company
It’s very likely that the interviewer will ask you at least one question related to the company and your motivations for working there. Of course, if you show up without having done any research on your potential employer, this could put you in a tough spot. After all, recruiters want to hire someone who is eager to work for them.
There’s plenty of tools at your disposal to help you research the company, including their website, LinkedIn profile, press releases and blogs. This will give you a competitive edge, and the more awareness you show of the company, the more likely you are to have a successful interview.
Your answer, then, should encapsulate the company’s culture, their mission, the skills and experience they value, and how these align to your career objectives.
4. Know the Job Requirements
Like researching the company you’re interviewing with, employers will expect you to know the requirements of the role you’ve applied for. So, before walking into the interview, be sure that you understand what the job actually entails.
Start by carefully reading through the job description included in the ad and move onto the functions of the role within the particular company. Meanwhile, if the job title is slightly different from your previous or current role, ensure that you are aware of any additional elements or responsibilities you’d be expected to take on.
During the interview, align your answers to these requirements and show how your own expertise and skills correspond to the duties of this role. And to make your points even more convincing, refer to previous experiences, projects or tasks that will demonstrate your eligibility for the role. This will undoubtedly tick off a lot of boxes for your recruiters.
5. Be Enthusiastic
A good attitude is key to acing your interview. Even if you’re the most skilled among all the candidates, recruiters will be reluctant to hire someone who seems disengaged during the interview. On the other hand, a candidate who can project their enthusiasm for the job is more likely to succeed and leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.
However, being enthusiastic doesn’t necessarily mean you should be gushing at everything the interviewers say. You don’t want to come across as overeager or desperate. Instead, focus your energy on aspects of the job you are truly interested in and be sure to ask questions regarding the role and the company.
All in all, you need to appear engaged throughout the entire interview and actively listen to what your interviewer is saying.
6. Mind Your Body Language
During your interview, recruiters will be paying close attention to the way you conduct yourself. Indeed, certain nonverbal cues can convey a lot about a candidate’s character and overall attitude. To convince the interviewer that you’re a worthwhile candidate, then, you need to use your body language to your advantage.
Pay close attention to your gestures, facial expressions and posture. Start with a firm handshake that will indicate that you’re assertive and confident. While you’re being interviewed, don’t slouch in your chair, but also be careful not to appear stiff, either. Instead, position yourself in a way that demonstrates that you’re relaxed but also attentive to your interviewer.
Meanwhile, if you’re nervous, focus on your breathing and keep good eye contact with your interviewer.
7. Demonstrate Your Communication Skills
A candidate’s communication skills are an essential factor for the majority of employers. The best time to test these skills, of course, is while you’re being interviewed.
It’s very likely that you will be asked a number of behavioural interview questions that are designed to provide insight into your communication style. However, the content of your answers is equally important to the way you deliver them; your responses should be well-structured and cohesive but also follow a logical line of thought.
The way you listen will also be important to your interviewers. After all, a good communicator is also an attentive listener. Pay close attention to what is being said and nod your head to indicate that you’re alert and concentrated.
Interviews can be quite an unnerving experience. However, the key to a successful interview is to be thoroughly prepared! Take the time to practise answering common interview questions, familiarise yourself with the company and show up to the interview with a positive attitude. This will undoubtedly set you apart from the rest, and possibly help you land your next job!
Which of these techniques did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments section below!