The sole aim of the recruitment process is to demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to be the ideal candidate for a role. If you’ve been fortunate enough to be called for an interview, then you have already shown the hiring team that you tick plenty of boxes. Now it’s time to seal the deal! Here are my nine top interview tips to help you shine!
1. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!
As with anything in life, preparation is key! Have you thoroughly researched the company, the role and the interview panel? Think about the types of questions you may be asked and jot down some notes to help you answer these fluently. Try to have a range of examples ready so that you can validate your key skills and attributes, and demonstrate to the interview panel that you will be a positive addition to their organisation. If you need help with this, Glassdoor have identified 50 of the most common interview questions.
2. Non-verbal communication
By this, I mean displaying your confidence before you’ve even said a word. This can be maintaining eye contact, sitting/standing tall, a friendly smile, and when normal service is resumed, a good, firm handshake! In online interviews, turning up early for the Zoom or Teams call and being in a quiet, tidy setting is really important when it comes to making a lasting first impression.
3. Dress the part
Not only does dressing smartly boost our confidence, but it also shows that we are serious about landing a role. Business dress has changed significantly during the pandemic, with many companies adopting a much more relaxed dress code whilst working from home. The creative sector tends to be more informal, but that doesn’t mean you should look dishevelled or scruffy. Take the time to think about what you will wear, and what sort of message it conveys about you and your ambition.
4. Communication skills
Once it comes to the interview, it’s important to show off some of your softer skills, such as communication. This includes paying attention when others are talking, good listening, answering questions fully and covering all the main points.
5. Don’t waffle
Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, and it can be easy to ramble under pressure. Be sure to answer all the questions in full and with clarity. If you do experience a bit of a mind blank, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking the interviewer to repeat the question. This can also be a good tactic for buying you a little time to take a deep breath and calm your nerves before you attempt to answer!
6. Be professional
It’s important to come across as friendly and personable during an interview, but be mindful of becoming too familiar! Make sure you don’t use any inappropriate language and be respectful when addressing the interview panel.
7. Don’t be overconfident
When it comes to giving yourself the best possible chance of securing a role, displaying your confidence through non-verbal means and the delivery of your answers is vital. Being overconfident is likely to rub people up the wrong way though. You run the risk of coming across as being cocky, which doesn’t make for a good team player! Provide practical examples and show how you have added value to a team or a project, but deliver these in a modest, humble manner. It’s all about striking the right balance.
8. Ask questions
Be prepared with questions you want to ask and jot down any that come to you during the interview. Here are some examples of questions that you could use:
- Can you tell me a little about the team I would be working in?
- What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?
- What are the training and progression opportunities within the role/company?
- Where do you see the company heading in the next five years?
- Can you describe the culture of the organisation?
9. Finish strong!
A lasting impression can be just as important as the first one, so finish strong! Thank the interview panel for their time and compliment them by telling them how nice it was to meet them. Ask them when you should expect to hear back about a decision too. This shows that you’re keen and enthusiastic.
Would you like some more top interview tips?
I really hope you’ve found this blog useful and that it’s given you some handy pointers that you can put in place before, and during, your next interview. If you’d like more top interview tips, and to find about how I can help you with your job search, contact me to book a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation.