Professional Life // Eight Top Interview Tips

Last week I went for my first interview in eight years. I got the job and was told that I impressed them during the interview. I know it was the most confident I have ever felt during an interview and I wasn’t even a little bit nervous. This is down to being on the other side of the table.

Over the last six years I have conducted numerous interviews, so many that I couldn’t even recall them all, but knowing what interviewers want to hear has made being interviewed much easier. When interviewing a candidate you are really willing them on and so I thought hitting you with some tips might help someone out there.

  1. Do your research – read up on the company, what projects they are currently working on, what their mission statement is, what their values are, the size of the company, etc etc.
  2. Swot up on the job you have applied for – what attributes and experience can you evidence during your interview, what are the desireable elements in relation to your skill set? What dept/team is it based in and what do they do?
  3. Think about what questions they might ask and practice your answers – these could be generic such as strengths/weaknesses, your USP, what three words would your friends use to describe you, give an example of a time you overcame a challenge, your biggest achievement, etc. They might also be focused on the type of work, so experience of using a specific database or managing, etc.
  4. Think about your appearance – avoid statement clothes or make-up as it can distract from what you’re saying. Dress as smartly as is appropriate for the role and ensure you are comfortable. I personally like candidates to show a bit of personality through their apperance, whether it’s nice glasses, a statement bag (that sits on the floor but that you see at the start/end), piercings if they have them, etc. This is a personal opinion and suggestion.
  5. Read your invite carefully – check date and time so that you arrive early, check parking/transport situation to avoid getting flustered pre interview. Be prepared if they have said there will be a test or presentation aspect and take your ID or any documentation they have asked to see.
  6. Be prepared to ask questions – you will get asked for questions so have some prepared. Quite often your questions are answered during the interview so have a few lined up. You can clarify hours/days, ask when you will hear the outcome, or ask something specific about the company, a project they are working on or the direction they are heading in. Don’t ask about benefits such as annual leave allowance, wages etc as any benefits can be negotiated when they offer you the role.
  7. When you get asked why you applied or why you want the role ensure you mention several reasons including a desire to work for the company with a reason behind this. Other reasons might be that your skills and experience match the role and why you are applying for it (why now?).
  8. Finally. Be confident – know that you can do this role, you have more than enough experience and knowledge, that you are a good fit for the company and this will come across.

Good luck! Drop me a comment below if you have any questions. Don’t forget it’s better to be over prepared. You can never do too much research.

T

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