7 top tips to survive and thrive in an interview
When it comes to interviews everyone has a different approach. The truth is there is no “right” way. However, whether you are the interviewer or the interviewee there are techniques to avoid as well as simple steps you can take to improve. Here are our top 7 tips for interviewee’s:
1. Research, research, research:
From understanding the history of the business, to checking out their LinkedIn profile, to reading their news articles on their website: you should know as much about the business, its ethos, its people and the role you are applying for as possible. Doing adequate research will prepare you for questions, create the questions you will ask, and help highlight your interest and dedication to the interview during conversation.
2. Ask questions (1):
Your research will more than likely spark questions in your mind for the interviewer so don’t be afraid to ask them. We aren’t talking – “how flexible are you on working remotely?” Or “what would my holiday entitlement would be?” (you haven’t been offered the job yet).
What we mean is asking questions that enable you to dig deeper into the culture of the organisation you are applying to work for. For example: ‘where does the business hope to develop and grow over the next 5 years?’ Is this position part of that growth?’ These questions will make the conversation more two-sided and engaging and allow the interviewer to demonstrate their enthusiasm for the business.
3. Ask questions (2):
We have all had a ‘my mind has gone blank moment’! You are asked a question and all of a sudden you have forgotten how to process words and language – in other words, you PANIC! Resolve the situation quickly and give yourself thinking room by asking the interviewer for an example of what they mean, or an example of what they have been through. All interviewers should be prepared for this and happy to share their experiences which will give you a little nudge for your own bank of experiences.
4. Dress your best:
First impressions count and they count for a lot! It has been said that interviewers make a decision in the first few minutes of meeting a candidate, so develop a confident and reciprocating handshake, a genuine smile and make sure you look the part. Unless you are specifically told to dress down you should always look smart and well presented, whether this is via video chat or in person.
5. Don’t slouch!
When taking interviews via video call you must consider your background and seating area: sofas may be comfortable but they affect your posture which can look unprofessional. You can practice your interview stances and techniques with others to help you improve, however, we recommend avoiding friends and family due to personal bias.
Top tip: Eye contact is good. However, remember if you are on a video call you need to look into the camera and avoid watching your own picture while talking.
6. Have a plan:
There are two types of people when it comes to forward planning, those who have their entire life mapped out, and those of us who struggle to think further than what to cook for dinner. Regardless of which category you fall into, it is important for the purposes of the interview to have an idea of where you would like to see yourself in that business. The interviewer needs to know that you want to be a part of their business and its future.
Top tip: avoid telling an interviewer you will take any job in any role (even if its true). Showing passion for a role, business or industry is a big positive!
7. Know your CV and make it fit:
If you have made it to the interviewing stage the chances are your CV is already pretty good, but make sure you know what is in it as you will be asked questions about it in the interview. It is also essential that you regularly update your CV and cover letter, and ensure they are tailored according to the role you are applying for. For example, the CV and application letter for a marketing or creative design role should look significantly different to that applying for a legal or tax role. Think before you apply and 100% read the job description.
Wondering how to become a great interviewer? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Read our top 7 tips here.
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