Looking for a job can be a daunting task and many times it takes sending more resumes than we care to admit before receiving the elusive phone call to come in for an interview. You may think that getting the interview was the hard part, but as many of us know, a job interview is nerve wrecking, to say the least. Whether applying for a summer job or your dream position, we all get hit with pre-interview nerves. Interviews are inevitable so being able to do it well is an important skill if you wish to have career progression in the future. Luckily, like any skill, it can be honed and shaped with practice and experience, each becoming easier than the last.
So how do you ace that next interview? Here are some tips on how to nail your next interview from the eyes of an interviewer.
Make a good first impression
It is often said that people make their initial judgements about someone in the first five minutes of meeting them. Keeping this in mind is essential for getting off on the right foot with an interviewer. Start before you even enter the building through your chosen wardrobe. Interview attire can speak volumes about your professionalism. This does not mean you have to go out and buy an expensive outfit but more make sure that clothes are ironed, hair is styled, and that all aspects of your appearance is well groomed. Once you arrive at the interview, make sure to know the name of the person you are meeting and whoever you encounter, provide them with a friendly smile. Small effort and genuine gestures can go a long way and sometimes that great first impression is what can set you apart from the rest of the competition.
Do your research
Familiarising yourself with the expectations and job requirements of the role you're applying for is an expectation for any job interview. This also includes taking it a step further by researching the company itself and, perhaps, the interviewer. Understanding the company’s current and past projects or clients, as well as the industry as a whole, will give insight into the way the company is run and shows preparation and enthusiasm from your side. Taking the time to practice potential interview questions will also calm your nerves and ensure you are prepared. Thankfully there are hundreds of websites offering examples for you to use as a guide. Being prepared and taking the time to research is an overall great way to ensure conversation flow, avoiding any awkward situations and demonstrating initiative.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Show the potential employer that you are honestly interested in the role you are applying for and looking to learn more about the company. Find out how many people are in the team, who you would be reporting to, as well as the core expectations of the role. This will provide important information and also allow you to determine if the position and company would be a good fit for you. At the end of the day, employers want to hire people who they believe will suit the job and work environment. By asking questions, you will be able to make an informed decision if offered the job and the interviewer will be impressed by your enthusiasm.
Confidence is key
Interviewers tend to look for employees who are comfortable and confident, so whether you feel it or not, fake it till you make it. A firm initial handshake and maintaining eye contact is a great start to showing confidence. Remember, the interviewer has seen something in your CV and cover letter that they believe would make you a good fit for the role, otherwise they would not have bothered to meet with you. Be confident with your skills and remember, you know your experiences better than anyone. Make sure this shines through and the interviewer will see what a happy, confident employee you would make, demonstrating you as a strong asset and increasing your chances of gaining that position.
Build a rapport
Building a rapport with your interviewer will provide you with an upper hand to the rest of the applicants applying for the same position. People hire people and if you are able to build that connection from the start, you are more likely to be memorable when it comes to shortlisting candidates. You can easily do this during your interview by breaking the ice with a compliment about the workspace or simply asking the interviewer how they are. At the end of the day, just be the warm friendly version of yourself and treat the interview like a conversation to provide an open line of communication between you and the interviewer.