After working in recruitment for 8 years I have heard many different reasons why people didn’t get the job they interviewed for as they didn’t interview well. I also recently interviewed someone to come and work at TaylorCare whose CV looked great but didn’t present well in the interview. No matter how much interview preparation we do with our applicant these top tips would still help job seekers with their next interview.
Research the company:
It is crucial when attending an interview to come prepared! Research the company and their competition, review the position description, understand what the role requires and look at the company’s website. Nothing impresses a hiring manager more when you have done your research on the company you are applying for; know what areas they specialise in and where your skills might fit that organisation.
Dress for success:
Have you heard of the saying dress for the job you want not the job you have got? This is essential when going for an interview. Consider what the attire should be for the organisation. If in doubt, take a more formal, conservative approach.
Be on time:
It goes without saying that being late to the interview will create a negative first impression. It is best to arrive five to ten minutes early. Use this time to mentally prepare and relax. Give yourself time to find the location where you are interviewing and even wait at a local coffee shop so you are not late for your interview. If you are driving ensure you leave home with plenty of time to allow for traffic delays. If you have taken all these measures and you’re still running late, call ahead to the employer and let them know you are running late and why.
Listen carefully to the questions asked of you at the interview:
How many times have you been to an interview and they ask you a question you really don’t know the answer to? Then you end up rambling on about something close enough to the answer and think “oh well at least I said something”. Don’t be fooled, the interviewer knows that you didn’t know the answer so there is no point doing this. I recommend if you don’t know the answer then just say that, or ask them to repeat the question. It is always better to be honest than make something up.
Be positive about your previous employers:
We all have jobs that we didn’t love or might have ended badly but it’s so important you explain why you left your previous employers with caution. Always be honest about why you left and if it was on bad terms really think how you are going to explain that to a potential employer at the interview. You don’t want to focus all your experience with a previous employer as a negative one, so after you have explained your reason for leaving then follow on with all the achievements you had in that role and all the transferable skills you have gained that could potentially add value to the job you’re interviewing for next. This will also show how you have coped under pressure and how you bounce back from conflict or tough situations.
It’s hard to naturally promote yourself but at an interview, it’s your time to shine. Use the interview as an opportunity to sell yourself, but try not to exaggerate or come across as too rehearsed. Expand on your answers to closed questions to show you understand the implications of the question but be careful not to ramble. It’s easy to over talk things when you’re nervous so if you feel you’re over talking an answer always check in with the panel and ask “have I answered that sufficiently” that allows the panel to steer you back on track if needed.
These are some of my top tips for your next interview, I’m sure there are plenty more so let me know your top tips too.
Your dream job might only be a good interview away!