How to smash the interview stages!
14th Aug, 2018
It’s interview time.
When you get through to the interview stages, all of a sudden, everything starts to feel real. The employer has decided your CV looks good, they liked your cover letter, maybe you’ve even spoken to them on the phone and now they want a face to face interview (#scarytimes).
This isn’t only the company’s first genuine insight into the person you are, but it’s also your first look into your potential employer – a big day for both parties!
The key to a successful interview is simple: preparation.
Let us take you through the steps of how to prepare for an interview, so that the moment you walk through the doors, you have your head held high, a smile on your face and a confidence that radiates, showing that you’re the person for the job!
Before the Interview
The place to begin is research. Take a look into the company you’re interviewing for – do they have a social media presence, are there any press releases about them, have they won any awards, can you find any existing employees on LinkedIn to see what they’re talking about, and what does their website’s ‘About Us’ section say? Perhaps they have some core values you can relate and respond to.
Researching the company in advance shows initiative and an active interest for the job, it also helps you find talking points and plan for any questions, because you know this is something the interviewer will ask!
Wow them with an intelligent question
When it comes to planning your questions, we know it’s tempting to ask about topics like pay and holiday, but we’d definitely steer well clear of this because it’s not attractive to an employer. Instead, try asking questions along the lines of where the company’s heading. For example, you could say, ‘I see that you’ve been in the press for…How do you plan to continue this work?’ Questions like this show intelligence and that you’re interested in the company’s progress.
Refresh your memory
Finally, before the big day, make sure that you read through your CV to remind yourself of what the interviewer has in their hands. They’re guaranteed to ask you questions related to the points on your CV so be prepared to expand on what you have written.
The Big Day!
First things first, take a deep breath; what’s meant to be will be. Just remember, if you don’t get this job, there’ll be another waiting for you, and we’ll be here to support you along the way. Hopefully, that will instantly relieve some of the pressure for you!
Timing is of the essence
It’s vital to plan ahead so you arrive early (we recommend 30 minutes before). This will help you to feel more relaxed and mentally prepared, as well as looking more professional to the person conducting the interview.
Dressing well is another thing that will boost your confidence. Make sure that unless you hear otherwise, you wear smart attire.
So, you’re in the best place you can be physically and mentally: you’ve dressed to impress, practised your power poses, prepared your questions and responses, and taken some deep breaths.
Once you’re called in, smile and step forward to confidently shake the interviewer’s hand. You want to take a firm grip but not enough to crunch their hand!
When you sit down, don’t forget about your body language. Sit up straight and keep eye contact with the person asking the questions, as this shows confidence and good communication skills. Of course, feel free to look away from time to time, like for example, when you’re trying to think of an answer to a question. If, at first, you don’t feel comfortable keeping eye contact, why not practise with a friend!
It’s ok to let your personality come through; they’ve got skills and experience from your CV, now’s the time for them to see what you’re like as a person and whether you’re going to fit into the work environment – it’s all about building rapport.
Show off a little, that’s what you’re there for, but be careful not to go too far - they don’t need to know what you can bench press at the gym (unless of course, you’re going for a job in that field)!
The last thing to keep in mind is that you want to end on a positive note. Tell the interviewer how you look forward to hearing from them again and give them a final handshake.
And You’re Done!
Take a brief moment, perhaps in the car, to reflect on how the interview went in your eyes. It’s always good to look back and think about what went well and what could have gone better.
If you’d like more advice for an upcoming interview, contact a member of the YW Pro Team on 02072200815.
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