How to nail that interview and land that job

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Well done! If you’ve been invited for interview it means that your initial application has been successful and the employer is considering taking you on-board. The interview is the chance for you and your prospective employer to learn if you’re a good ‘fit’ for each other. It’s your opportunity to show the employer you have the right experience and ability to do the job as well as your chance to sell your personality. The recruiter will want to know that you have a compatible attitude and personality to be a match for the team. With this in mind, here are some tips to help you nail the interview and land that job.

Getting the Basics Right

Dress to impress! Even if you know that it’s a casual environment. Dressing better than suggested looks like you’ve made the effort and if you get it right, it shows you can fit in with the team.

Don’t be late! Always plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early for an interview. If you feel you might be late, always attempt to make the interviewer aware. Remember, being late looks unprofessional.

Greet the interviewer by their name with a firm handshake.

Always maintain eye contact - this shows that you look interested and listen; don’t talk over the interviewer.

Don’t lie; you’ll only set yourself up for a nasty fall when you’re found out!

Be concise, avoid waffling, don’t be derogatory about your current or previous employer and steer away from contentious issues and emotive topics such as politics and religion.

Ask for clarification if you don’t understand the question.  It’s better to ask rather than answer the question wrongly. 

Pause for thought before answering a difficult question, the employer will appreciate you taking the time to give a good answer. 

Enquire about the next stage of the process. This shows that you’re still interested in the role and manages your expectations when it comes to time frames and so forth.

Thank the interviewer/s for their time at the end of the interview.

Call your recruitment consultant after your interview and give them your feedback.

Be Prepared

Interview preparation is the key to success in your career. Ensure you are aware of the contents of your CV and make some notes to formalise your thoughts prior to your interview as it will help you to remember significant facts about your prospective employer.

Here’s some information to help you have a successful interview:

  • Research the company by finding out important facts, how many employees are there and when was the company founded etc. 
  • What recent news can you talk about? For example, a new product, press release, winning an award
  • Your major achievements: work related and non-work related. Where possible quantify what you achieved, for example, increased sales by 15%
  • Reasons you left your last job and want to leave current job. Remember to stay positive and if you had a negative experience, think about what you learnt from that experience and form a positive answer to give at interview
  • Your strengths and weaknesses: try to think of five of each. Chances are you’ll only be asked for three but it’s better to be prepared
  • What value you can add to the role: use your understanding of what the company generally looks for in recruits to help you
  • Questions to ask the interviewer: enthusiasm is crucial but so is asking the right questions. This is your opportunity to interview the interviewer. Although, don’t ask about salary or benefits until the interviewer raises the subject
  • Bring your CV, covering letter and neat notes to the interview. You can then read over these while you wait to be called in to your interview

Common Mistakes

Remember that your interview is an assessment of your personality as well as your skills, knowledge and experience and any negative traits as well as positive ones will help to make up the interviewer’s overall opinion. You have very little time to make a positive impact, so try and avoid common mistakes such as; poor personal appearance, lack of interest and enthusiasm, lack of preparation and research.

When you go into an interview, one of the best things to remember is that your interviewer is just a normal person.  It can be a daunting environment but with the right preparation and a calm demeanour you will be able to interview well and secure the job that you want. 

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