We all know nerves can get the best of us before an interview - it’s a completely normal feeling! However, nerves, feeling overwhelmed and lack of preparation or research can all be avoided.
The keys to successful interviews are: practice, preparation, research and of course more practice! We prepared some of the top tips below to enable you to prepare effectively for your interviews.
Research the company you are interviewing for. Ensure that you have a good understanding of the company and the role. Ask your recruitment consultant questions about the company, role and team ethics.
Ensure you understand the following points about the company:
- Services the company offers
- The problem they solve for clients
It is also important to understand who the company’s competitors are and what is happening within the wider industry and market the company operates within.
2. Prepare answers
Prepare answers to common questions such as “How would you approach…” and problem-solving scenario-based questions. Always use examples from previous experiences in similar situations.
Typical questions asked in interviews:
- Tell me about yourself?
- Talk me through your CV and experience?
- How would you approach x situation?
- Can you give an example of when you had to resolve x situation or problem?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
- How would your current manager describe you?
- What is it about this role that has interested you?
Ensure you dress professionally regardless of the business dress code. First impressions count - remember this is the first time the employer is meeting you!
4. Timekeeping/ punctuality
You should always plan to arrive early, not too early though! Ensure you leave yourself up to 20 mins to accommodate for any travel disruptions and allow yourself time to orientate and compose in the new environment.
5. Body language
When you approach the reception, smile and speak in a polite manner - remember you are being interviewed from the minute you walk through the front door.
When you’re greeted by the interviewer smile and give a firm handshake. Speak clearly and politely. Be aware of your posture and enthusiasm.
Ask for a glass of water this will help you to remain calm, hydrated and focused during the interview.
Listen carefully to what the interviewer is asking/ saying, wait for the interviewer to finish and consider you answers. Reply to questions with confidence and remember to always use examples when answering.
7. Be positive
Choose your words carefully, try to use verbs to your advantage. Using words like “achieved”, “implemented”, “succeeded”.
8. Ask question
Ensure you prepare questions you want to ask the interviewer; this will show your interest and enthusiasm in the role and company, also helping you to assess and clarify anything you were unaware of previously.
Asking questions to the interviewer will help you to get to know and understand their background and experiences.
Questions you should ask during interviews:
- How does the team work collaboratively?
- What does the company have in its pipeline for the next few years?
- How did you get to your current position?
- What will be my responsibilities?
- Where will I fit into the overall organisational structure?
- Who will I report to?
- Where does he/she fit in the structure?
- Who will report to me?
- What do you expect me to do in the first 6 months?
- What are the chances of advancement/promotion in this position?
9. Closing statement
Close the interview with a strong statement. Ask about when you will receive feedback, what the next steps are and the timescales that they are working to.
10. Review and improvements
This step is just as important as the previous steps. Ensure you take time to review your answers and reflect, consider whether you could have worded the questions differently or better.