We all know that interviews can be daunting. As recruitment experts, we’ve learnt over the years which approaches work and which don’t.
Being composed in an interview is key. How do you stay composed, you ask? It’s simple — you come prepared.
So, let’s start helping you prepare. We’ll leave aside the basics, such as arriving slightly early and dressing appropriately. There are certain ways to carry yourself and answer questions that will make you stand out, and certain pitfalls to avoid. Today, we’ll look at 6 tips to keep in mind for that next important interview.
1. Make sure you have done your homework on the company. The question ‘what do you know about our company?’ often comes up in some manner. Check out the company’s website and familiarise yourself with their history and values, so that you can distinguish yourself as an active and diligent candidate.
2. Do not badmouth your last company if asked why you left your last role. Ideally, keep conversations about your previous workplaces positive. If you’re quick to disparage your old company, the interviewer will be left wondering what you might be likely to say about their company if you were to work with them. It’s best to keep things upbeat; an interview is your time to shine, not complain!
3. Be positive and deliberate in your answers. Try to avoid negative language wherever possible. For instance, the statement ‘I am not a slow (or lazy) worker’ sounds much better when changed to ‘I am an enthusiastic (or diligent) worker, who takes pride in everything they do’. Both of these statements convey similar meanings, but the latter sounds much more positive. Thinking about your word choice can make all the difference in an interview. Take your time and be deliberate when answering. An interviewer will prefer someone that takes a moment to consider their answer over someone speaks hurriedly and confusingly.
4. ‘What are your weaknesses?’ is a common pitfall. Do not start listing what you see as your personal defects! Instead, give an answer that does not prevent you from succeeding in the role. You could also think of a weakness phrased as something you’d like to improve. For instance, speaking in front of crowds is a legitimate concern for many. This very honest weakness can be presented positively by saying ‘I’ve not always been comfortable addressing large groups of people; however I look forward to opportunities to do so because I want to challenge and adapt myself’. You want to present yourself as someone with growth rather than a fixed mindset. Show you’re someone always willing to self-reflect and improve.
5. You should always stick to work-related content wherever possible. Of course, you do not want to only talk about work in an interview — the interviewer is considering whether you are a social fit for the company, too — but it is important not to overshare your personal life. Unless you and the interviewer find a connection point and they’re asking engaging questions, then it’s usually safe to say they’d rather hear about your professional qualities and performance. What can you bring to the role, and how can you prove it? You are there to fill a potential job role, after all. Answer questions clearly as possible, keep it relevant, and avoid rambling
6. Look up potential interview questions and think about what you would say. Perhaps even practise your answers with a friend. It’s difficult to cover everything that could come up in an interview, but having some practice will help when it comes to the real thing. Overall, every company wants you to demonstrate that you can meet the job specifications, and to show you’re someone they can imagine themselves working alongside. At the end of the day, interviews are a chance for you to display your skill-set and experience. Stay professional and composed, avoid common mistakes, and try your best to remain calm!
We hope that these interview tips can help you secure your next role! Looking to put these tips into practice? Browse our current vacancies here.
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