In an ideal world you will have prepared yourself, you’ll be brimming with confidence, armed with knowledge and examples of experiences that will show that you are the ideal candidate for the job, and the nerves will be at a minimum level.
If you answer yes to all of the above, then you’ll have given yourself a great chance of getting the job. However, you still have to shine at the interview stage.
Rule No.1 : Always make sure that you are FULLY PREPARED for your interview.
Rule No.2 : Create a good first impression.
Rule No.3 : Sell, but don’t oversell yourself.
Arrive on time: Arrive 10 minutes early for your interview. We’ve mentioned it before, but like preparation, it can’t be stressed enough that you must be on time for your interview. If you arrive late, your stress levels will be high and your chances of being the successful candidate will be slim.
Confidence not nerves: Try to show that you are confident, outwardly at least. Showing too many nerves may have your prospective employers wondering if you’ll be able to handle the pressure when the proverbial hits the fan in the workplace. Remember, the interviewer likes you and believes that you can do the job, that’s why they selected you to attend for interview.
Positive body language: Exhibit good, positive, friendly, assertive body language. This forms part of creating a good first impression. Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake (dry hands!), a smile and good positive eye contact. You may want to thank the interviewer for their time, either at the start, or at the end of the interview. Make sure that you sit up straight and look attentive. Don’t slouch in your seat or fidget. Be calm and sit still. Try to create a good professional level rapport, not only with the interviewer, but with any other members of staff whom you may meet on your way in and out of the interview room. Don’t forget body language is something that you can practice beforehand in front of a mirror or with a friend in order to ensure that you are projecting yourself in a manner that just oozes positivity!
Don’t interrupt: Remember, once the interview starts, maintain good eye contact with the interviewer, and try not to stare around the room. Your focus should remain on the interviewer throughout the process. Never interrupt or talk over the interviewer whilst they are speaking. Be polite and wait until they pause or gesture that it is now your turn to speak.
Mirroring the interviewer’s behavior: In the interests of attempting to establish a professional rapport with the interviewer, try to pay attention to their body language. If the interviewer is talkative and energetic then you should try to be the same. Conversely, if the interviewer is more introverted and more considered, then it is may be good idea to curb your enthusiasm and adopt a calmer approach.
Addressing weaknesses : Never freely volunteer any of your weaknesses to the interviewer. We all have them, but it is up to the interviewer to find them out, in relation to the role. If you get asked a question about your weaknesses, which you probably will, be sure to have a rehearsed answer ready. Your answer could be based around area where there may be room for slight improvement, and you can explain what you are doing to address it. Or you can answer by turning the negative into a positive ie. sometimes I think that I’m too much of a perfectionist. It is important to be sincere when answering the weaknesses question, but you need to be careful about choosing a weakness that may affect your suitability for the role in the eyes of the interviewer.
Don’t waffle, keep it strictly business: Don’t waffle. Be concise in your answers. Don’t ramble off on a tangent talking about things in relation to your personal life. Keep your communication on a business level, unless you are prompted by the interviewer to talk on a more personal level.
Don’t be negative: Don’t talk negatively about anything in the interview situation. In particular, you must never be negative about any of your previous jobs or past companies whom you have worked for. Always try to be diplomatic and look for the positives, in order to avoid sounding bitter. Negative talk will set the alarm bells ringing in the head of the interviewer.
Don’t exaggerate achievements: You will need to sell yourself during the interview, but be careful not to overdo it. One thing that you should never do is to make false claims about your achievements or over-exaggerate your achievements and skills. Even if you get away with it at interview, this could back to haunt you further down the line, and there could be grounds for dismissal, if were to be given the job and been found to have lied during the interview.
Answer the question: Always stick to answering the question that you are asked during the interview. It may be tempting to go off on a tangent in order to try to “crow bar” in some information that want to get across to the interviewer. But it won’t impress if it doesn’t help to address the question you have been asked. Save that until the end, when it’s your turn to ask a few questions, and maybe things are bit more informal.
Avoid these: Use of unacceptable language. It goes without saying that any form of foul language is an absolute no no when in an interview situation. Ditto also for any discriminative behavior ie. the use of racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist language. It is also a good idea to steer clear from talking about your political persuasions or religious beliefs at interview, as they may differ from those of the interviewer, or worse still, they may offend.
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