The interview is a two-way process. It is an opportunity for both you and the company to identify whether you are suitable for the role. Everyone approaches a job interview with some degree of apprehension. Nerves are perfectly natural; in fact the ‘right’ level of nerves can improve your performance in the interview. The main thing to remember is that the employer has asked to see you and has therefore been impressed with what they have read in your CV.
The most important thing for you to do prior to an interview is preparation. The old saying “fail to prepare then prepare to fail” is true. The time you invest before the interview will make you more confident and will increase your chance of success.
Listed below are a few proven strategies that will help you take control of the interview and ensure that the whole process goes smoothly.
Do your homework
You will gain a briefing about the company and role from BYT however it is worth you researching the company independently. Log onto the company’s website, read company literature and find out about the main competitors. Identify what key opportunities they are facing in the marketplace and what obstacles they may be facing. You will be able to use this information during the interview, either indirectly or by answering specific questions. Additionally, find out through BYT what kind of interview you will be attending (e.g. competency based, presentation, exercises) so you can prepare fully.
Make a good first impression
Research supports the view that only 10% of what we say is effectively communicated and understood. Therefore non-verbal communication is extremely important. The way you act, your posture, gestures and facial expressions, will reveal a lot about you. Look the interviewer in the eye and don’t be afraid to smile when its appropriate.
Be ready to expand on your CV. Emphasise your most relevant skills and explain how they relate to the role to which you are applying for. Give relevant examples of your experience and reassure the interviewer that any shortfalls can be met with training and experience.
Handling tough questions with confidence
Employers will ask deliberately designed questions to see how you behave and react in certain situations. If you find these questions stressful then the key is to plan. It is perfectly possible to anticipate challenging interview questions and prepare a coherent, effective response.
Never answer a question with a knee-jerk response. Always seek clarification before answering and if you don’t know an answer, it’s much better to admit this than guess.
The interview is a two-way process
At the end of the interview, the employer will usually ask if you have any questions about the job or company, so prepare a few in advance. This is a good chance to clarify any points of doubt and will enable you to make an informed decision as to whether this is the job for you. Additionally, you will be able to demonstrate how you have researched the role and the company.
Possible questions to ask:
Closing on a confident note
Leave the employer with a good final impression. Smile, thank them for their time, say you enjoyed discussing the job and that you look forward to hearing from them soon.