First things first: if you have got to the interview stage, congratulate yourself. You have been chosen from a large number of applicants and you've done well. Keep reminding yourself that it is not easy to get this far. Secondly, when people say to you ‘you'll be fine - just be yourself', you need to know that it is excellent advice, but not enough to get you a job in today's job market.
Before you go on a job interview, it's important to find out as much as you can about not only the job, but also the company. Company research is a critical part of interview preparation. It will help you prepare to both answer interview questions about the company and to ask the interviewer questions about the company. You will also be able to find out whether the company and the company culture are a good fit for you.
During the interview, watch your body language – shake hands firmly and make eye contact as you articulate your points. Pay attention, be attentive, and look interested. This is something you can work on in your practice interviews.
When explaining to a prospective employer why you want the job, try framing your answer in terms of value alignment. Demonstrate how your values align with theirs. Many companies share their values publicly on their websites. Read up on them and craft your answer around them. You want to be sincere, so only play up the values that are meaningful to you.
Most employers today are seeking team players that are levelheaded under pressure, upbeat, honest, reliable, and dedicated.
When someone asks you to tell them about yourself, you’ve been given a golden opportunity to communicate your well-rehearsed personal brand positioning statement. Keep it short (2-3 sentences), make it memorable, and generate chemistry. Give them a feel for what you're like to work with, and how well you'll fit their company culture.
One of the most important aspects of an interview are the questions you ask because it can either leave a strong lasting impression on the interviewer, or make you come across as clueless.
Try to avoid asking any questions regarding benefits, working hours, vacation or salary at this point. Your main goal of the interview is get them to make you an offer. Once you have the offer you can then discuss compensation and benefits.
Just as it is important for you to know how your work is being measured, it is also a good idea to understand how the company views success. Companies have different standards for what success is, and it often reflects their demands and the level of ambition within the company.
What type of employee tends to succeed here? What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm? This question shows the interviewer that you care about your future at the company, and it will also help you decide if you're a good fit for the position.
What is the typical career path for someone in this role? This question can help you learn whether the company promotes from within, and how career advancement works within the organisation. By asking the question, you show your interest in growing with the organisation — just be careful not to phrase it in a way that sounds too self-serving (i.e. When can I expect a raise and a promotion?).
Ask if there is any reason the hiring manager wouldn’t hire you. (This can be a little daunting to ask BUT can really pay off. It allows you to address something they may be thinking in their head but haven’t brought up.)
Your interviewer will expect for you to have some inquiries. Not asking any questions could make you seem unprepared or disinterested, so take the time to have some questions of your own ready to ask the hiring manager.
If you would like to know more about preparing for an interview speak to one of our expert consultants today. Just don't be this guy...