So, you’ve had the call to say you’ve been shortlisted for your dream role. Congratulations! After you’ve given yourself a pat on the back for your successful job application, you’ll need to do your homework to ensure you’re ready for the next phase — the job interview.
Regardless of your previous work experience and the skills you’ve developed, a job interview can make or break the next step in your career. According to business2community.com, ‘while the average length of an interview is 40 minutes, 33% of 2000 surveyed bosses indicated they know within the first 90 seconds if they will hire that candidate’. So make it count!
Here are some tried-and-tested job interview tips to ensure you’re ready to impress:
Remind yourself of your past experience You’re a contender for this role because your expertise and past work history look like a good fit for the position. But remember that you’re going to be asked to talk about the specifics and demonstrate examples, so one of the most important job interview tips is to become an expert on your own history. So you increased website traffic in a previous role? That’s great, but by how much, and in what timeframe? And how did this benefit your previous employer? And would you do anything differently next time? Have a think about how your previous achievements can be relevant to your new employer and frame each response accordingly.
Prepare for unexpected questions Many employers will use pretty standard job interview questions to get to know you. You can probably guess what these are and prepare your answers in advance. A quick Google search for job interview tips will uncover the basics. But, increasingly employers are asking questions designed to intentionally throw you off balance to see how you react — a good way of getting a little insight into your real personality. It’s impossible to prepare for these types of job interview questions, but try and stay calm, be yourself, and tap into your creativity.
Research the organisation Don’t just be an expert when it comes to your own skills and experience, make sure you understand a little about the company you’re interviewing for. One of these best job interview tips is to do your homework and find out about the organisation, the industry, and the key competitors. Become a super-sleuth and use social networks like LinkedIn and Glassdoor to your advantage. If you know anyone working within the organisation — whether past or present — ask them for their valuable insight. Demonstrate the knowledge you’ve picked up during your research whenever you can during the interview — you’re bound to impress.
Ask questions! Don’t forget that any job interview isn’t only about the employer learning about whether you’ll be a good hire, but also a chance for you to decide whether the organisation is right for your needs. Use this time to ask about the potential for progression within the company, any opportunities for more training, and to determine what the company culture is like.
The key to a successful job interview is to ensure you prepare, research and — probably one of the most important job interview tips — is to be yourself. Good luck!