Interviews for new jobs can be daunting. Most people have a fear of the unknown. Get ahead of the game and escape the fear by preparing yourself fully and know what to expect when you confidently walk in to your interview, showing the employer why you are good for their job. Here we have compiled some tips for how to best handle interviews.
Research the company beforehand and know what you are going in to. The company will more than likely ask you questions directly involving their company and industry so doing your homework beforehand will give you the upper hand and hopefully you will be able to correctly answer their questions. Learn about their individual company but also their industry. Who are they, what do they do, who is their competitor if any, and so on.
From this, you can think of ways that you as an individual will benefit the company. In your interview, highlight these points to the employer. Sell yourself; what can you do for them, how are you the right person for the job and so on. If you are prepared, you will demonstrate that you are committed and knowledgeable, otherwise you will look complacent and most likely fall short.
A Strong Introduction
You'll never have a second chance to make a good first impression... Studies show that it takes just 7 seconds for someone to form their first opinions on other people. Employers are looking at all parts of a candidate. Plan to arrive early. This will eradicate any chances of being late, and being early will show you are reliable and punctual.
Make sure you allow your actions to speak louder than words. This gives a better chance of making a good first impression as your actions will say a lot more than any words could in only 7 seconds. Dress appropriately so you look the part. This will show the employer you are respectable and committed. Even if the interview brief states casual, dress smartly. It is better to be overdressed than to be judged as scruffy. Don't show up in trainers and casual clothing; make the effort to show them why they should take a chance on you.
Start with an introduction, make your 7 seconds memorable. Smile and show the employer you are friendly and approachable. Speak clearly, and introduce yourself. Even though the employer will more than likely already know who you are, shake their hands and say something along the lines of "hi, I'm Ashleigh". This breaks the tension and will likely be followed with a handshake and they will tell you who they are. To this, you can reply "it's lovely to meet you", This will give you a friendly and confident start.
Make sure you maintain eye contact and have a firm handshake. A handshake is a universal sign of confidence and professionalism. Don't be too strong or barely touch them. Find a balance between the two. Greet all interviewers individually and you will come across better. Do not sit down until invited to do so. This will likely be shortly after you have greeted your interviewers. You don't want to come across as complacent or rude so follow the interviewer's instructions and they will see that you listen to instructions and aren't lazy given the chance to be.
Carry Yourself Well Throughout
You may have made a good first impression, but do not start slacking. Sit up straight, smile and talk clearly throughout. Don't lose yourself. The employer will be constantly paying attention so even something small you may not think is important could be the difference between getting the job and not. Use appropriate language throughout your interview, involving technical terms relating to the industry if possible, always refraining from swearing. Hold eye contact and stay focused. Do not fidget or slouch in the chair. If necessary, take a small amount of time before answering the question to think it through, This will save you getting flustered and potentially blurting out something you didn't mean to say. Don't speak badly of any previous people in your life regardless of the situation. It will reflect badly on you even if the interviewer would agree. If you don't know the answer to the question, it may be better to admit it rather than trying to fake an answer which could be wrong.
Leave a Lasting Impression
Remain professional, ask any questions you may have, and keep smiling. Some people even like to counter the interviewer and ask them questions such as "do you have any concerns with me regarding this role?". This may seem daunting, but it may be they have no concerns, but if they do, put their minds at ease and squash any potential concerns they may have. Even if you don't think the interview went well, they might have liked you and you may have surprised yourself, so keep the faith and don''t give up. Shake the interviewers hand when leaving too. If they don't tell you when they will be in touch, ask. Discuss what happens next, when you will hear from them, how quickly you would start and other things on the same lines. This will show you are eager and interested in their position.
Lastly, offer them a last chance for further information. Ask them if they have everything they need or ask if there's anything else they need from you. They might want to see a portfolio or other work related things.
Finally, end on a polite and positive note. Leave a good impression. It's always a good idea to thank your interviewer for giving you the opportunity to meet with them and discuss the roles and so on. shake their hands again as a professional goodbye. It might be a good idea once the interview is over and you have left to write to them to again thank them for their time. This will show that you are appreciative and on the ball.
DON'T PANIC, and GOOD LUCK.