No matter how many interviews you’ve attended in your lifetime, it never seems to get any easier. This is mainly because with each interview you are meeting new people, and you need to sell yourself and your skills.
1. Practice and Prepare – Specific and concise are the best answers, always use examples that highlight your skillset. Your answers should relate to skills that are important to the employer and relevant to the position. Even though it’s important to familiarise yourself with the best answers, it is equally important to listen carefully to your interviewer to ensure your provide information that he/she is looking for.
2. Have a travel plan and check your timing - This job interview tip is crucial: check driving or commute time to the interview location. Add a buffer for the unexpected – an extra half hour can save the day if you take a wrong turn, get off at the wrong stop, or run into unexpected traffic. If you are driving, consider filling up the tank the day before to eliminate the need for extra stops on the morning of the interview.
3. Research the employer, hiring manager and job opportunity - Success in a job interview starts with a solid foundation of knowledge on the jobseeker’s part. You should understand the employer, the requirements of the job, and the background of the person (or people) interviewing you. The more research you conduct, the more you’ll understand the employer, and the better you’ll be able to answer interview questions. Scour the organisation’s website, LinkedIn and if possible ask questions about the company in your network of contacts.
4. Get Ready ahead of time – Have one good interview outfit ready, so you can interview on short notice without having to worry about what to wear. When you have an interview lined up, get everything ready the night before. Not only will planning out everything buy you time in the morning, but it will also save you from having to make decisions, which means you can use that brain power during your interview. Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a notepad, pen and a nice portfolio with extra copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note-taking.
5. Be on time – This means 5-10 minutes early. Few things can shake you more than running late to an interview, so always arrive early. However, be sure to wait in your car or a nearby café, as being too early can place unnecessary pressure on your interviewer and start the meeting off on the wrong foot. You shouldn’t walk into the office building more than 10 minutes early. “It can come across as an imposition, as if you are expecting the interviewer to drop whatever he or she is doing to attend to you.”
6. Make good first impressions - A fundamental rule of interviewing is to be polite and offer warm greetings to everyone you meet from the parking attendant to the receptionist to the hiring manager. Employers often are curious how job applicants treat staff members and your job offer could easily be spoilt if you’re rude or arrogant to any of the staff. When it’s time for the interview, keep in mind that first impressions can make or break an interview.
7. Remember the importance of Body language - While the content of your interview responses is paramount, poor body language can be a distraction at best, or a reason not to hire you at worst. Effective forms of body language include smiling, eye contact, solid posture, active listening, and nodding. Unfavourable forms of body language include slouching, looking off in the distance, playing with a pen, fidgeting in a chair, brushing back your hair, touching your face, chewing gum, or mumbling.
8. Thank you, Thanks or Thanks a lot - Common courtesy and politeness go far in interviewing; thus, the importance of thanking each person who interviews you should come as no surprise. Start the process while at the interview, thanking each person who interviewed you before you leave.
This may sound cliché but thinking of pleasant things that make you smile and feel good will help put you in the right state of mind going in to the interview. Succeeding in job interviews takes research, practice, and persistence. The more effort you put into your interview preparation, the more success you’ll see in obtaining job offers especially if you remember and follow these job interviewing tips.