To be really successful at interviews you need to look at the little details as well as the classic interview tips; research the company, know your CV, dress well and make eye contact. However, it would be the ‘other’ factors that are considered not to be tips, but almost always taken for granted. Let’s take a look at 8 of the ‘other’ factors that most candidates forget.
PREPARED – Get the details right
Before you leave for your job interview, make sure that you have the correct address and directions to the location. If possible, do a test run of the journey to the interview and familiarise yourself with the campus/building. This will make the day of the interview run much more smoothly and also help you relax with some degree of familiarity. It’s also important to have a phone number for your contact at the company, just in case you are running late for reasons outside of your control.
BE ARMED – Bring your CV
After general introductions and brief outline of the role, most interviewers’ first question will be to ask you to run through your CV. You should already know it inside out but it can help at times to have a copy to hand, both for preparation prior to walking in and to make sure you don’t leave out anything important. However, do not rely on it within the interview as it may come across as you reading out someone else’s CV, eye-contact is golden and you will lose this.
FOCUS – Switch off your mobile phone
This should be obvious, most of us would claim, but you would be amazed how many people forget. Make sure it is off, we do not mean putting it on silent or vibrate, and never, ever answer a phone in an interview. If possible, leave your phone outside the room or the building as it can habitual to pull it out for something as simple as checking the time. Whoever might call you can wait, and you certainly do not want to give the impression that you are in a rush to get somewhere else.
RELAX – Breathe and stay positive
Before going into the room, take some time to yourself to gather your thoughts and get yourself in the right frame of mind. Don’t leave this simple task to the few minutes beforehand. Plan to do something relaxing before the interview; take a walk, have a coffee or do some light reading. Do whatever it takes to make sure that you are in a positive frame of mind going into the interview.
COURTEOUS – Politeness and posture
First impressions are everything, job interviews as well as a first date! So remember to be polite when you enter the interview room. Remember that the employer has invited you in to meet them so don’t sit down until invited to do so. When you do sit down make sure to position yourself in an upright posture. Don’t slouch; this will make it clear that you do not take the interview seriously.
Be friendly, that is an important point to remember too; you want the interviewer to like you so be professional but friendly. Don’t approach the interview as though the employer is the enemy who you have to beat to get the job. Be yourself and let them see why you are a good personality to have on their team. An important part of the interview is whether or not they want to have you in their team, if they can work ‘with’ you.
PERSONALISED – Use the interviewer’s name
Make a personal connection with the interviewer without being inappropriate, make sure you know where that line is i.e. Make sure you know their name and that you listen to how they pronounce it when they introduce themselves. It can be a powerful tool to refer to them by name in the interview and keep the conversation friendly.
DESIRE – Show enthusiasm for the role
Many job seekers fall into the trap of talking only about themselves and how good they are, it’s important to remember that you are there to get a specific job. Tailor your answers to always revolve around the job. If you are telling the interviewer about how great you are, twist it so that you are telling them how great you are for the job. Employers want to hire a candidate who really wants this specific job, so make sure to show that in your answers.
At the end of the interview, the interviewer may explain the next step in the process, if they don’t, ask them. This will show you are enthusiastic and engaged with the process. However, it is important that you don’t push it; some employers don’t set strict timelines on these processes.
GOODBYE – Thank the interviewer(s)
At the end of the interview, don’t forget to thank the interviewer(s) and end the conversation with a friendly handshake. Say goodbye to anybody you met on your way in as you leave, especially the receptionist. It might seem minor but these people may become your colleagues and they will know the interviewer; you want to leave everyone you meet with a positive impression of you.
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