Tips for nailing your next job interview
You’ve got all the right qualifications and some solid experience – so now all you have to do to land your dream job is get through the interview. Easy, right? Make sure you’re prepared to show-off your skills and attributes by putting in a bit of time ahead of the interview and getting yourself ready. Here are a few tips which will help you put your best foot forward on interview day:
- Prepare, prepare, prepare – don’t just turn up and think you can “wing it”. Take the time to look on the employer’s website and learn a little about the company background. Make sure you’ve paid attention to the job description and understand the skills and attributes they are looking for.
- Presentation is important – what you wear will depend on the job you are applying for (think suit and tie for a professional job, but smart-casual may be enough for a more relaxed working environment). Whatever the job, first impressions count so make sure you are well-presented, in clean smart clothes and shoes.
- Keep to the point – your interviewer will likely be asking the same questions of many people during the course of the day. Short, sharp, smart answers to their questions will give a good impression.
- Be specific. Prepare some examples of projects or situations you’ve been involved in that were successful so that your responses clearly indicate your capabilities.
- Interviewers will often open with a question that is designed to relax candidates and ease them into the interview, such as “tell me about yourself”. This is a great opportunity to show you’ve prepared for the interview by relating some of your key experience to the job. Don’t stray too much into personal detail – it’s your professional skills you want to highlight.
- Don’t burn bridges – you might be asked about previous roles and why you left. No matter what the situation, don’t use your interview as an opportunity to bag your former boss. Keep it professional and focus on new challenges.
- Strengths and weaknesses – “what are your weaknesses” is always a tricky question. Take time before the interview to think about the strengths you bring to the role, and be ready to offer an honest answer of a skill that you would like to improve upon.
- Relax – interviewers really want to see the best in you; although you might feel nervous, remember that they are people too and try to remain relaxed.
- Ask a question – be ready with at least one question in case you are given the opportunity to ask. You might want to know something more specific about the role, the team you’ll be working with or the background of the company – it’s good to show them you’re interested.
The more time you put into preparation, the more relaxed you’ll be on interview day. As well as doing your research on the company, there are lots more tips and suggestions on job websites that are worth reading.