Your CV and/or your cover letter has already impressed the recruiter. The next (and the most) important step to get the job, is to make a great impression in your initial interview. The following tips will help you in your preparation and improve your performance and create the best impression that you can.
The key to feeling confident in your interview is to prepare yourself before the event. Here are a few things you should do prior to your interview :
- Read your CV application form again and take a copy for the interview.
- It is important that you know as much as possible about the job. Read the job requirements, job description and/or candidate specification.
- Research the knowledge about the company; its products, culture, employees and competitors. Have a look at the website of the organisation, their literature and their annual report. The fact that you have done research about the organisation will demonstrate your interest and motivation for the company.
- Double check the time and date of your interview, figure out how to get there and also how you will get there.
- Dress appropriately; the first judgement an interviewer makes is based on how the candidate looks, what he is wearing. Make sure your attire is neat and tidy.
- Interviews are all about questions. Prepare yourself for questions and answers. Here is a strategy for answering using the STAR technique.
During the interview
- Shake hands with the interviewer at the beginning and at the end of the interview.
- Be yourself; maintain good eye contact with the interviewer and also try to smile from time to time when and where appropriate. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your real personality. Use positive and receptive body language to strengthen your chances.
- Listen carefully to the questions. The key to responding successfully to interview questions is in paying attention. If you don’t understand a question, it is fine to politely ask if they can repeat the question. It is much better to say that you are unsure of what the question is asking than to answer something completely unrelated.
- Think before you speak, concentrate on the question and be positive and enthusiastic. Do not ramble about, it's better to give a shorter answer with strong points than to speak just to fill the gaps by saying unnecessary stuff.
- Don't be negative about your previous employers, bosses and/or anything that did not work for you in your previous jobs. Not only does it not bring you any positives, it will make you appear as a negative person or someone who has a negative vision about life and that is something you want to avoid at all costs.
Usually at the end of an interview, you'll be asked if you have any questions. If you don’t ask something, it can be interpreted as a lack of interest.
- Ask relevant questions, avoid asking about salary and benefits at this point.
- Ask the interviewer questions based upon what you will be doing when you are in the job.
- Ask the follow-up questions of when you can expect to hear back and how the application moves forward. This is a great opportunity to reinforce your interest in the position.
- Finally, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time, tell them you have enjoyed what you have heard and that you look forward to hearing from them soon.
- Follow up the interview with an interview thank you letter.
Remember that any experience you have as a part of a recruitment process is an opportunity for you to learn and to develop.