Speak to anyone who is responsible for interviewing people as part of their job role and they will tell you that they pretty much know within the first 30 seconds if the candidate is right for the job. Just 30 seconds can shape someone’s future – that is not a lot of time and chances are, not a lot has been said in that time either!
Research backs up this claim too. Even though we would all like to believe that qualifications matter (after all, there was a lot of hard work that went into obtaining them), it seems first impressions really do matter.
Fear not! Here are five tips that can help you perform well in your next job interview:
Before you even think about what to wear and how to act, you need to think about what you know! Chances are, you had to carry out some research about the job role and the company at the point you submitted your application – now is the time to expand on that research!
The interviewer may not ask any questions relating to this research, but you can certainly drop the information into your answers, to help add depth to your replies.
Pre-empt the questions – Look at the job advert/specification and identify what you think the key skills are that they are looking for in a candidate. A hiring manager will want to extract this information from any candidate, so jot down five possible questions you think they would ask around these skills and prepare your answer. To really stand out, ensure you provide evidence of when you have used these skills in previous roles. They may not ask the exact same questions that you have prepared for, but you will have some answers ready to choose from, which you can tailor to the questions they ask. Here are some examples of questions to help you.
Prepare a portfolio – a hiring manager loves to see someone who is prepared, so purchase a plastic envelope file that can hold the following items:
Your brain is ready, now it is time to look the part. Here are some points to consider when getting ready:
Being late for an interview is not an option. If the worst happens and you are running late, you MUST call to apologize and explain the reason. Hopefully, the interview can still occur when you arrive or be rearranged.
Plan for the unexpected and aim to arrive at least 30 minutes early, however, do not enter the office 30 minutes early! Sit in your car or pop into a coffee shop close by and plan to enter the building 10 minutes prior to the allocated time. The hiring manager will probably still be carrying out their day job, as well as conducting other interviews so they will be very busy. Arriving too early can make them feel rushed to meet you.
Chances are, it won’t be the hiring manager that you meet first. However, make sure you treat everyone you meet as if they are the hiring manager as you can bet your bottom dollar they will pass on any negative feelings they have about you to the person conducting the interview!
You have done your research, you are dressed professionally, you arrived at the perfect time and now it is time to build that rapport!
For further advice, check out 5 nonverbal mistakes to avoid during your job interview.
You want this company to hire you, not a pretend version of yourself, so be genuine in your interview. Don’t be afraid to show passion about something if it helps to highlight that you are the right person for that job role and remember that an interview is also about you discovering if the company is the right fit for you.
If you do your homework, dress correctly and conduct yourself well, then rapport will happen naturally, so you can relax into the interview and get on with showing the hiring manager what you are made of.
Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you brush up on your interview skills and land your dream job? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!
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